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The Problems of Success: how to meet the expectations of increasing numbers of disabled students

By Mike Walker and University of Huddersfield


The last thirty years have seen vast changes in the lives of disabled people, we have progressed from passive recipients of 'care' to active directors of our own budgets. This has opened new opportunities for disabled people and a choice many have made is to enter higher education. The increasing numbers of disabled students and our changing expectations is placing universities in an increasingly difficult situation. The system that has developed is based upon detailed expert assessments and disability departments that are attempting to provide 'Rolls Royce' services. While this may have worked when the numbers of disabled students were few, with increasing numbers this system is beginning to breakdown, delays in assessments, delays in LEAs paying invoices are common experiences for students. DSA is increasingly out of step with disabled students who use Direct Payments, we expect to have the power to make our own choices and not be limited to what our university has chosen to supply.\ud \ud \ud In this paper I intend to explore how we can fulfil our broader pedagogic role by enabling disabled students to gain experience of managing their own budgets and making their own choice, while working with limited resources and increasing student numbers

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