University Challenge -Evidence
Stats in the area
- One in five universities surveyed in London don't have rooms for hired carers, forcing disabled students to live at home rather than with their fellow students.
- 40% of university inter-campus transport is inaccessible to disabled student.
- One in ten London universities do not have good links with local care agencies and support services.
- 30% of London university bars, cafes and leisure facilities are not accessible to all students with a mobility impairment.
Only half of all the universities have entirely accessible teaching and study rooms.
20% of London universities do not provide a freshers' guide to the university for disabled students.
Sulaiman Khan from Woodford will be starting at the University of Creative Arts in September 2009
I chose a univesity based on the best course, after having attended seven open days / access visits at uni's across the country from Cambridge to Cornwall.
One example of this is when I was applying to Cambridge, specifically King's College Cambridge, and was trying to set an access visit via email before I applied. However, a disability advisor responded by saying that King's College, "...have said that the accommodation that has been modified for students with mobility issues would not be available as it will be occupied for the next three years and it appears it would not be possible to alter any to meet your requirements of 2 full time live in carers." So, basically didn't think about applying. This was quite shocking to me as it was before I had even visited, applied or been accepted and it was even more shocking considering that it was the University of Cambridge telling me this, a world renowned leading university.
Instead I decided to apply to more creative universities instead including London College of Communication (LCC, part of the University of the Arts London) and University for the Creative Arts (UCA), I received two Unconditional Offers from both LCC and UCA. I finally accepted the offer of UCA on their BA (Hons) Adverting and Brand Communication course because they seem to have a better course and have better support.
UCA, has excellent access throughout which includes the accommodation. and Disability Support Team are very helpful and knowledgeable.
The Disabled Students' Allowance (DSA) is relatively easy to apply for, as I had my DSA Needs Assessment at home via an assessor from Central London Assessment Services (CLASS) and I received the final assessment report about 5 weeks later, which was quite good because I had the assessment in the comfort of my home and my assessor is really wonderful and helpful. Then, about a month later I received a letter of my approval for DSA and Equipment. Overall, the DSA process for has been a good one, but I do strongly believe the entire DSA process needs to be streamlined.
My personal/medical care is provided by my local authority PCT (and not through Social Care) via an independent care company. Almost all my current carers have agreed to continue to support me while I'm studying at uni. So, I will hopefully not have to worry about finding/training new personal assistants, which is very stressful especially if you're moving to a uni hall in a new environment like me.