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    I would suggest anyone who needs a reminder that stuff they post on the internet is in the public domain probably needs a post it note on the middle of their computer screen reminding them of this.

    I thought this forum was an open forum where people could seek advice from anyone who chose to offer it.

    Taiko is a brilliant resource to this forum as he has one of the best understandings of the system and how it's supposed to work, so I'd tread very carefully if you're implying he shouldn't be here.

    I'd also be surprised if he wants to tell us which LEA he works for, it's always an open question when anyone asks where anyone is from and while it's unlikely to ever cause a problem for a student, forum discussions could cause problems for someones job.
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    I am certainly not suggesting in any way that Taiko should not be here. But, I have been pm'ed by people who have found (some) of Taiko's comments intimidating due to the manner in which Taiko's advice is phrased, or by people who feel that he is 'anti' disabled (I'm inclined to think that it's a combination of lack of direct experience of disabled people, and forums being a clumsy media).

    Perhaps a more neutral stance (similar to that taken in the finance section of the website) would be helpful?

    Also, perhaps refraining from the forum during work might be an idea if it's a problem for him to actually show that he is what he says he is/if he feels that this might cause problems at work...particularly as he does come on here and claim to be passing information to QAG etc without explaining who they are? (yes, it's simple to those who have been in/used the system for a long time...but not for 18 year olds new to it).

    I've happily advised people (generally via signposting) about NHS DSAs, which are a whole different kettle of fish to SFE...whilst acknowledging the limitations of doing so in this manner and my own; I think it is very dangerous to deal in absolutes for complex issues in this sort of media.

    Ultimately, how people choose to give advice on here is their own choice...but it does reflect on them, and they would also do well to remember that when posting.
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    This is getting hugely off topic, but it's just worth mentioning, that you are very much missing the point if you think that the link between forums and work is as simple as whether you post on them during work hours.
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    (Original post by Scary Monster)
    This is getting hugely off topic, but it's just worth mentioning, that you are very much missing the point if you think that the link between forums and work is as simple as whether you post on them during work hours.
    I don't think that, hence repeated suggestions that people think about how they post what they post...there are very good reasons as to why I don't post on certain forums here due to my own profession...and why I am very careful about what 'advice' I may give people, and why I am careful not to represent any opinions I may have as 'gospel'. That is from years of thought and practice surrounding ethics, professional guidelines and common sense.

    Whilst this is getting hugely off-topic (although hopefully lessons will be learnt from it), this is a good illustration of how the written word can lead to false assumptions.
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    (Original post by swiftuk)
    Hmm...I'd be tempted to put a sticky on this forum reminding people that it can be accessed by anyone. I was under the impression that people came here to seek advice from other students/would-be students.
    This is an internet forum. Anyone can join. There are parents on here, students, people who aren't in education at all....actually, I'm pretty sure a lot of schools etc use this site too. In an online forum, you ask for anyones advice, and anyone can read it. No sticky needed.
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    It's common knowledge the LEA I work for, and the position I hold. I'm not worried if people take offense to what I say, because I've got no intention of lying to people just to make them feel better.

    Students do need to be told honestly, good or bad. I have to know about various conditions, and also about relevent legislation.

    Back on topic, this is within the DSA Guidance, and relates to the OP.

    160. Laptop computers may be more expensive to purchase than an equivalent desktop computer. If a desk top computer is sufficient to meet the student’s disability-related needs, the use of DSA monies to purchase a laptop computer would not satisfy the Regulations which describe DSAs as grants to assist with the additional expenditure which the Secretary of State (i.e. the LA/SLC) is satisfied that the student is obliged to incur. A laptop should not be approved, for example, when a student states that they do not have enough space in their accommodation to house a desk top computer or simply because a laptop computer is more convenient. When it is not appropriate to provide a DSA grant for a laptop computer, it is permissible for a student to use his/her own money to pay the difference in cost between a desk top and a lap top computer. If a student decides to purchase a laptop using part DSA monies and his/her own monies, it should be made clear at the outset that any malfunctioning or incompatibility with other recommendations is the student’s responsibility. The laptop should meet the specifications set out in the DSA needs assessment report and have sufficient memory to take account of changing needs during the course.
    Based on that, no laptop.
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    Taiko: Totally off-topic, but thanks for that quote. I've been looking for something that states clearly the circumstances of how what type of computer (if any) is granted, and that's the first 'rule' I've seen that actually explains it well. Thanks!
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    (Original post by Titch89)
    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)
    Extra time allocation for exams is nothing to do with the DSA. It is something you negotiate with your university when you get there. It would help if you had supporting evidence such as a statement of educational need from your school days allocating extra time for exams then. My prospective university support unit are very supportive to my requirements but I did have a statement from the age of 3 and had 25%extra time in all exams up to and including my A levels.

    Anyone posting on here who receives a PM asking for information about your circumstances be very careful what you send, you don't know how it may be used.
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    (Original post by Taiko)
    It's common knowledge the LEA I work for, and the position I hold. I'm not worried if people take offense to what I say, because I've got no intention of lying to people just to make them feel better.

    Students do need to be told honestly, good or bad. I have to know about various conditions, and also about relevent legislation.
    With respect, it is not 'common knowledge' which LEA you work for; unless you are referring to your immediate circle of friends.

    I don't think anyone would take umbrage with the bare facts of most of what you say, it's the phrasing and the generalisations. Still, it's your choice how you choose to come across (whether that includes venting your frustrations onto students or not).

    I agree honesty is paramount. However, that is perfectly possible without making generalisations or being rude; check DIS-FORUM for some examples. It is also good to acknowledge your limitations, but some say that knowing those is the difference between the art of being a professional, and someone who can read the regulations.

    The regulations are indeed useful to students as to any other interested group, and indeed you highlighting the relevant legislation is helpful.
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    The information was revealed on the Money & Finance forums some time ago.
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    Oh how silly of us to have let it pass us by!
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    Still annoyed that I queried why you had alreayd received your equipment on a conditional offer I see..

    I raised the issue. Nothing gets done to you, so calm yourself down.
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    Utterly despicable behaviour by Taiko.
    Asks for info by PM then publicises it on the forum.
    If anyone knows what authority this arrogant person works for please post it as I'd like to register a formal complaint to their employers about their grossly unprofessional conduct.
    I just hope their superiors read this as Taiko claims they do. Though I doubt it. I'm amazed they'd continue to employ Taiko seeing how long they spend on here in working hours.
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    (Original post by roubiliac)
    Extra time allocation for exams is nothing to do with the DSA. It is something you negotiate with your university when you get there. It would help if you had supporting evidence such as a statement of educational need from your school days allocating extra time for exams then. My prospective university support unit are very supportive to my requirements but I did have a statement from the age of 3 and had 25%extra time in all exams up to and including my A levels.
    I don't have a statement. Was officially diagnosed at 4 (was diagnosed with something else as a 3 year old; but now don't have it) but was never registered disabled (until 2007) or statemented because I coped fine in school.

    The assessor does have a report which states the need for extra time (admittedly, this is to do with Irlens) and has another letter which says "<name> has Nystagmus, which causes reduced vision and causes tiredness". Breaks have been recommended by my consultant, but can't remember whether that was just for use of computers.

    Based on that, no laptop.
    What do I use to take notes on then? Am not quick enough at writing - even doing it short hand. Plus reading on a computer is much easier than on paper. (because of colour and font size, which is much easier to change on laptop screen) And I also need to use certain software as well.

    Have spoken to RNIB again who is going to talk to the disability department regarding this, but he couldn't find the centre (or Middlesex uni mentioned at all) on the QAG website.:confused:
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    DSA-QAG list of assessment centres is here:

    http://www.dsa-qag.org.uk/search.asp?f=4

    You don't have to have been statemented to get extra help at school. If there were any recommendations for you to have extra time during (e.g.) A-levels, that may be a start - I was never statemented, but still had access to a Teacher of the Visually Impaired and some other people (plus 100% extra time for A-levels).

    Otherwise, it's something you need to discuss with the university, as it depends how much your disability can be compensated for (by equipment, human help, exam papers in alternative formats, breaks etc.)

    For example, I had a practical assistant for OSCEs so had no need for extra time - uni assessments can be very different from school ones.
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    I've seen that site, but the person I was talking to on the phone couldn't find it. (I have found it before)

    There were recommendations at school, but due to no-one having a clue how to deal with visually impaired people (sounds rather familiar) I was not given extra time - well, got told I would have it but wasn't.

    No equipment helps; (hence me saying not to software that talks or magnifies and cctv) only having another person will help.

    Was not offered help from another person, (apart from someone to help me find my way around for the first week or two) but don't always require it if I'm not tired.
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    (Original post by Titch89)
    I've seen that site, but the person I was talking to on the phone couldn't find it. (I have found it before)
    Maybe ask them if there's anyone you can email? The RNIB are usually ok with that.
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    (Original post by swiftuk)
    DSA-QAG list of assessment centres is here:

    http://www.dsa-qag.org.uk/search.asp?f=4

    You don't have to have been statemented to get extra help at school. If there were any recommendations for you to have extra time during (e.g.) A-levels, that may be a start - I was never statemented, but still had access to a Teacher of the Visually Impaired and some other people (plus 100% extra time for A-levels).

    Otherwise, it's something you need to discuss with the university, as it depends how much your disability can be compensated for (by equipment, human help, exam papers in alternative formats, breaks etc.)

    For example, I had a practical assistant for OSCEs so had no need for extra time - uni assessments can be very different from school ones.

    As far as A level and GCSE exams are concerned up to 25% extra time can be awarded by the institution without reference to the examining body. Extra time over 25% needs permission from the examining body.
    Interestingly rest breaks are something my consultant now thinks I will need at university exams due to the greater demands on the student compared to previous exams and how they are affected by my disabilities.
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    Received the report this morning with pieces of information and recommendations missing. AM not happy at all and will have to phone up and find out what's going on.
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    Just remember when you phone up, you're far more likely to make progress if you remain realistic and within the constraints of what DSA is for.

    You need to ask youself for each thing:
    1. Could I reasonably do my course without it?
    2. Would anyone else doing my course without my disability need it?
    3. Is it equipment that I'd be using at the university?

    Because, if the answers aren't No to all three then it's unlikely to be something that DSA will provide for you because that's their remit. Equipment you'd be using at uni they should provide under DDA.
 
 
 
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