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What resources can UK students expect as part of reasonable accommodations?

Discussion in 'Finances, Work, and Disability' started by desertangel, Dec 25, 2017.

  1. desertangel

    desertangel

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    I am living in a college hall. I submitted documentation saying I needed to be in a catered hall but instead I was placed in a hall that is .2 miles away from the dining hall. I think they thought it was fine because it's technically "on-site" even if not in the same building. As you guys know, this is very far for an ME patient.

    I have been getting worse forcing myself to walk to get food and over break, I have not recovered to my level of health before starting school. On the last day of classes, I saw the dining hall staff walking out with food presumably to take it to disabled students. I was in tears outside the dining hall when I realized they had been taking food to other students this whole time (we all live about .2 miles away, maybe some .1) and I was making myself sicker forcing myself to walk. Also, there are stairs at the dining hall and in order to use the elevator I have to call somebody from staff to come help me every time. With the cognitive problems of ME I barely get to the dining hall and to call somebody every time and wait in the cold I'm sure I would end up missing more meals than I am. With all of that, I have just been forcing myself to walk up the stairs as it is less hassle than calling for help every day.

    When I asked the disability coordinator for help she denied that the food was being taken to students but then also said that food was sometimes taken to students with "temporary" and "infectious" illnesses (this sounds like the flu to me which is infuriating). My friend said this is ridiculous because if somebody was getting cancer treatment over a couple of years that also wouldn't be temporary or infectious but they would probably not hesitate to help that student. I have a hard time believing that I'm the first disabled student with this problem. There have to be other students in my situation who did not starve.

    Anyway, is it reasonable to expect that they bring food to me for some meals? For example, four days a week? Ideally, I would get every meal every day but I think with the way they are acting that's not going to happen.
    Are there any other CFS people in university on this thread? What are some of the other accommodations you have been able to get from your uni?

    The problem is I don't even know what to ask for. This food thing, I didn't even know that was something I should have been fighting for until I saw they were taking food to other students.
     
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  2. Skycloud

    Skycloud Senior Member

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  3. desertangel

    desertangel

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    Hi @Skycloud, Thanks! I'm a US student studying in the UK so I do not know much about the laws in the UK or what constitutes as reasonable. I know the UK has a disability act similar to the US, but as far as I can tell US schools make more accommodations. I have posted in a couple other forums but the few students I found were living with family, not on campus. ME Association is a good idea!
     
  4. desertangel

    desertangel

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    The emptiness of this thread is depressing. This happens every time I ask a question about school. There are just so few patients with this who are able to study that there is nowhere to turn to ask advice.
     
  5. Skycloud

    Skycloud Senior Member

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    It's a real shame that you haven't had any other responses, @desertangel. Have you been in touch with the MEAssociation? Any help?

    Try The Tymes Trust (The Young M.E. Sufferers Trust) too - they specialise in supporting children and young people with ME upto the age of 26 with their care and educational rights :

    http://www.tymestrust.org

    How are you managing now? I imagine the new term is starting soon. Do you have a friend or two who could help with fetching meals?
     
  6. boombachi

    boombachi Senior Member

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    What about a bus pass to help you get to the dining hall? Could you college provide that? Are you claiming all the disability related financial help you are entitled to? Check your college's policy on disabled students. It will say what they do or don't do.

    You could try the disability rights uk helpline for disabled students

    Telephone: 0800 328 5050

    Opening hours: 11am-1pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

    email: students@disabilityrightsuk.org
     
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  7. Skycloud

    Skycloud Senior Member

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    good advice @boombachi - I didn't now about the disability rights uk helpline for students; I'll remember that one.

    One other thing that may be useful, @desertangel, try talking to your university student union representative and see what comes from that - I'm thinking they should be prepared to back you up / help you in discussions with the college if you need advocacy help.

    Do let us know how you get on
     
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  8. desertangel

    desertangel

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    Hi @Skycloud @boombachi, this is resolved now (I hope). They are going to bring food four days a week and I will walk the other days and I’m the meantime I’ll be on the waiting list to move to a dorm where I will be able to get food myself.
    Takeaways from this are to be very lawyer like in all my interactions with them, seek advice from disability and ME organisations, and keep escalating if necessary. Also, attaching my medical documents to every single email has helped.
    I wish it didn’t have to be this way but at least I got help eventually.
     
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  9. boombachi

    boombachi Senior Member

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    I am so pleased for you @desertangel

    Well done for fighting your corner and thanks for updating us. I hope this means you have a bit more energy to focus on your studies.
     
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  10. Skycloud

    Skycloud Senior Member

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    @desertangel - I'm really pleased your university are now taking this seriously; I hope you will be in your new dorm soon. Well done and best wishes with your studies!
     
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2018
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