The Student Room Group

academic advice

I need some advice so I received some devastating news, that I have to have emergency medical operation which means I can’t go in a car either driving or as passenger for 6 weeks max! I am over half way through my year of my course and unsure what to do as my tutors are not being very understanding or supportive that this is out of my control and if I don’t have it then it could be very serious! I have tried to ask would it be possible to attend lectures and seminars with permission due to the unexpected circumstances via teams or zoom or any other kind of virtual communication method which a number of friends/peers have offered to do! Being autistic I also would need to see as I am visual, not my fault either I have a DSA report and support in place for that! As they have only said defer to 2 years time, which I won’t be doing as that is unexceptable and wrong aswell as I am advised is discriminatory due to my disabilities and the seriousness of the unexpected circumstances.
I am willing to finish the last two subjects in semester 2 but need those adaptations put in place for up 6 weeks which isn’t even the entirety of the 2nd semester!
They have been paid and by not putting the adequate support and resources in place for my the circumstances and my needs is failing to provide adequate service and an opportunity to access and accommodate my needs. aswell as it is unreasonable to treat me in such a discarded manner!
It is not my fault and neither did I expect it!
If anyone can shed some ideas or legal advice or guidance how to best address and get this issue sorted, it would be greatly appreciated.
(edited 2 months ago)
Reply 1
Just to preface this, I am an academic with a full-time responsibility for student welfare, especially students with health or home issues, and so this is my bread and butter in many ways.

I think interruption is the best option. I don't know why it needs to be for two years... It can be for one, it might even be shorter than that (though this is unusual). Interruption is not necessarily discriminatory and can be (in fact it often is) the best option when health concerns like this arise. To be clear: asking for or recommending that a disabled student to defer for health reasons is not of itself an instance of discrimination. You'd have to show a lot more in order to demonstrate that. Interruptions because of health, family situation, cashflow problems etc are very, very common.

I don't know what your course is, or how it is taught, but it's not always 'reasonable' to move everything online for just one student. By law, the institution is required only to make 'reasonable' adjustments. What you and I think 'reasonable' and what is legally categorised as 'reasonable' are two separate things. Similarly, your paying for the course does not necessarily mean that the provider needs to make wholesale changes to the course if you have a heath condition affecting things.

I understand that you are upset, but there's a lot of accusation here which, frankly, does not seem to be seriously applicable. You are right that it is not your fault. It is not the fault of the institution, either. I'd ask them what reasonable accommodations they might be willing to make, and for a full breakdown of what their reasoning is when they recommend an interruption of studies. Then you will know what's what and if there is indeed an argument to be made against it. You might also benefit from a conversation with a Student Union case worker.
(edited 2 months ago)

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