Uninclusive event for people with disabilities..

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dipka
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Hi, just want some opinions really, and perhaps some advice as I seem to be running out of options of ways to solve this. But I'll explain..


I am technically at uni D (that's the initial, not wanting to reveal names), However I live in halls and study at B which is another campus an hour away from D, also a lot smaller than D, so D is the main campus, here in B is like just mainly ignored really.

And the problem is one example of this. In January there is a leadership event for disabled students with the main aim being to help them get employment at the end of there course. As I want to be a Outdoor instructor, and I am worried about my chances of getting a job because I'm disabled this sounds REALLY useful.

I've not got that much information about the course, in D there is 2 workshops you can go to get information and get help with applications, Here you have to go to 1 person for a meeting, I've re emailed them on Tuesday and still waiting for a reply because the work part time I don't know when that will be.

But from what information I have I think my disability is stopping me go to something that is for disabled students. I know that it's it is a requirement to do a lot of group work and joining in activities. I have great difficulty with these kind of things because of Autism, it's a new place, I won't know anyone it seems unfair to expect lots of joining in with others-I want to lead others not work in a group with others. But I realise no-one other than me understands there is a difference between the two. I feel the event will benefit me more if I watched others do the tasks and learnt form that rather than having the pressure of joining in but I have no idea if that is possible.

The other major issue is more logistics. I'm told that I am expected to get to D each day (3 day course) for 8:45 or live in D for 3 days. Because of my disability I can't travel on public transport, too unpredictable, noisy or crouding issues and possibly safety issues and well I can't do it. Moving house for 3 days does not sound realistic either! I'd basically not eat or do other vital things like sleep, take medicines or similar with all the new things there and lack of people I know to help and the help I have here now.

Other than the named contact who does not reply to emails. I now on Friday tried asking the disability adviser. She said she knew nothing about it and I need to ask this main person, as the event is run by someone external to the uni, and at the other campus. All she suggested is try going to find that person in case they've just managed to 'loose' my email in others.

I'm getting really annoyed with this and it's just another stress and something I need to organise extra to what none disabled students would need to do. There is other issues with me not being able to do or go to things within uni so I do just generally feel really excluded and pushed out because of it all and now having problems with a specific event for disabled students is really testing me too much.

Sorry this is so long but thank you for reading and hopefully knowing some of what it's like to not be included or understood. Any help would be amazing!
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Klix88
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What sort of adjustments would you feel comfortable with, which might let you achieve your goal? Can this event be tailored to those needs, or do you need to think of a different approach?

If this course is specifically what you need, an alternative perspective might be helpful. Instead of just approaching people with a list of complaints or observations about your difficulties, could you send them a list of things which would make it possible for you to participate in some way? This sometimes gets a more helpful response. The autism spectrum is very wide and different people will have different issues. The organisers won't have thought of every possible scenario, so you can help them.
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Tiger Rag
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As a disabled student, you're sometimes going to have to educate them on what you need. They're not mind readers.

It may be quicker to phone than email too.
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dipka
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(Original post by Klix88)
What sort of adjustments would you feel comfortable with, which might let you achieve your goal? Can this event be tailored to those needs, or do you need to think of a different approach?

If this course is specifically what you need, an alternative perspective might be helpful. Instead of just approaching people with a list of complaints or observations about your difficulties, could you send them a list of things which would make it possible for you to participate in some way? This sometimes gets a more helpful response. The autism spectrum is very wide and different people will have different issues. The organisers won't have thought of every possible scenario, so you can help them.
I can't contact the organisers (there is no way to) it has to go through this person at B campus who I assume has contact with whoever organises and runs it but I don't know.
I am more trying to find out information about it still, but yes I really like your suggestion of saying do this-but then I kind of did that by saying I would prefer to watch other people in groups than actually have to be in a groups, that and for them to follow my uni support plan which as it's external I assume they can't see but no idea how to get it to whoever is organising it.

(Original post by OU Student)
As a disabled student, you're sometimes going to have to educate them on what you need. They're not mind readers.

It may be quicker to phone than email too.
It just seems so uninclusie though. To assume every disabled student at B campus is able to travel by themselves to D for 3 days. I just hate being so awquad and unable to do what is expected all the time as I'm in a similar situation with the SU clubs in that they seem to have never had a disabled person want to join and I am still waiting for them to arrange funding for a 1-2-1 for me so I can go. I had hoped that something for disabled students might have thought about it but clearly not.

I can't do phoning. My speech is not good enough for people to understand me without being face to face so things like picture symbols or writing things down can be used too. I am going to try and go to the office of this person though.
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Klix88
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(Original post by dipka)
that and for them to follow my uni support plan which as it's external I assume they can't see but no idea how to get it to whoever is organising it.
Bear in mind that this is a general event aimed at the wider community of disabled students. It's likely that the majority of these will have a uni support plan. If there are twenty or thirty attendees, it would mean reading and trying to meet the conditions of twenty or thirty individually-tailored support plans. That would probably render the event too expensive to run, in terms of the staff hours needed to set it up.

By all means follow up, but you might need to be realistic in your expectations. It would be logical to conclude that an event based on group work, won't be suitable for someone who struggles with group work. Not everything with a "disabled" tag, will automatically be suitable for all people with any kind of disability.
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dipka
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(Original post by Klix88)
Bear in mind that this is a general event aimed at the wider community of disabled students. It's likely that the majority of these will have a uni support plan. If there are twenty or thirty attendees, it would mean reading and trying to meet the conditions of twenty or thirty individually-tailored support plans. That would probably render the event too expensive to run, in terms of the staff hours needed to set it up.

By all means follow up, but you might need to be realistic in your expectations. It would be logical to conclude that an event based on group work, won't be suitable for someone who struggles with group work. Not everything with a "disabled" tag, will automatically be suitable for all people with any kind of disability.
The plan's cant be that hard to follow. It's all pre set things and the chances are if there are so many people that are dyslexic, so many people that are autistic etc they will all have the same things I assume?

But basically your saying I can't go? It specifically includes autism in the event information 'a event for people with disabilities or long term medical conditions like dyslexia, autism or mental health conditions' is what it says. But I'm not getting any replies from people now so I do agree with you that I might as well give up.
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Tiger Rag
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(Original post by dipka)
The plan's cant be that hard to follow. It's all pre set things and the chances are if there are so many people that are dyslexic, so many people that are autistic etc they will all have the same things I assume?

But basically your saying I can't go? It specifically includes autism in the event information 'a event for people with disabilities or long term medical conditions like dyslexia, autism or mental health conditions' is what it says. But I'm not getting any replies from people now so I do agree with you that I might as well give up.
They wouldn't all have the same thing though. Autism is different for everyone as you should know.

You give up too easily.
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Klix88
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(Original post by dipka)
The plan's cant be that hard to follow.
It's not that the individual elements of the plans would be difficult to follow. It's more that everyone will have different combinations and sub-sets of elements in their plans. Reading, understanding and satisfying all of the plans would be very time-consuming rather than difficult.

so many people that are autistic etc they will all have the same things I assume?
I'm afraid not. Autism is a spectrum - there are many, many different permutations of issues which fall under that umbrella term. Even people with the same autistic traits can experience or be affected by them in different ways. For example some people with autism will have problems with group work which they can work through or overcome - this doesn't seem to be the case for you.

It specifically includes autism in the event information 'a event for people with disabilities or long term medical conditions like dyslexia, autism or mental health conditions' is what it says.
In my opinion, it was rather ill-advised of the organisers to specify "autism" as it's such a broad condition, but I guess in terms of snappy publicity tags that's the best they could do. "Some autistic spectrum issues" might have been more appropriate. If you can make contact with them, you could suggest this for future events. But again, they may have assumed that people with issues working in groups, wouldn't be interested in a training event based on group work.

But I'm not getting any replies from people now so I do agree with you that I might as well give up.
I certainly think you'd need to contact someone in order to make any progress on the issue.
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