Hi, I am Melanie, ask me questions about being a disabled student now — Scope | Disability forum
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Hi, I am Melanie, ask me questions about being a disabled student now

melaniethorley
melaniethorley Member Posts: 138 Pioneering
edited January 2018 in Education

Hello, my name is Melanie and I am a disability outreach officer for a university. My work involves preparing disabled (includes dyslexia and autism spectrums; long term health conditions; and mental health difficulties) students with their transition from school or college into university. University can be a scary thought for the majority of students and disabled students can prepare for the realities of higher education if they are given realistic information. I can answer questions such as :

What are the Disabled Students Allowances (DSA)?

When should I apply for DSA?

What sort of support can I get at university?

Should I tell the university about me disability?

Can I have extra time in exams?

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Comments

  • jobshunt567
    jobshunt567 Member Posts: 3 Listener
    hi there my name is brad and i am 16 years old i also have dyspraxia i am seeking jobs but when i ask for them no jobs will accept me i wonder is that because of my dyspraxia 
  • melaniethorley
    melaniethorley Member Posts: 138 Pioneering
    Hi Brad and thanks for the question. You would be better asking an employment advisor rather than me as I only know about accessing college and university. I do know that it is not legal to give somebody a job because they have dyspraxia.
  • MaiaB123
    MaiaB123 Member Posts: 6 Listener
    Hello Melanie, my daughter recently started college, it's a post 16 placement at an Independent specialist college for the visually impaired, my daughter is sight, hearing and touch impaired, she will be 17 in April, is she entitled to DSA and can she get extra time in exams?  a consultant recommended the extra time for exams, but it has been ignored thus far.  Thank you. 
  • melaniethorley
    melaniethorley Member Posts: 138 Pioneering
    Good afternoon Maia and thank you for your query. The DSA is only for higher education courses recognised by Student Finanace England (SFE). However, if a consultant has recommended extra time in exams, the college is being churlish by not providing this. You might want to explain to the staff that extra time in your daughter's exams is likely to produce better grades, and therefore making the college look successful. If she is going onto higher education in 18 months, it would be a good idea to start looking now. Let me know if I can help further and good luck in getting this sorted.
  • MaiaB123
    MaiaB123 Member Posts: 6 Listener
    Thank you Melanie :-) We're assuming that she will attend the same VI college, as you can attend until 25.  However our LA might object and try to put the blocks in regarding this.  We have a place currently until she is 19, but she is playing catch up.  She was never taught in a way she could learn until September last year.  Kind regards, Maia.
  • melaniethorley
    melaniethorley Member Posts: 138 Pioneering

    Good afternoon Maia and apologies for the delay in replying. It would be cruel for the LA to send her elsewhere, especially as she has only been given the opportunity to learn since last Septmber. I hope it all goes well. in the meantime, she can join our transition scheme (even though she might not be going anywhere) which prepares disabled students for HE. More info and the link can be found at www.gre.ac.uk/aap.

    Best wishes

    Melanie



  • Dominique
    Dominique Member Posts: 16 Connected
    Hi Melanie, please can you tell me how long it takes for your DSA assessor to visit from when you've applied, and from then how long does it take to come through? 
    • Thanks, Dominique
  • melaniethorley
    melaniethorley Member Posts: 138 Pioneering

    https://www.nnac.org/

    Good morning Dominique. I think it depends on where you live and availability of assessors. I have copied the link to the needs assessors. If you contact them, they should be able to give you an estimate.


    hope this helps

    melanie



  • Dasiydo
    Dasiydo Member Posts: 93 Courageous
     I don't think you can help I think return back to college but as well dyspraxia I now half deaf I want free Crouse I fed up paid active I doing I paid £58 for 2 hours do cooking which I enjoyed and my computer was £2.25 then lost AOl connect and now £8.70 plus 50p for card. I study brush up English Crouse at Cannock college but in ten week Cannock college close down pass English assistant but fail the exam. I be back to Stafford college Stafford libbary and new wolerhamption university in Stafford if run English Crouse level 2 and all said no Now feeling lost could be lose my ESA if don't find volunteering job or Crouse. Have find some Staffordshire with Animals but it farm recovery for mealth health only promble I bully because of half deaf and can't get rid of this person.
    V.shaw
  • Dasiydo
    Dasiydo Member Posts: 93 Courageous
    If do return back to college would be able have etex time in Exam would be able get support for college?
    V.shaw
  • melaniethorley
    melaniethorley Member Posts: 138 Pioneering

    Good morning Daisy. It does sound like you are having a difficult time. I would suggest you make an appointment at your local JobCentrePlus - they have advisors for disabled people and can assist with sourcing courses or training.  They may be able to source free courses as well, or can sort out funding with you.

    You could also try and see the SENCO or Additional Learning Support people at your local college for their advice

    Also, you need to let the organisers who sorted out your placement with the animals - they would not like to hear you have been bullied, especially as the place is for people with mental health difficulties.


    I hope this helps

    Melanie




  • Dasiydo
    Dasiydo Member Posts: 93 Courageous
    Thanks you sorry for not get back to you but I had cold and I had cannel the holiday 
    V.shaw
  • Chuppachups
    Chuppachups Member Posts: 10 Connected
    Hi Melanie
    Can I please ask for some advice?
  • melaniethorley
    melaniethorley Member Posts: 138 Pioneering
    Of course Chuppachups - Hopefully I can point you in the right direction

  • jordank
    jordank Member Posts: 1 Listener
    Hi, I have mental health problems and I am on ESA, pip, housing benefit and council tax support. I am about to start college and looking for financial advice on tuition fees and day to day costs? Thank you. 
  • melaniethorley
    melaniethorley Member Posts: 138 Pioneering
    Good morning @Jordank and thank you for your query. there will be finance people at the college and your local council. You might also find Mind, or a similar organisation, can point you in the right direction. And as always, scope and DisabilityRightsUK have information on this. Good luck in your studies - what subject will you be studying?
  • maturestudent
    maturestudent Member Posts: 2 Listener
    Hi

    I am currently in receipt of income based ESA and due to start open university in October. 
    Would you be able to tell me if the maintenance loan, tuition fee loan and welsh assembly grant are classed as income? How much is classed as income?
    Thank you in advance 
  • Joanne_Alumni
    Joanne_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 188 Pioneering
    Hi @maturestudent,
    Full-time Students are entitled to claim Income Related ESA if they are getting Disability Living Allowance or Personal Independence Payment. Full time education is regarded as 12 hours per week.
    The way loans, grants or bursaries affect IR ESA and things such as Housing Benefit depends on whether the income is intended for living costs or course costs.
    Money intended to cover course costs is generally disregarded.
    For full time students, maintenance grants are treated as income although amounts for travel and books can be disregarded. If you are entitled to a loan this can be counted as income whether you actually take it or not.
    I am not sure how grants from the Welsh assembly would be treated.
    Disability Rights UK  have a disabled students helpline and they may be able to give you more detailed information. The Open University also have support for disabled students.
    I hope that this information is useful but please get back in touch if we can be of any further help.
    Joanne 
    Scope
  • maturestudent
    maturestudent Member Posts: 2 Listener
  • ZaraR
    ZaraR Member Posts: 3 Listener
    Hi. I would like to retain at the age of 35 but cannot seem to find any funding sources to help me. I receive PIP

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