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Disabled Students FAQ (Under Construction)

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Are you at uni? Can you help prospective students with their questions? We're looking for uni forum assistants 19-11-2014
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    I have a medical condition, and am worried about moving in to Halls.

    Firstly, don’t panic. You will not be the only person in Halls with a medical condition, nor will you be the first person who has ever had one. There are, however, a few considerations you may need to take into account.

    - Do I want to tell people I live with?
    This is, of course, down to how comfortable you are with people knowing about your medical condition. It might be that your condition causes medical emergencies, and informing people you live with would help you get help. If you decide not to tell them, there are a few steps you could do to make sure you feel safer:
    - inform the warden of your halls. This should also be done if your condition makes it harder for you to evacuate during fires. If it does, it is also a good idea to inform the accomodation office as they will endeavour to allocate a room which is easy to evacuate.
    - make sure you structure your day in order to have regular meals/medications as required. This may sound like common sense, but it is easy to lose track of time at uni.
    - if you don’t want to tell your hallmates, consider wearing a medicalert bracelet. These are available in jewellers, and medical staff are trained to look for them. They look like ordinary jewellery unless closely inspected so people won’t know what it is you are wearing.

    I think I may have a disability, is it worth declaring?

    In a word, yes. Universities are now subject to the Disability Discrimination Act, and as such are under a legal duty to make reasonable adjustments to make their buildings accessable. If you have mobility problems, therefore, it is well advised to contact them in advance.

    Informing the university also opens up a vast support network. All universities will have a disability support team, who can offer help in undertaking your studies. The service is there so use it!

    If you are unsure about a disability, for example you think you may be dyslexic, contact the disability support office when you start uni. They will be able to arrange assesments in order to determine if you do have a condition, and what help you are entitled to.

    Will My Disability Have An Impact On Eligability For Courses/Employment?

    This is of course down to the particular course/employment opportunity and your disability. Some professions have a fitness to practice requirment, others have medical restrictions. If you are at all unsure the best thing to do is to contact the Professional Body for your chosen profession. They will be able to tell you if you would be eligable, and what sorts of adjustments you could reasonably expect under the terms of the Disability Disrimination Act.

    Disabled Students Allowance.

    Broadly speaking, this is a grant from your LEA to cover the cost of any extra equipment you need to buy because of a disability. http://www.dfes.gov.uk/studentsuppor...with_d_1.shtml contains more details.

    This thread is currently under construction. If you have any questions, please PM them to me and I will add them to the FAQs. I am also happy to answer questions via PM if you are uncomfortable with your question being addedto the FAQs.


    TSR Disabled Students Society

    http://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/showthread.php?t=225080
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    Do I have to get an assessment, particularly for mental health "disorders"?

    No. If you have not had an official diagnosis and do not wish to have one then you do not. There are advantages and disadvantages to getting a diagnosis; it may help you get support in exams, or free organisation training, for example. However, bear in mind that a diagnosis is official and irrevocable. You have to balance the immediate short term gain against possible long term effects, like having to explain to every employer what you have which may (unjustly) affect your chances of employment.

    It all depends upon your own feelings as an adult as to what you want. You will not be forced into disclosing anything or doing anything you do not want to do.
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    (Original post by FadeToBlackout)
    Do I have to get an assessment, particularly for mental health "disorders"?

    No. If you have not had an official diagnosis and do not wish to have one then you do not. There are advantages and disadvantages to getting a diagnosis; it may help you get support in exams, or free organisation training, for example. However, bear in mind that a diagnosis is official and irrevocable. You have to balance the immediate short term gain against possible long term effects, like having to explain to every employer what you have which may (unjustly) affect your chances of employment.

    It all depends upon your own feelings as an adult as to what you want. You will not be forced into disclosing anything or doing anything you do not want to do.
    Considering the long term implications is important, but you aren't under a duty to disclose to all employers anyway. It depends on the employer.
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    this is the best thread i can find to get advice, dont know if you can ask questions though? i should be going to uni in september and am currently filling out the application form. my girlfriend uses a wheelchair and i am taking this into consideration with my choices of accomodation, as obviously i'd love her to be able to visit and stay for the weekend, like anyone with a long term partner who doesn't go to uni with them. my only problem is that there is limited places with access on the campus, so should i attach a note to the uni explaining the situation, asking for perhaps a ground floor room, or consideration for one of the fully accessible houses (though there's only one with a lift). would they even take it into consideration, as she's my partner and not a student at the uni? its just going to make things a lot harder if she can't visit during the first year as it'll be a 3 hour train journey to get to her otherwise. do i even have a chance of them trying to place me in a good room? :confused: any help would be greatly appreciated.
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    Hello Fredish. I'm not sure if they are under a duty to provide you with an accessible room, as you're not disabled. However, I see no harm in writing a letter explaining your situation in detail and seeing if it makes a difference.

    Explain the strain being apart will cause, and that you need an accessible room in order for her to be safe when she visits. Do bear in mind, the rooms will be allocated to disabled students first so it will depend on the number of wheelchair applicants that university has.

    Write the letter, be detailed and see what happens. After all, what do you have to lose?

    Good luck, and let us know how it goes
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    On the mental health issue, I posted this a while back, might be useful here.

    http://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/showthread.php?t=179864

    Would add that there are some courses (anything with a public safety implication eg nursing, medicine) that will expect a full medical history - not just mental health but other things too - but not on the UCAS form. I would expect that candidates for these kinds of job will be required to complete a separate health questionnaire, which is absolutely confidential. Perhaps the OP could look into this one and put something up here about it.

    If you think that your disability or medical history might be an issue, my advice would be to discuss with an admissions tutor BEFORE committing anything to paper. And I would still hold to the view that a UCAS form is not the place where you should have to say anything more than you are willing to disclose.
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    Fredish - you should definately contact the university and explain, may I ask which university you are applying to? They may not have a legal obligation but it is not difficult to place you on a ground floor or somewhere with a lift etc.
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    hey, thanks for the help guys, im applying to Sussex, and they've been really cool and helpful when i contacted them before about changing my application to go this year instead. there's one place, kent house, (which was my favourite anyway) which has a lift to all floors apparantly, and its not overly popular so i'll possibly see if they could just plonk me in there. the trouble with some of the other places is that they are either on a huge slope, or only some rooms have access, so it would be luck of the draw i guess. i'll see how it goes. presumably some students request ground floor anyway, for personal reasons, just as people want same-sex flats or non smoking, so hopefully it shouldn't be too much of a problem? cheers for the help anyway.
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    Good thread!!

    With regard to the medical condition issue, well I don't have anything which causes any disruption to my day to day life or anything serious like that but a couple of years ago I was really ill and I am still going back to hospital for checks and scans. I have appointments arranged for stuff during my first term at uni which will obviously cause some disruption. Just been wondering who I should tell these kind of things to when I am there and that kind of thing..I get the impression that Warwick are really good with this stuff because it was all detailed in my reference on my application and the admissions tutor for the department forwarded it on to the disability office just to see if I would need any extra assistance (the only uni to do so!) I don't need anything special but I guess I need to tell people..
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    Happy, you will be assigned a personal supervisor for the duration of your course. Most unis do that. They look after the pastoral side of things, so they are the person you would need to tell.
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    (Original post by happydinosaur)
    Good thread!!

    With regard to the medical condition issue, well I don't have anything which causes any disruption to my day to day life or anything serious like that but a couple of years ago I was really ill and I am still going back to hospital for checks and scans. I have appointments arranged for stuff during my first term at uni which will obviously cause some disruption. Just been wondering who I should tell these kind of things to when I am there and that kind of thing..I get the impression that Warwick are really good with this stuff because it was all detailed in my reference on my application and the admissions tutor for the department forwarded it on to the disability office just to see if I would need any extra assistance (the only uni to do so!) I don't need anything special but I guess I need to tell people..
    yar they are. either jane or your personal tutor would work.
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    Hiya. I have a quickie question. I have a disability, but its not really one that affects my education. I had congenital cataracts (now removed) and this lead to me developing glaucoma in both eyes. However this hasn't affected my education at all (though it is supposed to). I attended a mainstream school, and simply wear normal glasses to improve my vision. I do however, have as statment of special needs. Would universities and my LEA still regard this as a disability?
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    (Original post by Fee1)
    Hiya. I have a quickie question. I have a disability, but its not really one that affects my education. I had congenital cataracts (now removed) and this lead to me developing glaucoma in both eyes. However this hasn't affected my education at all (though it is supposed to). I attended a mainstream school, and simply wear normal glasses to improve my vision. I do however, have as statment of special needs. Would universities and my LEA still regard this as a disability?
    I should think so yes, because it could become worse and you may need extra provision. Declare it.
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    Hello, quick question...

    If I got extra time for my a levels becuase I have a wrist condition which affects my writing speed should I go to student support and try and get help for uni? My brother suggested I should go to the tutors and explain to them to see if I can have any lecture notes emailed to me - therefore cutting the amount of writing I do but in my exams I also got 25% extra time which was useful becuase I generally used it to have a break half way through the exams when my hands were bad...
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    Yes, it would be a good idea to contact the disabled students support place at uni.
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    (Original post by historyhoney)
    Hello, quick question...

    If I got extra time for my a levels becuase I have a wrist condition which affects my writing speed should I go to student support and try and get help for uni? My brother suggested I should go to the tutors and explain to them to see if I can have any lecture notes emailed to me - therefore cutting the amount of writing I do but in my exams I also got 25% extra time which was useful becuase I generally used it to have a break half way through the exams when my hands were bad...
    Not only would I suggest seeing the student support services but also trying to contact a local assessment centre who can give you money from social services to buy a laptop, a device for recording lectures, money for notetakers etc or whatever other equipment they might be able to suggest, as I have similar problems with writing. The university is likely to suggest a notetaker as well, which you might find useful and less tiring/quicker note wise.
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    (Original post by clomoo)
    Not only would I suggest seeing the student support services but also trying to contact a local assessment centre who can give you money from social services to buy a laptop, a device for recording lectures, money for notetakers etc or whatever other equipment they might be able to suggest, as I have similar problems with writing. The university is likely to suggest a notetaker as well, which you might find useful and less tiring/quicker note wise.
    very good info, thanks, I didn't really notice how much it affected me until A levels exams, hopefully it will get better as I have been going to physiotherapy where they have been doing exercises and suggesting ways to relieave strain
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    This thread is great

    im hearing impaired and i cant believe how much ive got to think about really.

    in uni ive got to have a special fire alarm system set up for me, along with a flashing door knocker and stuff.

    i really recommend getting a technical needs assessment, because i had one and im getting an apple mac/printer, wake up light alarm, digital encoder (closed caption) allowances for internet and photocopying and dvds (for my course) all because of my hearing it will all help in some way. (eg i dont like working in big comminal areas - background noise - so i get my own comp which i can edit on)

    so yeh, seriously if u think you are elligable, have an assessment

    good luck to all you disabled students out ther :p:
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    (Original post by Cazzi)
    This thread is great

    im hearing impaired and i cant believe how much ive got to think about really.

    in uni ive got to have a special fire alarm system set up for me, along with a flashing door knocker and stuff.

    i really recommend getting a technical needs assessment, because i had one and im getting an apple mac/printer, wake up light alarm, digital encoder (closed caption) allowances for internet and photocopying and dvds (for my course) all because of my hearing it will all help in some way. (eg i dont like working in big comminal areas - background noise - so i get my own comp which i can edit on)

    so yeh, seriously if u think you are elligable, have an assessment

    good luck to all you disabled students out ther :p:
    I'm pushing for a Disabled Students sub-forum so we can reach as many people as possible.
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    Hi
    Ive got ME and have been mad eto miss alot of school in the last few years due to it.
    this means my results were not as good as they were predicted
    does anyone know if unis consider ME as a disability and if this has any effect on whether they would let me in???????

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