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What to do with disabled daughter during gap year !!

hollieamberhollieamber Member Posts: 3 Listener
My daughter is finishing school in July and taking a gap year really want to improve her independence as hopes to live away from home to go to university and I currently do most things for her any suggestions ???  


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  • GeoarkGeoark Community champion, Scope Volunteer Posts: 1,349 Disability Gamechanger

    My daughter had a great time at Uni for three years and coped amazingly well.

    I agree with @DannyMoore that she would find it easier if you are not doing everything for her. Some key skills she will need:

    Cooking: Build up on a few good simple meals that she can be confident about cooking for herself. Also get her to help you with washing up, drying and putting things away. As well as general housekeeping, including laundry.

    Budgeting: She will get a lot of money 3 times a year and will need to budget this carefully. We started our daughter early, when she was 12. The basics we bought, but any extras she had to buy for herself with her pocket money. In the end this was what kept her in university beyond the first term. For some reason her student loan was late coming, 10 weeks after starting and she survived on very little money.

    If she can find some kind of job to help save so she has some money when she starts this would be a bonus. However at least I would suggest getting her to volunteer in a charity shop. Even if this is two or three days a week. It would help her get used to meeting strangers. My daughter did this while at University with Scope. She loved the experience and she now works for a large high street store.

    My daughter did find student accommodation stressful, but she did make some friends. 

    As an individual I stood alone.
    As a member of a group I did things.
    As part of a community I helped to create change!

  • hollieamberhollieamber Member Posts: 3 Listener
    Hi thanks for suggestions I will certainly try some of them she has a few limitations as she is a wheelchair user so accessibility is always a issue but simple tasks she should be able to do also she should get support at university?? I'm very keen for her to gain work experience too but again there's always limited options because of her disability but voluntary work may be the way forward !

    Thank you
  • GeoarkGeoark Community champion, Scope Volunteer Posts: 1,349 Disability Gamechanger
    @hollieamber there is support at university but how this is supplied has changed a lot in the last couple of years.

    As your daughter is taking a gap year will she be applying for ESA? This is worth thinking about as there is a catch 22 with one of the financial support available, Universal Credit. In short many students cannot get UC without a work capability assessment, but won't get the work capability assessment until they get UC. Please read this post

    so getting this resolved during the gap year could help her over a huge hurdle.

    There is also additional support with Disabled Students Allowance for help with equipment. But as one of the members here found this resulted in a lot of it being reduced from the student loan. Reasoning behind this is it reduces the amount they need to pay back.

    One question to ask potential universities is what support they have in place to help your daughter. DSA has been changed also in the last couple of years and do not pay for many of things it used to, as these are now expected to be resolved by the University. 

    The other big question to ask about is the student accommodation. If they do supply accessible accommodation this won't be a problem, if not and your daughter may need to find a private rent there is help with housing benefit, but also additional rules. You might want to look at this early on so you at least understand the rules.

    The way I have started to look at it is the support there is like dominoes which have been set up so if one topples so do others. The better informed you are and getting the dominoes/conditions set up correctly before your daughter starts university the more support she is likely to receive.

    While a lot has been done to make university an option for more people, as usual disabled people have more hoops to jump through to make it happen. Not right, but the system we have.

    As an individual I stood alone.
    As a member of a group I did things.
    As part of a community I helped to create change!

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