Plans to slash funding to disabled students sparks fears

Plans to slash funding to disabled students sparks fears

Plans to slash funding to disabled students sparks fears

Updated in News

STUDENTS at the University of York and the University of York St John have expressed concern that the government intends to slash funding to disabled students.

David Willetts, the universities and science minister, said in a written ministerial statement he wants to “modernise” the Disabled Students’ Allowance (DSA).

The National Union of Students said dyslexic students needing support for computer equipment to aid their studies would lose out and warned the costs of specialist accommodation for disabled students may not be met by DSA.

It is feared the decision may make higher education inaccessible for disabled students from poorer backgrounds. Now students from both university unions have written to Mr Willetts, and York MPs Hugh Bayley and Julian Sturdy, to ask for clarification and caution over the plans.

Thomas Ron, disabled students’ officer at the University of York Students' Union, said: “While the statement is vague and there is no way of knowing what the Government intends, many believe there will be cuts regarding non-medical support such as note-takers and mentors.

This is a crucial aspect of many students’ academic lives, and is critical to them achieving their degree. While DSA has not been visited in many years, these types of cuts are very concerning. The report seems to be characterising some disabilities as 'more severe' than others, which is concerning and bordering on ‘ableist’.”

In their letter, the presidents and disabled students’ officers invite Mr Willetts to come and discuss the proposed changes “so we can dispel any confusion and concerns students may have”.

It added: “As we know this policy is just in its inception, such an opportunity would allow you to consult with the students you will be affecting so that the policy is the best.”

They have also asked Mr Sturdy and My Bayley to look into the plans on their behalf.

Comments (3)

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11:11am Sat 31 May 14

welf_man says...

It's good that people are taking this up - the report that some of the planned cuts are based on contains inaccurate data, and David Willetts seems to think that any old laptop will run the complex software that people with visual impairments or dyslexia need!

I don't know if these allowances need changing or not - but I do know that the research needs to be done properly, and students with disabilities and the professionals who assist them need to be consulted, which hasn't happened yet - cart before the horse again!
It's good that people are taking this up - the report that some of the planned cuts are based on contains inaccurate data, and David Willetts seems to think that any old laptop will run the complex software that people with visual impairments or dyslexia need! I don't know if these allowances need changing or not - but I do know that the research needs to be done properly, and students with disabilities and the professionals who assist them need to be consulted, which hasn't happened yet - cart before the horse again! welf_man
  • Score: 4

2:15am Sun 1 Jun 14

Magicman! says...

The report seems to be characterising some disabilities as 'more severe' than others
... And now we await the official Tory quote, which will be along the lines of "those who no longer get the DSA benefit should get a job".

In essence, the Tories are slowly trying to create an arian race - by wiping out the poor, the old, and the disabled - leaving only the wealthy and those who can make the country (and in turn, themselves) wealthy.
[quote]The report seems to be characterising some disabilities as 'more severe' than others[/quote]... And now we await the official Tory quote, which will be along the lines of "those who no longer get the DSA benefit should get a job". In essence, the Tories are slowly trying to create an arian race - by wiping out the poor, the old, and the disabled - leaving only the wealthy and those who can make the country (and in turn, themselves) wealthy. Magicman!
  • Score: -2

9:26am Mon 2 Jun 14

YorkPatrol says...

Magicman! wrote:
The report seems to be characterising some disabilities as 'more severe' than others
... And now we await the official Tory quote, which will be along the lines of "those who no longer get the DSA benefit should get a job". In essence, the Tories are slowly trying to create an arian race - by wiping out the poor, the old, and the disabled - leaving only the wealthy and those who can make the country (and in turn, themselves) wealthy.
What a joker - Stop being so melodramatic

It's no wonder Labour do so well when the thick still get a vote
[quote][p][bold]Magicman![/bold] wrote: [quote]The report seems to be characterising some disabilities as 'more severe' than others[/quote]... And now we await the official Tory quote, which will be along the lines of "those who no longer get the DSA benefit should get a job". In essence, the Tories are slowly trying to create an arian race - by wiping out the poor, the old, and the disabled - leaving only the wealthy and those who can make the country (and in turn, themselves) wealthy.[/p][/quote]What a joker - Stop being so melodramatic It's no wonder Labour do so well when the thick still get a vote YorkPatrol
  • Score: 0

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