My experience of university as a disabled person was not too bad, even though there could have been areas of improvement. I do think it helped that I was studying through “The Open University”, the fact that I was able to study from home and not have to travel made it more possible to study, therefore more accessible. I struggle with travel as a result of my disability and multiple health conditions.

“They were particularly good from the start to make me feel included and to try and make my study as accessible as possible.”

I believe if I was to study at a brick university, then this would have been harder and probably very impossible. They were particularly good from the start to make me feel included and to try and make my study as accessible as possible. They managed to do this by making sure they were aware of my disability and that all my health conditions were put on record, this meant I could get help from the student support department.

‘The Open University’ helped me apply for DSA and have the assessment carried out to see what support I would be able to get, thus making the learning more accessible and more possible whilst also trying to deal with all my conditions. The only downside to this, that despite the assessment I was not able to get the all the support I need. They did try to accommodate the best they could by allowing extensions for deadlines, but this did not make it any easier, it turns out I had to stop my degree early. I only ended up with a certificate qualification as the support was really lacking in both home and education, I was really struggling to manage the workloads and all the assignments as well as trying to manage my own health.

‘The Open University’ helped me apply for DSA and have the assessment carried out to see what support I would be able to get, thus making the learning more accessible and more possible whilst also trying to deal with all my conditions.

I feel like they were not able to give full support, as dyslexia was not on official record, and not even on the assessment they organised, they then failed to accept the report and diagnosis, I was therefore unable to get the full support I needed.

It was also hard to get hold of student support at times and even the tutor, this therefore made it hard to get full support I needed, plus there was no support if I wanted to attend the campus. I am looking to go back to study again, but I am worried again about not getting full support. Even more so that rules from SFE have changed on loans and disabled people that distance study, that the disabled will get a maintenance loan when they don’t need one – I can’t seem to get a straight answer on it. I can’t have anything affecting my ESA which is my only income.

If I could get the right support this time for all of my conditions and my disability I would go back to study for sure.  But I need to know for a fact that any study and anything from student finance would not affect my income, then I would be back furthering my education.

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