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'It removes stigma': how tech breaks down barriers for disabled students

Antonia_AlumniAntonia_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 1,781 Pioneering
edited June 2019 in News and opportunities

Being a disabled student can be challenging but rewarding with the right support but more still needs to be done.

Figures published by The Department of Education on January 17th 2019  show “that the numbers going to university from this underrepresented group has increased to a record amount. There were 94,120 new students with a disability that started university in England in 2017/18. Representing 13% of entrants this is still below the proportion of working-age adults with a disability, and the minister wants universities to review their offer and provision for disabled students.”

      fist pump from a group of people over a laptop and mobile phones

Gemma Long has Autism and has sensory overload because of this, she was diagnosed after she graduated. She received a software to help her with her dyslexia, when she started her teaching training course. The software allowed her to listen to the lecture at home without the background noise.

“I struggled to understand the point of lectures until I got that software,”

You can read more about Gemma’s story and how universities can break down the barriers for disabled students, from the Guardian website.

Alexandra Adams is a third-year medical student with severe visual and hearing impairments. She also takes photos of NHS workers to showcase the diversity in the health service.

"In terms of how I practically complete tasks, I have a Bluetooth stethoscope, for example, which is like a normal stethoscope except I don't put it in my ears, it connects to my hearing aids."

Read more on the BBC website, on how Alexandra works with her patients and her photography project.

Has technology helped you at university or work? Have you found it useful? Please share in the comments below.


  • AilsAils Member Posts: 2,268 Disability Gamechanger
    Thanks for this interesting discussion, @Antonia_Scope.  When I was at college and university, I was lucky enough not to require any tech equipment, however at my uni in one of the halls of residence, there was a dedicated computer lab for disabled students which was a bigger space for wheelchair users and people like me who use crutches.  I remember it being quieter too than the usual bigger computer labs in the main part of uni, allowing disabled students a bit of peace, if they needed it away from the "hubbub!"  The dedicated lab had 2 computers for blind and visually impaired people, which spoke to the students as they typed and they were always in use whenever I was in the lab.  I thought this was a brilliant idea and it must have made the students academic life a bit easier.  Any tech equipment which can help people in their studies or working lives is an added bonus!  
    Winner of the Scope New Volunteer Award 2019.   :)
  • April2018momApril2018mom Posts: 2,869 Member
    Thanks for opening up the discussion. I have dyscalculia undiagnosed and I work as a childcare provider part time as well. When it comes to finances I use my phone to calculate. My college paid for my assessment as well. It had a specific department that worked with students with dyslexia and dyscalculia too. 
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