“I didn’t know there was so much support available for someone like me thinking about studying at university.” Student attendee
On Wednesday 6 November 2019, AccessHE welcomed over 40 attendees from across London – students in Year 11+, their parents/carers, teachers and SENDCO staff – for University Information Day 2019 for Disabled and Dyslexic Learners. Delivered in collaboration with member HE institutions of the AccessHE Disability Forum and our sector partners, this half-day event, captioned by Ai-Media, provided an insight into student life and the support available in higher education as a disabled or dyslexic learner.
Attendees were warmly welcomed by Jennifer Harley, AccessHE Disability Forum Chair and Sarah Richardson, Disabilities and Dyslexia Service Manager at London Metropolitan University. An empowering tone was then set by Sean Bruno, who gave a motivational talk to attendees about his own journey through education as a disabled student. This was balanced alongside Martyn Brown, Disability and Dyslexia Advisor at London Met, who spoke to the group about the mental health and wellbeing support commonly available at university, including for those with hidden conditions/disabilities.
Martyn was then followed by Ryan Peacock and Isaac Ampofo from A2B Assessments who talked about the Disabled Students Allowance, a non-means tested allowance given on top of Student Finance and what to expect from your DSA study needs assessment.
Lunch and refreshments were then served, providing an opportunity for attendees to top up their energy levels and continue conversations with staff and student ambassadors alike in a relaxed setting. This theme was carried through to the afternoon, where student attendees heard from and posed questions to a panel comprised of current university students and alumni with a disability/dyslexia. Alongside this, a diverse panel of HE institutions and partner organisations, representing different areas across the disability support lifecycle, helped to ease concerns and dispel myths for parents and school staff.
“It was a very insightful event, thank you. My son will be definitely be applying for the Disabled Students’ Allowance – I didn’t even know it existed. It’s a bonus that you don’t have to pay anything back.” Parent attendee
The penultimate session saw our student attendees get interactive in a workshop led by AbilityNet, working in computer rooms through the My Study My Way platform, which was a very popular session! Finally, attendees were given the option to participate in an accessible campus tour with student ambassadors and/or a showcase of further assistive technologies and the equipment available in the on-site centre with Contact Associates.
Feedback for the event was great and we’d like to thank all those that were involved in helping bring it to life. We wish all our student attendees the best of luck with their futures, wherever this may lie and we look forward to running this event again in 2020!
University Information Day 2019 for Disabled and Dyslexic Learners was delivered by the AccessHE Disability Forum and kindly hosted by London Metropolitan University. If you’d like to know more about this event, the AccessHE Disability Forum or to get involved with our wider work, feel free to contact us.
On 06/11 we ran #UniInfoDay2019, for year 11s+ Londoners with a #disability or #dyslexia and their influencers. Massive thx to @LondonMetWP for hosting and support from @UniversityofLaw, @AbilityNet, @A2BAssessments & @ContactAssoc. Best of luck to all our attendees! pic.twitter.com/3TTY7dj3xc
— AccessHE (@AccessHE) December 5, 2019