partdeux
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Hi,

I just wanted to know if anyone has had the same experience or has any information on what to do about this.

At the start of my college course I informed them that I had epilepsy. I needed a few days off because of it and then I received an email in October from my tutor telling me I had been removed from the course. I hadn't been offered a chance to explain or offered any student support services before, or offered any reasonable adjustments.

I was told I might be able to get back onto the course if I was able to supply a letter from a doctor stating I would not have any more issues with the seizures. The person who told me this worked in healthcare and knew this was impossible. After a week I was able to force them to get me back on the course.

Then around January I was excluded from classes until I had a risk assessment for a few days.

I have now been told I have to have 100% attendance regardless of any epilepsy issues or be removed from the course.

Any advice on this?

Thanks
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Tiger Rag
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Is there a disability service at the college you can contact? From experience, they usually meet with you to find out what exactly the issue is. They then should try to make everything easier for you and find a solution (I'm not sure what they'd suggest here - I don't have epilepsy) before deciding to kick you off the course.

Have you also sought any advice from the (sorry, I don't know their proper name!) Epilepsy Society? I'm sure they've encoutered students with this issue and can give you appropriate advice.

It does sound like discrmination to me. In order for it not to be discrimination, they have to justify it. They would also need to make adjustments before justifying their actions. Again, as someone who doesn't have epilpsy, I don't know what these adjustments would be.
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partdeux
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(Original post by OU Student)
Is there a disability service at the college you can contact? From experience, they usually meet with you to find out what exactly the issue is. They then should try to make everything easier for you and find a solution (I'm not sure what they'd suggest here - I don't have epilepsy) before deciding to kick you off the course.

Have you also sought any advice from the (sorry, I don't know their proper name!) Epilepsy Society? I'm sure they've encoutered students with this issue and can give you appropriate advice.

It does sound like discrmination to me. In order for it not to be discrimination, they have to justify it. They would also need to make adjustments before justifying their actions. Again, as someone who doesn't have epilpsy, I don't know what these adjustments would be.
Thanks for that. I'm going to get advice from an epilepsy charity today and go to a CAB tomorrow just to find out some info about it. I'd rather know my rights before making a complaint about it.
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SlowlorisIncognito
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(Original post by partdeux)
Hi,

I just wanted to know if anyone has had the same experience or has any information on what to do about this.

At the start of my college course I informed them that I had epilepsy. I needed a few days off because of it and then I received an email in October from my tutor telling me I had been removed from the course. I hadn't been offered a chance to explain or offered any student support services before, or offered any reasonable adjustments.

I was told I might be able to get back onto the course if I was able to supply a letter from a doctor stating I would not have any more issues with the seizures. The person who told me this worked in healthcare and knew this was impossible. After a week I was able to force them to get me back on the course.

Then around January I was excluded from classes until I had a risk assessment for a few days.

I have now been told I have to have 100% attendance regardless of any epilepsy issues or be removed from the course.

Any advice on this?

Thanks
If you missed a few days in October, did you miss something vital like enrollment? /this might explain why you were removed from the course temporarily.

The university should make reasonable adjustments for you, and there is no way expecting 100% attendance is reasonable- everyone can pick up a nasty stomach bug or the flu! Do you have an exact figure for your attendance so far?

OU student has given you some good advice about where to seek help. I would also see if there is anyone at your SU who can help you, as they may be able to act as an advocate for you if you're not able to.
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thisIZwar
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Definitely discrimination. Under the Equality Act (2010) they have to make 'reasonable adjustments' before they can even consider dropping you, which they clearly haven't done. I'm assuming when you applied that you noted on the application you have epilepsy? If so, they should be fully aware (colleges usually ignore these parts of the application)

If you haven't already, speak to disability/learning support, the head of your course and if all else fails, the dean of the campus and CAB. They have absolutely no rights to fling you off the course for not attending as you have a recognized disability and as long as it can be proven that your seizures are stopping you from attending and not just laziness ect you have the upper-hand.

Good luck!


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domonict
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What is the course and is there anything in the post qualification job route that would mean that you are not suitable for the course?

i mean if you were a trainee airline pilot then it is fair enough to suggest that even if you qualify then you will not be allowed to fly.

But a "normal" course should be able to accommodate you unless there was a H&S issue.
i would get everything in writing and seek proper advice
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SlowlorisIncognito
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(Original post by domonict)
What is the course and is there anything in the post qualification job route that would mean that you are not suitable for the course?

i mean if you were a trainee airline pilot then it is fair enough to suggest that even if you qualify then you will not be allowed to fly.

But a "normal" course should be able to accommodate you unless there was a H&S issue.
i would get everything in writing and seek proper advice
If the course has this sort of requirement, then they would normally insist on a medical before the start of the course and disqualify anyone who wasn't deemed medically able to cope with the course. It doesn't sound like this is a new diagnosis, so it seems like OP wouldn't have passed the medical if the course required one.
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Katy100
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This definitely contravenes the Equality Act 2010, in which your Uni cannot treat you less favourably or remove you from your course for something that is a result of your Disability.

There is actually a students guide to the Equality Act and one of the examples that it gives is about a University discriminating against someone by treating their sick-leave as deliberate non-attendance- it states that this is discrimination.

Did you get help from CAB and the Epilepsy charity?
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