Staying positive

As we’re approaching the end of 2015 I thought I’d do a blog on staying positive and keeping your head held high when things get too…

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International disabilities day: cuts to disabled students’ …

I haven’t done a blog in a while, seen as it is international disabilities day I thought that I should probably write one.
This morning I came across an article saying that the government wanted to cut Disabled Students’ Allowance (DSA). In this article Jo Johnson, the Minister for universities and science tells us that from next September onwards, higher education institutions will be expected to pay for non-medical support for students with disabilities and that funding for specialist technology and adapted accommodation will be reduced.
When I read this article it got me thinking, what if I hadn’t had DSA and had to fund everything myself? Well to put it bluntly I wouldn’t be doing a degree right now. It would be almost impossible for me to pay for the vital equipment that I would need to undertake my chosen course of study. Where would I get over £5000 from?
So I needed DSA in order for me to go to university, in order for me to have a future in my chosen field of work.
By having DSA I was provided with equipment (a laptop, scanner/printer, screen-reader, a ClearReader that reads printed documents and a dictaphone). This is equipment that I couldn’t study a degree without, especially the laptop and screen-reader. I’m able to access my course materials like everyone else, read books, journals and articles electronically and complete my assignments independently.
I’ve also used DSA to fund non-medical support, for example note-takers who write notes for me in lectures, mentor support – support finding materials for wider reading and library support, plus orientation training for learning my way round campus when I started my degree.
It’s scary to think if i’d started my degree in 2016 rather than when I started my degree in 2014 i’d have had very little support from next year. I feel lucky to have had the DSA support because to me, it’s invaluable.
Cutting DSA wouldn’t give me this assistive technology and support and limit the things I can access in my degree. This equipment and support is vital for me to obtain my degree.
Getting a degree is so important for me because I want a good career, to be able to provide for myself in the future, I want to make something of myself. It’s not been an easy ride, it’s mentally, emotionally and physically draining at times. I’ve thought about quitting at times but I’m still here and haven’t given up, i’m determined to graduate in 2017 with a good degree! I want to prove to myself and others that I can do this, no matter if I have a disability. I don’t want to imagine what my life would be like if I hadn’t have chosen to do a degree, would I even have a job? It’s hard for people with disabilities to get jobs in this world, so i’m determined to get to where I want to b despite this.
It may be blunt but without DSA doing a degree wouldn’t have been possible for me.

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