Anonymous email expresses concern over threats to support for Deaf and disabled students

Posted on May 1, 2014



Earlier this week, we published an anonymous article, which prompted a heated debate, by a notetaker asking who cares about the education deaf people are receiving in higher education.

Further on the same story, this site has also received the following email, again from someone who wishes to remain anonymous, about cuts to Disabled Student Allowance and the support deaf and disabled students receive. Here it is:

I am a deaf student and my disability officer has drawn my attention to a very worrying threat to disabled students allowance.

The proposed changes apply to those starting university from 2015-16. I am not proposing to write something myself for Limping Chicken (I wish to remain anonymous for now), but I do hope that you could write something and publicise this?

My disability officer said this could mean an end to funding for notetakers and to funding of computers – you will be expected to buy your own and there will be no insurance or warranties paid for. They will provide insurance/warranties on some specialist equipment/software, I think.

David Willetts, the Universities and Sciences Minister made a written speech on 7th April, in which said they want to look at: “whether strategies can be put in place to reduce the need for support workers and encourage greater independence and autonomy for their students.”

I think the emphasis will be on equipment, rather than human support, ie. SLI’s and notetakers.

I also quote: “We no longer expect assistive technology and non-medical helper support to be provided for the same purpose. This is regarded as double-funding. The DSA needs assessor should identify which form of help is the most suitable for the student, taking into account the aim of enabling the student to become an independent, autonomous learner’. Link here: http://www.practitioners.slc.co.uk/media/744663/ssin_01-15_apr2014.pdf

I am including further links to information:

http://www.practitioners.slc.co.uk/about-us/practitioners-news/changes-to-dsa-for-students-applying-for-dsas-for-the-first-time-for-september-2015-onwards.aspx

http://www.practitioners.slc.co.uk/policy-information/student-support-information-notices.aspx

Here is a petition against the cuts: http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/63748

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Posted in: deaf news