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

Christopher Hallsworth christopherh40 at gmail.com
Wed May 14 19:36:35 BST 2014


Ar I see. Sorry for the stupid question but figured the only stupid 
question is the one you don't ask smile.

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

On 14/05/2014 17:55, Roger Woolgrove wrote:
> Hi Christopher,
>
> It does also affect Open University students as the cuts are to the DSA
> and not the centres of study themselves so we all get hit.
>
> Roger
>
> ----- Original Message ----- From: "Christopher Hallsworth"
> <christopherh40 at gmail.com>
> To: "BCAB Discussion List" <bcab at lists.bcab.org.uk>
> Sent: Wednesday, May 14, 2014 2:49 PM
> Subject: Re: [BCAB] cuts to disabled student allowance - what to do
> about it
>
>
> 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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