had my assessment yesterday and am not happy at all with the outcome, because:
I will be on a computer course. Because there are computers within the campus, I am not entitled to a laptop and will have to use theirs. I require software to enable me to access the computer. (Software to change background colour) I have been told that if I want one (it's needs here; not wants) then I have to pay £110 for the upgrade. Their arguments for not giving me a laptop are:
- There's usually more memory on a computer (memory on laptop can be changed easily)
- It'll get nicked (I can buy a lock for that, like what people buy for their car steering wheels and bikes)
- I can use the computers in the rooms for lectures (my laptop will be set up personally for me - university computers won't be)
I then asked for extra time and rest breaks. (I need both - am a slow reader due to being partially sighted and what I have causes tiredness) I got told that I can't have both and that I'll have to take rest breaks during my extra time. By doing this, I won't have any extra time.
Is what I'm asking for that unreasonable? I have a feeling that this person doesn't (like the majority of people) understand my impairment at all.
How do I appeal against this?
After we finished talking about books and I left, I thought of an easier way than scanning the books so I can access them. Is there any way I can ask them to change this? (I have no idea on costs - will need to find out from publishers)
If the assessor won't reconsider based on the argument you put forward then you need to contact your LEA. When you contact the LEA you will need to explain why you need what you need and be prepared to provide documentary evidence to support your claim. i.e. detailed doctors report, report by an educational psychologist or whatever.
Thanks. It's now student finance in Darlington who deal with this. So would it be them and not LEA?
Thanks. My LEA is Plymouth.
Just phone 'em up - they'll give you a contact point.
It's all by SFE. LEA's have no involvement now.
I would always agree with the assessor though. I'm guessing you had this as Plymouth Access Centre?
No, it was Middlesex. (where I'm going next year) The assessor appeared to not understand my needs at all. Not sure what I'm expected to do if I can't attend one day and have work to do?
Weird...one of my cousins have a mild disability due to having meningitus and therefore needs a stick to walk...he was given a laptop and other stuff too...?
my application got rejected becuase i didnt have the right evidence - i had an LEA official dyslexia test and report but it wasnt the right 1, they needed info and ed psych's certificate etc so i have to wait untill i start uni to get another 1 then reapply. argh. its so annoying all this stuff!!
try ringing student finance and maybe call up your uni or something to ask if theres anythig they sujjest? xxx
It seems that a lot of those getting DSA pretty much expect to get a laptop, whether it is absolutely essential or not. Many people would benefit from one, others...well, everyone loves a freebie.
It's worth bearing in mind that the system has noticed that pretty much everyone was getting a shiny laptop, so is getting much much tighter on providing them and they only get allocated when there is a specific need for a student to have a laptop, which basically means to get one you have to *have* to work in a range of places, and *have* to have that computer access in all of them.
DSA are also tightening up on what they provide vs what the university should be providing under DDA.
Splitting your problem into two sections: If you've got a better plan for books then scanning them, get in touch with the assessor and suggest that, they're usually reasonably open to discussion of more beneficial solutions.
An idea that springs to mind for you from my point of view would be finding out what access the university library/department gives you to e-books and whether DSA would give you some kind of subscription to them as required rather than scanning stuff permanently.
I'll come back to you on the computer front.
On the extra time vs. rest breaks thing.
It's very very very unusual to get both, unless it's for two completely different reasons.
Examples where you'd get extra time and rest breaks are reading problem -> extra time, broken wrist with arm in problem, arm gets tired writing in the cast really quickly -> rest breaks.
The extra time given in extra time on a reading from is supposed to account for reduction in speed BOTH due to the problem itself, and the reduction in efficiency brought on by that extra effort required.
There are different amounts of extra time, people who only have the reduction in speed tend to get 10% whereas those who are slower and get tired by that effort get up to 25% which is why they don't get rest breaks as well.
The system in this way is quite different to the one used by most school and college exam boards where they give anyone with any cause a blanket 25% extra time.
Does that help you understand the differences between the way things work at school and university, and hence why you'd only get one or the other?
I still agree with the assessor on this one though. Never had problems with Middlesex, reports have always been good enough and there isn't daft recommendations like digital cameras and recording studios like you can get from other places.
From an LEA viewpoint, I would approve the desktop purchase and give you the option of paying the difference to get a suitable specification laptop from a recommended DSA-Qag supplier.
But why I should I pay have to pay the extra for something that I need? Or am I not expected to do any form of university work whilst at college?
The computers on your course are perfectly fine for your needs, and if any adjustments needed to be made, it would be by the university under the DDA.
The desktop allows you to work isolated in a suitable environment, allowing you better focus. This is suitable to your needs. I do think you are confusing wants and needs.