[BCAB] cuts to disabled student allowance - what to do about it

Christopher Hallsworth christopherh40 at gmail.com
Wed May 14 14:49:24 BST 2014


Hi all
So do these cuts also affect Open University students whether 
prospective or current?

Christopher Hallsworth
Student at the Hadley School for the Blind
www.hadley.edu

On 14/05/2014 14:41, Jackie Brown wrote:
> Hi Graham
>
> I agree it is indeed very concerning.  Apart from the coursework and
> accessibility to the library issues, there is the problem of getting around
> a campus, particularly if you are totally blind, or don't have enough useful
> vision to do this on your own.  It is very difficult to shunt equipment from
> lecture-to-lecture if you have physical problems.  Then there are times in
> lectures and seminars when you need sighted assistance to describe video,
> subtitles and other information most of your fellow students take as read.
> Some lecturing staff are very good, providing text in advance, and being
> extremely accommodating.  Others, however, are about as helpful as a
> chocolate teapot!
>
> There is no doubting that items such as laptops and computers are so cheap
> now that they should, in my view at least, be excluded from DSA.  And there
> is a lot of useful material out there to help with training and support.
>
> But certainly the above issues weren't discussed vehemently enough last
> night, and the minister didn't appear to be clued up at all about the real
> accessibility difficulties lack of funding would cause.
>
> I don't like to sound negative, but with the downer on low income and
> disabled people already rife in this government, I doubt they will listen or
> care!
>
>
>
> Kind regards,
>
> Jackie Brown
> Twitter: @thebrownsplace
> Skype: Thejackmate
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Bcab [mailto:bcab-bounces at lists.bcab.org.uk] On Behalf Of Graham Page
> Sent: 14 May 2014 12:06
> To: 'BCAB Discussion List'
> Subject: [BCAB] cuts to disabled student allowance - what to do about it
>
> Hi all.
>
>
>
> I realise of course that this list is about technology not politics, but
> anyone who heard In Touch last night can't fail to be alarmed by the latest
> proposed cuts to disabled students allowance.
>
>
>
> I think the way in which the scheme is run does indeed need severe
> modification.  Laptops are more commonly available than they used to be and
> there is more help out there with technology and training.  We have a lot of
> companies providing equipment and support to disabled students at the moment
> at rather high prices, support isn't what it could be sometimes and yes I do
> think that often lecturers could do more to make their material accessible.
> Some are better than others of course.
>
>
>
> Despite the need for some changes though, I do think cuts in reader support
> and assistance with tasks such as finding material in the library could be
> potentially disasterou.  Students in my opinion require the ability to scan
> information themselves but they also need sighted help to do things like
> correcting scanning errors and explaining graphs and diagrams.  David
> Willetts should know that not all text books, or even the majority of them,
> are available in an accessible format online.  This was, sadly, not really
> discussed on in[-touch.
>
>
>
> Do these cuts need to be approved by parliament?  is there any organised
> campaign in existance looking at this issue?  David willetts says
> universities should be able to foot the bill for this but that's totally
> unreasonable in my view.  They can get lecturers to make coursework
> available in accessible formats but making books accessible is more tricky.
>
>
>
>
> I think  there's a bit of a credibility gap with Mr. Willetts.  When the
> £9000 tuition fees cap was introduced he did say he envisages a situation
> where universities charge different amounts but everyone apart from the
> government knew that all of them would want to charge the same so they
> wouldn't appear to offer inferior education.  I don't think therefore we can
> take any ofhis assurances too seriously.
>
>
>
> My question really then is what can we do to try and make the government
> change their minds?
>
>
>
> Regards
>
>
>
> Graham
>
>
>
> Graham Page
>
>
>
> Mobile: 07753 607980
>
>
>
> Fax:  0870 706 2773
>
>
>
> Email: gpage at useit.plus.com
>
>
>
> Skype: gabriel_mcbird
>
> Twitter: @gabrielmcbird
>
>
>




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