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Accommodation for Disabled students

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Got a question about Student Finance? Ask the experts this week on TSR! 14-09-2014
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    I've already disclosed to the university and college that I have a set of medical conditions which I was born with that would mean I may be considered a disabled student..

    However, there's not really much I need in terms of equipment, etc. There are things that would help, such as an ensuite room or bathroom on the same floor, a room on the ground floor or access lifts etc which aren't essential but would be great if there were.

    a) Do all (most?) colleges have rooms that cater for students with motility issues?

    b) Do people in accommodation for disabled students tend to be isolated?

    c) Is it worth sending my college an email enquiring? Or just wait until they contact me?

    d) What do the authorities need in terms of "proving" my disability? In my case, it's a deformity so people can see it, it's pretty obvious and most people go "what's wrong with your leg?" within 5 minutes of meeting me.. My doctor's given me a letter describing my condition, will this suffice? Or do I need to undergo some sort of assessment to test occupational ability, pain thresholds etc?

    If anyone with any experience could give me some general info/advice even if it doesn't directly relate to the questions above that would be greatly appreciated too!!

    Thanks!
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    That's a surprisingly good question - whilst we do live in the modern day where you'd expect disabled access to be fairly universal, Oxford lags behind. This is largely due to the nature of old buildings and the difficulties faced when changing them. Merton last year spent a lot of money on making the college accessible for wheelchair-bound persons, but before that, it was simply impossible, and even now its hardly great! I believe many other colleges may be a lot worse/impossible.

    Having said that, your disability doesn't sound like it limits you anywhere near as much as a wheelchair would. If all you request is a ground floor room with a bathroom on the same floor, all colleges can provide that as long as you make your needs clear. Things that may be more difficult (i.e. stairs, potentially narrow stairs...) are college bars, college halls, even the main entrance in some cases (Queens, for example) has a lot of stairs. If this is of concern to you, it would definitely be worth e-mailing.
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    (Original post by nexttime)
    That's a surprisingly good question - whilst we do live in the modern day where you'd expect disabled access to be fairly universal, Oxford lags behind. This is largely due to the nature of old buildings and the difficulties faced when changing them. Merton last year spent a lot of money on making the college accessible for wheelchair-bound persons, but before that, it was simply impossible, and even now its hardly great! I believe many other colleges may be a lot worse/impossible.

    Having said that, your disability doesn't sound like it limits you anywhere near as much as a wheelchair would. If all you request is a ground floor room with a bathroom on the same floor, all colleges can provide that as long as you make your needs clear. Things that may be more difficult (i.e. stairs, potentially narrow stairs...) are college bars, college halls, even the main entrance in some cases (Queens, for example) has a lot of stairs. If this is of concern to you, it would definitely be worth e-mailing.
    My position is at the moment is that an ensuite room/ground floor room with same-floor bathroom would be ideal, but if not, then I can cope, it just makes things a little harder. It's a condition that deteriorates as I age, however and there's no real way of knowing what further requirements I will have in the future- though I highly doubt anything will change too dramatically over 3 years at uni.

    Do you know what "evidence" I might need to present to the college?
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    (Original post by TsarinaMeg)
    My position is at the moment is that an ensuite room/ground floor room with same-floor bathroom would be ideal, but if not, then I can cope, it just makes things a little harder. It's a condition that deteriorates as I age, however and there's no real way of knowing what further requirements I will have in the future- though I highly doubt anything will change too dramatically over 3 years at uni.

    Do you know what "evidence" I might need to present to the college?
    I'd imagine they would be understanding - most would probably just take your word for it for something like this. Or they might have a standard policy for doctors notes - don't know :dontknow:
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    (Original post by TsarinaMeg)
    My position is at the moment is that an ensuite room/ground floor room with same-floor bathroom would be ideal, but if not, then I can cope, it just makes things a little harder. It's a condition that deteriorates as I age, however and there's no real way of knowing what further requirements I will have in the future- though I highly doubt anything will change too dramatically over 3 years at uni.

    Do you know what "evidence" I might need to present to the college?
    I think most colleges should be able to do that - it's certainly possible at Trinity. If you have a welfare requirement, then they let you pick rooms first and there's plenty that meet those requirements and they're in no way isolated.

    Wheel-chair access is another issue, since most tutorial rooms are not wheel-chair accessible.

    I would suggest you e-mail the college you intend to apply to before making the final decision. EDIT: Oh, I see you've already applied. It's probably really hard to answer those questions without knowing which college you have in mind and I doubt anyone knows what kind of evidence needs to be supplied.
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    Ground floor with bathroom on the same floor should be no issue at most colleges, I have Cerebral Palsy and it was done for me. I just live in a regular staircase with other students, but I just specified to them before I went that I needed to be on the ground floor

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