Do I have to go on an IT course if I am epileptic and dont use computers due to seizures? — Scope | Disability forum
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Do I have to go on an IT course if I am epileptic and dont use computers due to seizures?

TraceyJ Member Posts: 2 Listener
edited December 2017 in Work and employment
I have been told today I will HAVE to go on IT course.  I am Epileptic and so dont use computers regular due to causing seizures.  Is it legal for them to do this ?  Thankyou


  • Sam_Alumni
    Sam_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 7,682 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @TraceyJ welcome to the community, I am not sure of the legalities but I wonder if you could chat with them about your needs? Can you manage computers for short periods?
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  • TraceyJ
    TraceyJ Member Posts: 2 Listener
    Yes for short periods but feel very tired afterwards.  To be honest computers and modern phones dont interest me,  i would rather speak face to face.
  • Nystagmite
    Nystagmite Member Posts: 603 Pioneering
    Any courses you're sent on, they have to be suitable for you in terms of disability. You can't be made to go on anything that will make your disability worse.
  • Welsh_chatter
    Welsh_chatter Member Posts: 12 Connected
    If they insist on you using a computer would it be worth talking to your doctor and maybe he can write à letter stating it's unsuitable due to your epilepsy
  • Geoark
    Geoark Member, Scope Volunteer Posts: 1,375 Disability Gamechanger
    Hello @TraceyJ and welcome to the community.

    If the issue is photo-sensitive epilepsy modern LCD and TFT screens do not refresh and so do not flicker within normal operation. However this does not mean that there are other enviromental issues, operational use and other issues which can affect you.

    Most work spaces and training institutes use fluorescent lighting, which can affect this type of epilepsy, especialy towards the end of their life. It is also worth noting that modern energy saving lights are in fact small twisted fluorescent lights. These can bounce off the screen giving the same affect. I have not found much evidence that LED lighting can cause epilepsy, as it emits a solid light, except when used as varying mood lighting which can cause some to see auras, or LED bike lights which flash. While more expensive initially they last longer and are cheaper to run.

    One issue with LCD and TFT screens is the light can be a lot brighter, so adjusting the brightness and contrast to settings which are comfortable for you can help reduce the tiredness. Another thing which might help is speaking to an optician to see if you would benefit from glasses specifically for use with computers. Even if you don't need glasses normally they can be of benefit when using a computer. Being near a window to take as much advantage of natural light is recommended, as long as it does not shine directly on the screen.

    Taking short regular breaks from the screen is always advised, HSE recommend 5 to 10 minutes every 50 to 60 minutes. Looking away from the screen and focussing on something further away occassionally also helps, but this is as well as taking the regular breaks and not instead of. 

    Most of the above is just general information to help you get the most of your time when you do use your computer, but much of it would apply for you on the courses.

    Unfortunately without good reason, and even with a good reason, one of the quickest ways to be sanctioned is to outright refuse to attend. On the other hand you do have the right to insist that your needs are properly assessed by the training company, and any reasonable adjustments are made. This should also include on reducing any risks with regards to your epilepsy and having a fit. This should include any training videos they may use and the equipment used. I would suggest this to your work coach or whoever is sending you so they can mention this to the training provider so they are aware. 

    From my experience most of these companies and those working for them have very little knowledge on this sort of issue, and more likely to tell the DWP that they are unable to take you. If they do take you but don't do any assessment this needs to be mentioned to your work coach as soon as possible.

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  • alexbarker2020
    alexbarker2020 Member Posts: 16 Connected
    Hi @TraceyJ . Just wondering if you ever went on the course? How did it go if you did....