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Thread: Disabled people aren't good enough for education...

  1. #1
    New Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2014

    Disabled people aren't good enough for education...

    Hi guys new member here and with a pretty inflammatory title. But hear me out and you'll see why.

    David Willet's is the minister for Universities and Science, who currently wants to cull Disabled Student's Allowance for all but a very few students. This means people with dyslexia to dyspraxia to *insert disability here* will have their support withdrawn. Students who need to live in specialized accommodation will no longer be supported, except in the very 'individual circumstances.

    DSA is essential for students at university, giving them access and support to the course that they need. Support they've only get because they've been made to jump through hoops by assessors. Without DSA, disabled students are being effectively told to sink or swim. Essentially removing the option for further education from the grasp of these talented intellectuals.

    I for one am sick of the governments thinking it can marginalize disabled individuals continuously and keep screwing us over. It's why I ask you to support this petition I found and share it around to ensure Willet's does not get his way.

    Thank you

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Done and shared. And now it says its too short.

  3. #3
    Senior Member deebee's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Have also signed......

  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    I've signed too.

    DSA takes relatively little money, cannot be taken as a cash benefit, is only awarded following assessment, and does much to improve the employment prospects and social mobility of disabled people. There seems to be very few good arguments to do away with a successful system, other than the obvious one of saving money.

    The effect of these proposed changes is to dismantle much of the national DSA system and pass most of the responsibilities to individual universities via the duty to provide "reasonable adjustments" under the Equality Act 2010. If so, it will mean disabled people cannot, as at present, apply to wherever they feel is best for them academically and socially, knowing a uniform level of support will be available.

    DSA as it currently exists is quite cost heavy for the modest technological support many students with dyslexia need (it's not optional if they are to succeed). Typically they get a relatively inexpensive standard laptop, Microsoft Office (despite the availability of free alternatives, many assistive solutions need Office), specialist reading software like ClaroRead or Read and Write, a digital audio recorder to record lectures and often Dragon NaturallySpeaking. The cost of sourcing these elements from the cheapest commercial sources might only be half the cost of a DSA package by the time you allow for the cost of assessment, support from a specialist DSA supplier (which typically is priced in as a cost uplift on the items), the mandatory insurance and training.

    A lot of money could potentially be saved by diverting many of these students to a new lightweight "standard package" route for students at most universities, where it would be possible for the university to confirm the evidence of need and provide the training and support "in house". There would have to be a mechanism for those dyslexics with more complex needs to be diverted away from the standard package. In time, it could become a standard part of an adult dyslexia assessment report to indicate whether the standard package (which could also be used by Access to Work and employers) was likely to be suitable.

    In other words, I think there is potential scope to deliver an equivalent level of technological support at a lower price, though it would obviously require careful confirmation that there are suitable standard packages (which can be bought in bulk) for certain needs.

    DSA made a huge difference to me. I only drew on the specialist equipment element, where I used up the entire budget on a bespoke solution based on my individual needs.

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