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The Ultimate Disabled Students Sticky

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    Welcome to the Disabled Students Subforum. The purpose of this sticky is to bring together all sticky threads and wiki content into one reference post. This thread can also be used to ask any questions about anything related to disability and academic (or even personal) issues. So any brief question, that perhaps isn't worth creating a thread for, can be placed here. There are a number of experienced students to answer these queries (not least myself). But, if you do have a question, make sure you check the FAQ first. It may already be covered there.

    If you can’t find your question in the FAQ, or aren’t sure of the answer, then feel free to ask in this thread or the subforum.

    If you want to know more about Disabled Students Allowance then please see Craghyrax’s and River’s Guide to Disabled Students Allowance

    For more information on common disabilities and medical conditions, including some useful websites, please see here

    If you want any condition included then let me know by posting in this thread, I will then research it and put it into the sticky.

    As well as the stickies, please check out the relevant wiki content. On the wiki you can find a number of things, including a more detailed explanation of DSA, information about the Disability Discrimination Act and its place in further and higher education, a glossary and external links. There’s also written accounts of disabled students’ experiences.

    Disabled Students' Wiki Info

    So, now that’s out of the way, the purpose of this thread is for any minor queries you may have about disability and study and to suggest any improvements that can be made (whether in the stickies, wiki content or subforum in general). So, if you have a question or suggestions then go ahead, just post here!
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    Is it possible to explain what happes in the needs assesment? Or is it different depending on what the disability is?
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    (Original post by Titch89)
    Is it possible to explain what happes in the needs assesment? Or is it different depending on what the disability is?
    i can tell you what happened at mine, there are probably similarities between assessments but different things will come up depending on the disability (eg. tutoring)

    my needs assessment lasted about an hour and the guy came to my house due to my disability.

    we had a bit of a chat first about the disability and the problems that result from that. then he started talking about what could be done to reduce the influence those difficulties could cause.

    in my case, my biggest problem is fatigue as a result of my breathlessness so we discussed voice recognition software for a laptop for when i'm too tired to type. A new laptop was recommended due to the age and unreliability of mine. We talked about lectures and seminars at the uni and he suggested a dictation machine and photocopying allowance so i could copy others notes and record things instead of having to write everything. he mention a notes taker and someone to carry books around campus for me but i wanted to retain my independence as much as possible.

    another thing we discussed was exams and anything that could be done to make them easier - DSA is not just about helping with equipment and things but also about making recommendations to the uni about what can be done to make things easier for you.

    we also talked about access to materials, library etc and decided a book allowance might be useful due to the difficulties of accessing the uni library

    with his recommendation for equiment, we discussed whether i'd need any training in learning how to use everything
    I think that's pretty much everything! hope that gives you a bit of an idea.
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    That's useful. Thank you Kate.
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    I'll give you an overview soon. Be back in a sec...........I'm back

    (Original post by Titch89)
    Is it possible to explain what happes in the needs assesment? Or is it different depending on what the disability is?
    Good question, I'm probably going to cover this in the FAQ or wiki, as best I can but I'll try and provide a sufficient answer here.

    You're right, it will probably depend slightly on your kind of disability but Kate's pretty much covered it.

    It will take place at uni, a needs assesment centre (http://www.dsa-qag.org.uk/search.asp?f=4) or, in some cases like Kate's, your own home.

    It's quite an informal affair and nothing to be too concerned about. It'll usually be a one to one meeting with the adviser. You may be asked to provide an overview of your condition (but, if they've been given detailed enough medical evidence beforehand then this may not be needed). Then your needs will be discussed, areas you may have a problem with or need assistance with. This obviously varies according to disability. If something like the use of computers for exams is suggested then, if there's a computer nearby, then you may be asked to test your typing speed.

    To give you an idea, this is what happened during both of my assesments

    Assesment number 1 - a few months before I started university

    I had my meeting with the director of the disability service. I gave her the medical evidence and then we discussed my needs. As I hadn't started university yet I was still a little unsure about what help I'd need so was rather quiet. Fortunately my advisor was quite helpful, coming up with the suggestions. This included a voice recorder for recording lectures and book allowance. A computer was mentioned but, the month before, I'd just built (well, daddy did) my new PC. Instead I was given an Alphasmart keyboard (portable keyboard with an LCD screen).

    I then went up to meet the service's ITS officer and had a test run with the IT equipment.

    Assesment number 2 - After my third year at uni

    I had a second one as, earlier in the year, I had been diagnosed with bipolar and dyspraxia. So this was three years after my last one and, through experience, knew what I was after.

    It took the same form as the last assesment. We sat down with a cuppa and had an informal chat. My advisor (a different one to last time) was quite receptive to my suggestions including, to my suprise, my request to have the difference between first class and standard rail travel paid for by my LEA. During peak times, anyway (the severe overcrowding doesn't do anyone with sensitivity issues any good). However, as I was no longer commuting to uni I never took my LEA up on this. The usual things were mentioned. A laptop (as my old PC had now given up the ghost) and a PDA for organisational issues. Actually, much of these recommendations came from my neuro-psychologist's report, written just a few months before.

    Then exam concessions were discussed and I had my typing speed test (as your typing speed obviously needs to be taken account if you want to take an exam on a computer). Then that was it.

    Sorry, this probably isn't the best summary, I'm a little tired, but Kate covered the basics really. Like I said, there will be some differences depending on the nature of disability or medical condition as well as other factors.

    Edit: - :laugh: the start of this post will probably seem really strange to someone who doesn'y know there were two seperate posts (written about 30 minutes or more apart) and I've just merged them!
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    Brilliant, thanks River.
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    Hey,
    i was just wondering if there is any students who have epeilesy and how they cope in uni. i am going in september and i have it. just wondering if you could help me.
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    (Original post by sophie1405)
    Hey,
    i was just wondering if there is any students who have epeilesy and how they cope in uni. i am going in september and i have it. just wondering if you could help me.
    Hi there, I do and there are at least a couple of others. There's a disabled students experience article on the wiki (almost brand new, just created it a couple of weeks ago)

    http://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/wiki...ts_Experiences

    You'll find my account there and the account of another student. Both of us are at Durham coincidentally (although fairly spangles is at the Stockton campus) and I think we've both received good support. But you should receive good support wherever you go. Universities (and many employers) are far more knowledgeable about disability and medical conditions these days. They are usually sympathetic to any needs (well, universities more than employers).

    So there's some great support out there. Are you aware of Disabled Students Allowance? If not then see Craghyrax’s and my Guide to Disabled Students Allowance You should be able to claim this. You'll be able to get extra support and extra course costs covered.

    Do you have any specific questions? I'd be more than happy to answer them. Unfortunately I'm not the best person around as my seizures remained fully controlled during my time at university (well, right from being diagnosed until fairly recently actually and I think that's only becase I missed a couple of days tablets). My bipolar and dyspraxia/Asperger's has been had far more of an effect. Still, if there's anything you'd like to ask then go ahead.

    Could I ask you something, though? Would you mind if I moved this thread into the Disabled Students Sticky?

    http://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/show...0#post15222420

    My plan is to turn that into a "ask a student" type thread, as well as to cover as wide a range of disabilities and medical conditions as possible.

    If you'd rather have your own thread then that's fine, I will not mind.
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    Hi sophie1405

    Like river said im at durham uni aswell.

    I have had fantastic support - i dont know what kind of seizures you have - not that it matters they are all distressing.

    If you do have any specific questions feel free to PM me or ask here!

    The disability people were amazing. Are you doing a vocational course?? I had to go to occupational health. The department have bent over backwards and then some for me!

    Oh apply for DSA - my drugs make me fall asleep everywhere - i feel asleep at work today = whoops. They gave me a laptop and loads of stuff although once i fell asleep in the lecture and recorded myself asleep on the dicaphone!! I also have a crappy short term memory and get stuck for words mid sentance so i got some time in exams to help me compensate!!

    With epilepsy they have to make many people aware of your condition (only with ur say so though!!) i was
    embarrassed at first but its just for you own safety really!!
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    (Original post by sophie1405)
    Hey
    Just quoting you to let you know I've merged the posts into the sticky, hope you don't mind.

    If you have any more questions then just ask.
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    I've been given som aids to help me with reading. (not glasses, as they can't give me anything stronger than I currently have) Are there any rules or anything regarding reading aids and exams? Or can I just use them if I need to?
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    (Original post by Titch89)
    I've been given som aids to help me with reading. (not glasses, as they can't give me anything stronger than I currently have) Are there any rules or anything regarding reading aids and exams? Or can I just use them if I need to?
    You should be OK. I think it'll be classed as a reasonable adjustment under the DDA (do you feel it gives you an unfair advantage?)

    Have you spoken to your college about it?
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    No I haven't. I'm not sure we have any 'proper' exams.

    The aids won't give me an unfair advantage - they just mean I won't lose my place whilst reading.
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    Please note that the guide to DSA sticky is now wrong. You do not apply to your LEA but direct to Stdent Finance Direct.
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    (Original post by roubiliac)
    Please note that the guide to DSA sticky is now wrong. You do not apply to your LEA but direct to Stdent Finance Direct.
    Yeah, I've been meaning to come and update/improve the stickies and wiki but just haven't had the time. I made a good start in October and November but then just lost the time. I should be able to get around to it in these coming weeks.

    If you've got any other suggestions then please feel free to discuss them here.
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    (Original post by roubiliac)
    Please note that the guide to DSA sticky is now wrong. You do not apply to your LEA but direct to Stdent Finance Direct.
    When did this change happen? I'm applying in a few days for DSA and I was under the impression that I had to apply to my LEA?

    EDIT: Never mind, I can see it on direct.gov.uk now. Glad I read this before sending mine off though!
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    Hi I'm also a durham student,

    I've recently been diagnosed with dyslexia (although DUSSD have yet to confirm this because they shut for christmas just before they were supposed to email me!!!)

    I was wondering what happens from here and how long you think it's all going to take - it's all very well having had a physchological analysis but if the department cant do anything about the fact that I learn differently until DUSSD tell them what to do then it's just frustrating

    Also wondering how you go about getting an assessment for dyspraxia
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    Hi there,
    I'm 22 and have epilepsy, semi-controlled.. have one sz per month and generally know a bit beforehand when they're coming..have not had one at uni just yet.
    Am going to my assessment tomorrow.. am pretty nervous and haven't had much sleep- my meds have affected my sleeping pattern.
    But will check in after uni and let you know how it went.
    My uni is pretty unhelpful to be honest- the student support are great, but some of my teachers get annoyed at my attendance/missing exams etc.
    Has anyone had a similar reaction?
    xx
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    (Original post by unicorngirl21)
    Hi there,
    I'm 22 and have epilepsy, semi-controlled.. have one sz per month and generally know a bit beforehand when they're coming..have not had one at uni just yet.
    Am going to my assessment tomorrow.. am pretty nervous and haven't had much sleep- my meds have affected my sleeping pattern.
    But will check in after uni and let you know how it went.
    My uni is pretty unhelpful to be honest- the student support are great, but some of my teachers get annoyed at my attendance/missing exams etc.
    Has anyone had a similar reaction?
    xx
    Hope everything went well. I found the assessment very supportive. Once you get your recommendations just let your uni support know. They should let the departments know. Just gently remind them by email. If you get any problems just log them in a diary and let support know. They are there for you - use them.
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    I've just had my equipment delivered, it took a year from getting an assessment done to getting everything but I have for example a reasonable desktop to run voice software on as I have cerebral palsy.

    I'm going into my third yr in sept. (I was late applying for DSA as I didn't realise it existed) but what help would I get with postgraduate - the course I'm thinking of meets the criteria for being an eligible post grad course with the length and hours etc..

    I take it I'd have an assessment, like you do every year of study to check my equipment is suitable and sort out paying for consumables. What do they do with equipment they have previously purchased? I'll still be studying in 4 years time if I get accepted for post graduate and my equipment is likely to be a bit out of date then... just wondering what happens really. I'm expected to get a software upgrade rather than new hardware really.

    Any info appreciated

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