Dyspraxic Teens Good University Guide

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Dyspraxic Teens Good University Guide

Postby parnassus » Mon Dec 07, 2009 11:07 am

In the style of the Times and the Guardian, I think DT needs its own university guide - this one with a focus on special needs. It might help people to make a shortlist when they're considering where to apply.

1.) If you would like to contribute a review please make it as clear and informative as possible by using the subheadings below (and adding extra ones if there is any more info you would like to give).
2.) Make it clear which year of study you are in, and don't try to answer all the questions if you haven't been at university for very long. Things can change significantly over the course of your study and if you've only been at uni for a couple of terms you may not be able to write such a thorough review.
3.) Feel free to write a review for a university that somebody else has already written about - a variety of perspectives is always helpful.

Here are the subheadings:

University where you studied/are studying
How long you've been there
Your disabilities
Are the accommodation and facilities dyspraxia-friendly?
Is catered housing an option?
Are the town/campus easy to navigate?
What resources are in place for disabled students?
Were your teaching staff supportive?
Did you find it easy to make friends in that environment?
Would you recommend the university to other dyspraxic students?
Is there anything you would do differently if you were going through the application process again?
What you are doing now
"This above all, to thine own self be true." - Polonius, Hamlet.
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Re: Dyspraxic Teens Good University Guide

Postby k9ruby » Fri Dec 11, 2009 11:09 pm

Since I haven't been here in AGES, I think I should start this off to make up for lost time!

:mrgreen:

University where you studied/are studying:

Staffordshire University

How long you've been there

Almost a whole three months!

Your disabilities


- Severe dyspraxia
- Mild ataxic CP
- Sensory proccessing disorder
- Tremor

Are the accommodation and facilities dyspraxia-friendly?

- VERY. Student wardens are great, really approachable, lovely. Are really good about keeping noise down and my flatmates are very understanding about my senses! Even if I text them at 2 in the morning saying "Mind turning dvd down a notch, head feeling as though small explosion has occurred" and then getting a reply "OK...its only on two!" :)

- One thing could be improved, I can't use the key very well. Electronic systems would of been so much easier, although now I buzz up and someone lets me in :)

Is catered housing an option?

- Nope, but you can get a catering package for 10 meals a week. However, although it was tempting to go for a uni with a catered halls I thought two things:

1) I might as well develop strategies to learn how to cook now
2) I have a nut allergy, and I like to know whats gone near my food!


Are the town/campus easy to navigate?

Campus is confusing, but halls and campus are around 20metres apart, which is very good. I have a personal assistant who helps me navigate the campus and also a electronic device called a trekker breeze. However, this doesn't detect stairs!


What resources are in place for disabled students?

I currently have a PA, dsa equiptment, computer/seperate room/rest breaks, and have been recently given 50% extra time, which means for once in my life, I actually completed a whole SERIES of test papers. :)

Were your teaching staff supportive?

They are, if you warn them. Some are a bit weird if you have a laptop or Dictaphone, and this recently caused me to have to explain my condition over about 7 rows of people in front of everyone (about 50+ people), not. I have taken to printing off a little piece of paper outlining my conditions and why I use the things I do to give to the lecturer at the start of a new module/topic, which has worked well.

Did you find it easy to make friends in that environment?

I have not found any arch enemy's, and everyone is lovely there. Basically its a congregation of computing students, that lets admit it, we are geeks and we get on because we don't get blank stares or weird looks if we say fail or lolcats out loud :)

Would you recommend the university to other dyspraxic students?

Yes. Make sure your lecturers are informed about your conditions though and how it affects you.

Is there anything you would do differently if you were going through the application process again?

No.

What you are doing now

I am a fresher doing Web Design and also represent my year for the subject :) I have also got 3 exams next week, just to get into the Christmas spirit!
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Re: Dyspraxic Teens Good University Guide

Postby Zoe P » Mon Dec 14, 2009 2:37 pm

Dear All, I'm new to this forum and hope that the advice that I can offer about my experience of studying at Royal Holloway University are useful:

University where you studied/are studying:
BSc Geography at Royal Holloway College, University of London, Egham, Surrey;

How long you've been there?
I graduated in July of this year (2009);

Your disabilities

Dyspraxia (classified as medium severity);

Are the accommodation and facilities dyspraxia-friendly?

I was in Founders Hall in my first year, which is a Victorian building looking somewhat like Hogwarts from Harry Potter! This is one of several catered halls on campus, however, each section of corridor is provided with a 'pantry' with a shared fridge, worksurfaces and a microwave. The environment in hall was pleasant and the more communal set-up (i.e. several long corridors and not-self contained flats) made it easy to meet people and make friends. However, the food in the catered halls was terrible when I was in my first year, however I understand that the standard of catered food has improved significantly since then. In the second and third year I moved into a shared house, however, I did have the option of moving back into hall in my third year if I wanted to.

The library facilties were adequate, however, because of noise destractions I never worked in there. The Geography Department has a 'Reading Room' which keeps extra copies of all the key textbooks for reference and short term loan. I found this an excellent place for private study because it was always much quieter than the main library. An added bonus is that the Reading Room was also run by the Departmental Education Support Officer, who was always on hand to offer advice when needed.

Is catered housing an option?

Yes: Founders Halls (where I lived) and Reid Hall both offer catered food on campus. Kingswood Hall also offers catered food, however it is either 40 minutes walk away from the main campus down a dark allyway or a short bus ride (and the bus rarely runs on time).

Are the town/campus easy to navigate?

Yes - Royal Holloway is referred to as the 'country campus' of the University of London. It is located in a suburban part of Surrey 40 minutes from central London by train. Egham, the nearest town (half an hours walk to the centre) is small and very easy to navigate and provides functional shopping facilities including supermarket. Other nearby towns include Staines and Windsor, easily accessible by train or bus.

What resources are in place for disabled
students?

I had excellent support both from a university level and department level. The university organised a full up to date assessment with an Educational Psychologist, which no previous school I attended had done. It was very useful in improving understanding of my condition and selecting appropriate study skills. I had extra time during exams and access to a computer with enabled spell check.

The Geography Department at Royal Holloway is rated as being one of the best Geography Departments in the country for friendliness and good pastoral care. Each student is allocated a personal tutor within their subject area (either Physical of Human Geography), who is responsible for their pastoral care throughout their course of study. During the first year the tutor is responsible for running study skills tutorials and setting essays within their half of the subject area. Groups are small, with only 5 people per tutor group.

During the first year, each student is also allocated a second tutor for the other subject area (in my case human geography). Owing to my dyspraxia, my second tutor was also the departmental education support officer, so this means each student gets to know at least two staff members well in thieir first year.

Were your teaching staff supportive?

Yes, very much so, I had excellent support from both my tutor and ESO throughout my time studying there. There were a few ocassions when I struggled to keep up with work or notetaking, and they were always on hand to offer advice and consult with other lecturers to sort any problems out.

Did you find it easy to make friends in that environment?

Yes, I made a close knit circle of friends within my halls and met many people through participating in university societies. The Geography Department has its own society that organises social events with students (undergraduate and postgraduate) and staff which helps to make friends. Events included a boat party on the River Thames, an annual dinner in the university PIcture Gallery and an annual football match between staff and students.

Would you recommend the university to other dyspraxic students?

Yes I would highly recommend it;

Is there anything you would do differently if you were going through the application process again?

No

What you are doing now?

Preparing to start at Masters Degree in Plant Conservation at the University of Cape Town in South Africa
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Re: Dyspraxic Teens Good University Guide

Postby k9ruby » Wed Dec 16, 2009 12:16 am

Forgot to also add, the library has 3 zones, study areas, quiet study areas, silent study. Which has been very helpful.
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Re: Dyspraxic Teens Good University Guide

Postby emma » Sun Jan 10, 2010 8:53 pm

Dear all I haven't been here in a long time as I have been busy with my new job and finding my feet I think I am sorted now! well here is a review of the university I attended for my undergraduate studies.
Name and background information
university College plymouth St Mark and St John
this was a small friendily university
course studied BA Hons Geography with Education Studies graduated in 2008

Support received
DSA funding for assistive technology the provision of a computer with spell check and extra time in exams, a dyslexia tutor to help organise myself, essays. I had a very close circle of friends, my lecturers were aware of my needs due to it being small there was a sense of community tutors were all ways on hand to help I would recommend this university to anyone looking for a smallish place to study.

living support
there was a dining in scheme so cooking was not necessary. They have a range of halls/ house accommodation. There is a warden system in place and a senior resident student to help with any problems that may arise.

What am I Doing now?
I work as a teaching assistant with autistic children. And am studing for an MA in geography education, my final goal is to become a teacher when the time is right.
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Re: Dyspraxic Teens Good University Guide

Postby Star » Thu Feb 11, 2010 5:08 pm

University where you studied/are studying: Sussex
How long you've been there: around 3/4 months???
Your disabilities: Dyspraxia
Are the accommodation and facilities dyspraxia-friendly?: Not sure about the accomodation because I live at home but the campus is pretty dyspraxia friendly
Is catered housing an option?: No
Are the town/campus easy to navigate?: Yes!!!! At least, I can find my way to most of the places that I need to be. Some of the buildings are a bit confusing though. Oh and the building that the learning support department is in is possibly the most confusing building I've ever been in. Not good if you have problems finding your way around. :?
What resources are in place for disabled students?: The is a very good learning support and access centre.
Were your teaching staff supportive?: Yes they are, lots of people use dictaphones in lectures so that's not an issue, and a lot of them give out handouts.
Did you find it easy to make friends in that environment?: Yes, I've met some very nice and interesting people and there are lots of societies to join, so whether you like writing or dressing up as a pirate there is something for you.
Would you recommend the university to other dyspraxic students?: Definatly, it's a very comfortable environment
Is there anything you would do differently if you were going through the application process again?: No
What you are doing now: I'm in my first year of a BA course studying history and sociology.
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Re: Dyspraxic Teens Good University Guide

Postby xLittleHannahx » Wed Mar 17, 2010 6:15 pm

University where you studied/are studying: Wolverhampton

How long you've been there: 6-7 months

Your disabilities: Dyspraxia

Are the accommodation and facilities dyspraxia-friendly?: Yes... and no. First year applying for accommodation there's a disability flag so i ticked that and they phoned me about special requirements so asked for ground floor and they said i could - fantastic until i turned up at the university and the person hadn't edited the system and put me on 4th floor(!!!) although after half and hour this was resolved and put onto ground floor. HOWEVER 2nd year accommodation is another issue; no disability flag so wrote "Dyspraxic; ground/first floor please" to find out a week later that i would once again be on 4th floor(!!!) after a lengthy email conversation (with the outcome being whoever looked at my form didnt know what dyspraxia was) im now on first floor next year.

Is catered housing an option?: No

Are the town/campus easy to navigate?: The main shopping is very VERY easy - Shopping centre and pubs about a 5minute walk from the unversity and very clear to find although its big so it takes a few walks round to remember where everything. Campus is easy enough to navigate as all buildings have big signs on the outside marking them.

What resources are in place for disabled students?: Once they get round to it, fantastic! The Student Enabling Centre is fantastic.

Were your teaching staff supportive?: Fairly. Unfortunatly im the first dyspraxic to have studied my course so its a learning curve for them. All handouts, if the office staff remember which they havent for this module, are printed in blue as well as white paper.

Did you find it easy to make friends in that environment?: Yes. Very very easy.

Would you recommend the university to other dyspraxic students?: I think so, just wish the lifts would always work (as the one in the libary which has some of the most aquward stairs) keeps breaking down.

Is there anything you would do differently if you were going through the application process again?: No

What you are doing now: Foundation year of British Sign Language and English Interpreting degree.
"Wishing on a star......"
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Re: Dyspraxic Teens Good University Guide

Postby Steph » Mon Jan 24, 2011 4:38 pm

University where you studied/are studying

I studied at the University of Kent in Canterbury. I graduated in July 2008. I studied BA Criminology with Sociology.

How long you've been there

I went there for 3 years.

Your disabilities

Moderate dyspraxia and moderate Aspergers Syndrome.

Are the accommodation and facilities dyspraxia-friendly?

Some of them are. The on campus halls that I lived in for my first and third years (I lived in a house just off campus in my second year) were both dyspraxia friendly. My third year halls of residence was actually the designated disability friendly building. They have a small shop on campus which was always easy to get to if I forgot something I needed urgently. It also took just 10 minutes to walk from one end of campus to the other.

Is catered housing an option?

Yes-2 of the 4 main college halls of residence are catered. My first year halls were catered accommodation but the quality of the dining hall food was AWFUL and I don't use that word lightly. My friends and I often found hairs in our food and the thing that finally stopped me going there at all was when a friend of mine found that his chicken was still bleeding and raw inside. Even though it was catered accommodation, the small shared kitchens did have microwaves and hobs, just not ovens, so I used to survive on microwaved meals and takeaways!

Are the town/campus easy to navigate?

The campus is very easy to navigate-everything is sign posted and, as I mentioned before, it only takes 10 minutes to get from one end of campus to the other! There is a separate student village called Parkwood which is harder to navigate as it is full of cul de sacs that look exactly the same! Canterbury, as a city, is very small-I tended to get around by bus rather than foot as it was easier for me!

What resources are in place for disabled students?

There is a Disability and Dyslexia Support Service available (the name has changed since I was a student there. It used to be simply the Disability Support Unit). There was a designated autism support tutor who I saw once every week at the same time on the same day (the day changed each term depending on lectures and seminars, bearing in mind the tutor was part time and did not work Mondays or Tuesdays). I also was supposed to have a copy of the lecture handouts to go with the lectures that were always on Powerpoint but only one lecturer in my three years of being there actually did this for me! In fairness, I should have probably made a fuss but it's not in my nature! I also got the Disabled Students Allowance which funded a dictaphone and special software for my laptop-to my shame, I never actually used this equipment as I felt it would single me out and I was already self conscious enough. If I was to go back, I would use this equipment without worrying about what people might think of me.

Were your teaching staff supportive?

Most of them were-they never made remarks about my handwriting like some teachers at school and college had done. They were aware of my disabilities but didn't usually speak with me about them.

Did you find it easy to make friends in that environment?

Yes, I made several lifelong friends at university-it was the best time of my life and I really do miss it!

Would you recommend the university to other dyspraxic students?

Yes.

Is there anything you would do differently if you were going through the application process again?

Make use of the equipment I got from the Disabled Students Allowance.

What you are doing now

I work with teenagers with long term, chronic disabilities and conditions, including intractable (unmanageable) epilepsy and have been in this job for 2 years since January 2009.
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