Let all disabled students access and complete H.E. with adequate and standardised support.
This petition had 42 supporters
To ensure that the right of disabled students to access higher education and complete their studies is maintained with provision of consistent resources and support across the H.E. sector that meets their needs.
The National Federation of the Blind of the U.K. (NFBUK) wants to ensure the right of disabled students in higher education to complete their chosen course with suitable resources and support is maintained and is met consistently across the sector. Changes implemented to Disabled Students Allowance from 2016 will mean that individual universities are responsible for providing support that was additionally provided by the DSA. The impact of this is that different universities will have different resources to allocate to disability provision and there will be a lack of consistency in the type of provision available.
Therefore the NFBUK feels its crucial to ensure that individual students with similar needs all have access to consistent support and resources irrespective of where they are studying.
We will therefore call upon the Department of Education to support universities to provide consistent disability resources to students to address the changes in the DSA provision.
We also ask the Secretary of State for Education to reverse the £200 charge for computer hardware that disabled students are now incurring themselves. We strongly believe that disabled students should not incur costs related to their disability.
Aim of Campaign
To promote awareness of amongst disabled students and the public of the DSA and the responsibilities now placed on H.E institutes. We aim to campaign to ensure disabled students have access to consistent resources that they require to participate in and complete H.E. (without incurring costs related to their disability themselves).
Need for Campaign
1. Changes implemented to Disabled Students Allowance from 2016 mean that Higher Education (HE) providers will be expected to take primary responsibility for most non-medical help in bands 1 and 2, and DSA will keep primary responsibility for specialist provision like funding sighted guides.
Bands 1 and 2 include:
• Library support
NFBUK feels strongly that disabled students should all have access to standard resources that they need, and this should not vary according to the state of individual higher education institute.
2. Eligible DSA students assessed requiring a computer to undertake their studies because of their disability will be expected to contribute the first £200 towards the cost of their computer. A charge that the NFBUK finds unreasonable as it further disadvantages people with a disability.
3. Impact on retention of disabled students in higher education if they feel there is insufficient support. A survey by Randstad July (2014) reported that “More than one in three students with a disability (34%) say they would definitely not have attended university without DSA support”. Also research by the British Assistive Technology Association carried out a survey and found that there was a significant difficulty with paying the charge. NFBUK is concerned that these changes will impact negatively on and are in contradiction to the widening participation agenda that higher education is meant to be encouraging.
If students, universities or anyone is interested in supporting this campaign or for further information please contact Haleema Aslam, Development Worker National Federation of Blind of the U.K. on:
firstname.lastname@example.org or via phone on: 07841 739130
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