This year at university has been great, but filled with issues and problems and barriers to my learning.
It is important to mention at this point that there have been some fabulous people, and some committed and brilliant lecturers who never fail to meet my access needs and think of me in every circumstance.
Then there are those people who don’t help at all, who for a time could not possibly produce a large print hand out for me… until of course they were reminded by me of a little something known as The DDA (Disability Discrimination Act). After that shocker people started getting me large print handouts, and copies of power point presentations as they happen so I actually know whats going on. (finally)
That was one major issue resolved for the most part, it took 8 weeks but hey-ho sorted now.
There have however been countless issues…. one after the other in a near constant stream. Every issue is another barrier for me to battle to clime over, wonky legs and all!
Climbing over these barriers and battling to insure that people understand, is quite frankly wearing me down.
Most of the issues I am facing could be avoided, a little extra planning could go a long way or a little organisation!
The most recent thing that has happened is the start of semester 2, it starts on Monday and I am expecting another bumpy ride at least in the beginning. The time table has completely changed, I have new staff teaching me and new rooms to find. All of this is going to throw up issues, I am expecting that there will be glitches and I am fine with that.
To try and smooth out issues before they happen I have asked that all my new lecturers see something called a ‘faculty form’. Basically the faculty form states what ALL of my disabilities and conditions are, it states what I need in lessons and spells out the basics.
I would much rather people know that I am disabled before I walk through the door it allows them time to plan there lesson and avoids embarrassment.
Well I emailed the people concerned as a little don’t forget to look at my faculty form, I have now received a email, that I was copied into from the faculty office with a word document that I produced at the begging of the year that concerns my visual impairment, I was at the time trying to simplify things purely relating to my VI.
Everyone always forgets my other conditions they may be marginally less significant than my Visual Impairment at this moment in time but that will not always be the case, I would rather people where prepared.
There was no mention of my bone condition (the wonky legs and hyper-mobile joints), the one that makes standing still in the same place for periods of time difficult, makes me wobble and makes stairs tricky.
There was no mention of my mental health, I may be in recovery right now but I am still receiving treatment on my way to being fully well again without medication.
I have come to the conclusion they either don’t understand what my faculty form is, or that its filed away somewhere and they can’t find it.
I don’t get it the faculty form is the most basic and simple of things all I want is for all my lecturers to see it, surly it s not that difficult.
It may be wearing me down but I will just have to keep climbing over the barriers.
Can I also say a big thanks to all the people out there who have ever tried to remove an access barrier from any ones path, your actions make all the other barriers seem achievable and remind those of us who have to climb the barriers that there are people looking out for them.