It is that time of year when the thoughts of students turn to preparing for the challenges of a new year of study. It is a time of excitement, anticipation and at times not being sure what you need to do to prepare. When you are living with a disability, higher education can present different types of preparation challenges you need to consider.
Our Communication Manager, Natalie has prepared a list of tips from her experience to help you get the best start to your education this year:
- Have a clear understanding of the course you are planning to study. That way you will know what support you are likely to require, such as extra time during exams or a note-taker during classes. Consider such aspects as whether there is a requirement to go on field trips. If so, are they accessible and how would you get there? Or, if you are required to go on placement, talk to the course supervisor to determine whether you can choose the placement to ensure accessibility.
- Weigh up your options. If possible, prior to enrollment visit the universities you are considering and discuss accessibility. All universities have staff dedicated to help coordinate disability support. Talk to them and get a feeling for what they can offer. There will also often be a disability advisory group who can be useful to contact as it is usually made up of current students.
- Consider transport to and from university. Check out whether you are entitled to Workbridge funding.
- Scholarships can help to keep the cost of studying down. There are a variety of scholarships available, and this includes scholarships available for people with impairments, so search the university's database for scholarship options.
- The other tip that I found really useful was that I could choose my own supports. If you require a note-taker then you will want to find someone who takes the type of notes that suit your studying style. One of my friends, who had a hearing impairment, hired a note-taker because of her ability to write quickly; she wanted someone who could record conversations rather than the standard lecture notes. She felt the conversations in tutorial times were where the true learning happened. The rest she could read in a textbook.
- If you have Ministry of Health funding to help you with daily support you will need to allow time in the weeks leading up to the start of the education year to find the right people to help you at your chosen university.
- Last but definitely not least, while you are studying make sure you also have fun! Part of being a student is to enjoy campus life and to strike a work–life balance, so make sure you check out the wide variety of student events and activities available on campus. There are also hundreds of clubs catering to any interest or hobby you can imagine, they are a great place to connect with like minded individuals.
Mycare can connect you with support workers who can assist you in your studies. In past years we have helped to connect students starting the same courses, workers who have an interest in the student's area of study, and some fantastic note takers to students needing extra support in their studies. Simply list a job and let the journey can begin.
If you need more information about how Mycare can connect you to support for your study please contact us on 0800 677 700 or email firstname.lastname@example.org