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For more information about the DSA changes see my blogpost on it at http://natalyad.dreamwidth.org/10553.html

Jump to giving feedback about your DSA experiences
Jump to info about writing to your MP and suggested content
Jump to press releases from disability, specific learning difficulties (SpLD) and higher education organisations.
Jump to links to blogposts and social media discussions about the DSA changes
 

Petition to stop DSA changes


e-gov petition to stop cuts to DSA at http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/63748

Please propagate this and ask your friends, facebook, twitter and other social media people to sign this.

 

Feed back to me (or another disability adviser) about your DSA experiences


update to how you can give feedback
You can also give your DSA feedback at https://docs.google.com/forms/d/143wrLGqbIaiVhKQD5yS24uuVltQFyaTyynEfx9i67cY/viewform which has been set up by a disability adviser and will be sent to student support organisations collating information for challenging these cuts.


We are looking for feedback from past and present students about how DSA helped them remain on their course, function better, overcome impact of impairment on study to feed back to the government en-masse.

A few lines plus permission to provide basic course info e.g. postgrad maths, undergraduate social sciences and basic impairment info e.g. dyslexic student, student with fatigue from health condition, partially-sighted student etc would be all it takes.

Feedback from all over England and Wales will be collated and either used verbatim with the government as qualitative feedback or used to extract common experiences for feedback.

If you have a current disability adviser it is probably best to send the feedback to them, but if you don't, you can send feedback to me on natalya dot dell at gmail dot com. I won't share your personal details with anyone else.


 

Write to your MP


You can use the Write To Them service to find, write and send message to your MP.

If you have ever received DSA you can include your experiences of how DSA enabled you to remain in education, reduced inequality, helped improve your grades, improved your strategies etc.

If you haven't received DSA you can say you believe in DSA as a way of supporting disabled students in higher education.

What sorts of things can I include in my letter

If your letter is short because you are low on energy/time, especially because you are disabled, say so.

  • Relate your content to something like "Ministerial Statement made by Rt Hon David Willetts, Minister for Universities and Science; Department for Business Innovation and Skills (07/04/14) at https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/higher-education-student-support-changes-to-disabled-students-allowances-dsa".

  • Explain DSA briefly Disabled Students' Allowances (DSA) are non-means tested grants provided to pay for the additional academic-related costs faced by a disabled student compared to a non-disabled student at higher education. This can include computer hardware and software, adapted furniture, support workers such as note-takers, sign language interpreters, practical assistants for lab/library/other.

  • Provide some details about what DSA you got (if applicable) and why it specifically helped you remain in university and do better on your course than doing without would have been.


  • Link to any of the points I made about cuts in my summary of DSA cuts blogpost if any of those would have specifically affected you.



  • I don't think letters need to be long, in fact shorter the better. The more unique letters MPs get the more they're likely to challenge this change and join in any discussions about it.

     

    DSA changes in social media



    Twitter hashtags which are covering DSA include #ProtectDSA #WithoutDSAIcouldntstudy and #DSA.


    Spooneydoc's Roll with the Punches DSA blogpost at http://loopys-rollingwiththepunches.blogspot.co.uk/2014/04/vital-disabled-student-support-to-be.html

    Where's the benefit blogpost about DSA cuts at http://wheresthebenefit.blogspot.co.uk/2014/04/disabled-students-allowance-targeted.html

     

    Press releases challenging the DSA changes


    I will add press releases as I find them:

    National Association of Disability Practitioners (NADP)
    This is the grass-roots organisation that accredits, supports and encourages networking professionals who work to support disabled students in HE.

    NADP's Press Release is linked from http://nadp-uk.org/news/268/19/NADP-Press-Release---call-to-protect-support-for-disabled-students/d,News/ .

    Association of Dyslexia Specialists in Higher Education (ADSHE)
    ADSHE link together Specific Learning Difficulties (SpLD) tutors, advisers, assessors and more to specifically cover SpLDs like dyslexia, dyspraxia, AD(H)D, dyscalculia and dysgraphia etc..

    ADSHE have made a press release, temporarily downloadable from http://tinyurl.com/ADSHEBISresponse until it is on their website.

    Professional Association of Teachers of Students with Specific Learning Difficulties (PATOSS)
    PATOSS is a professional membership organisation for people who provide specialist tuition and support for people with dyslexia and other specific learning difficulties.

    PATOSS's press release is at https://www.patoss-dyslexia.org/News/#question105654178711

    AMOSSHE The Student Services Organisation
    AMOSSHE is a wider 'student services' organisation encouraging development and sharing of good practice in Higher Education.

    AMOSSHE's Press Release can be found at http://www.amosshe.org.uk/news/AMOSSHE_response_to_proposed_DSA_changes


    National Union of Students (NUS)
    NUS which is a collection of 600+ students' unions covering 95% of HE and FE institutions in the UK.

    NUS's Press Release can be found at http://www.timeshighereducation.co.uk/news/nus-blasts-david-willetts-over-changes-to-disabled-students-support/2012501.article

    British Assistive Technology Assocation (BATA)
    Campaigning and advice group for users of assistive technology

    BATA's press release can be found at http://bataonline.org/news-events/grant-cuts-press-release

    DNA (Diversity and Ability)
    DNA are a disabled and dyslexic people led social enterprise assistive technology company.

    DNA's DSA press release is at https://docs.google.com/file/d/0ByhUpsQtkQmEQzdWSS1DV1dyUXV3NWR1dHhzcWtYU0lPeWFj/edit?pli=1

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