Should I disclose to my university? Help

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hanna
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Should I disclose to my university? Help

Post by hanna » Wed Aug 29, 2018 9:36 am

Hey

I am starting a masters in Occupational Thearpy and I am unsure should I disclose my learning disability to the university.

I didn’t tick the box on the application if I disclose later will they think I have been withholding information and not trustworthy? The reason I withheld the information is that it is an excellerated program and feel strongly that a learning disability would have effected me getting a place.

I am afraid of being discriminated against which I know is technically illegal but I think I would be naive to think it doesn’t effect even subconsciously people’s opinions of you.

Maybe I am to emotionally connected to the issue to think clearly and definitely still have a chip in my shoulder about the whole thing but feel that tutors would be looking more closely at me to see if I make mistakes or that I am inadequate to practice if I disclose.

The other thing is OTs work with people with dyspraxia and I guess I feel weird about becoming an OT since I have dyspraxia. Does that make sense? Maybe it’s illogically but I have a fear that people will be like don’t be stilly you need an OT and can’t become one.

Reasons I want to disclose is that I am financially struggling to do this course so also working part time so feel I should get all the support I can and hopefully a free laptop as I can’t afford one. Also scared of lying and getting found out.

Does anyone know if it’s my choice to disclose or I legally have to since it’s a health care course?

Andrew_S_Hatton
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Re: Should I disclose to my university? Help

Post by Andrew_S_Hatton » Wed Aug 29, 2018 11:00 am

I believe it is your choice.

When I undertook professional study for a University Diploma in social work - to become a probation officer in 1973 - I was not aware I had DCD/Dyspraxia and so could not seek specialist support, which I do not know whether it would have been provided as the UK anti disability discrimination laws were not passed until 1995.

In hindsight I would have reported it and taken what ever support may have been available as eventually the fact that my subsequent employer was not formally aware of my disability contributed to the early end of my career when by 2003 I could not cope with changes in working practices and was not then in a fit state to effectively campaign for them to be put in place. I also struggled at times with my course of study and completing assignments in a timely way, which would have been less stressful if I had understood about DCD at the time and knew what may have helped. Instead I muddled through but possibly became better at making adaptations - a very good skill in relation to social work, which is basically about using all the facilities available to support a client make the best of their life without harming others.

At the points of conflict in 2001/2 I was greatly supported by my trades union - of which I had been an active member from 1974 and had taken on various representative roles almost up to my regretted early retirement

I know that Universities are now legally obliged to make reasonable adjustments as are employers and not to advise them of a disability maybe considered by some as effectively making the study and the job harder than necessary.

I think one needs legally reliable personal information and so I think I now would initially consult the National Union of Students with a view to consulting my University Student support department. I may also join any trade union to which I was eligible as a student member, considering my possible future employment.

Unison would be one I would consider, they can probably advise, as I expect can the TUC.

https://southwest.unison.org.uk/healthcare-students/

I would also seek advise in the UK from The Dyspraxia Foundation or alternatively the Citizens Advice Bureau.

Not getting appropriate advice early enough probably contributed to me ending my career on a lower salary than would otherwise be the case and so the effect continues to this day as I receive a lower occupational pension, which in turn affects my family. Fortunately it is sufficient to provide the necessities of life, even though I did not give it a thought as a student.

https://www.nus.org.uk/en/campaigns/disability/

https://dyspraxiafoundation.org.uk/abou ... a/finding/

Andrew_S_Hatton
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Re: Should I disclose to my university? Help

Post by Andrew_S_Hatton » Wed Aug 29, 2018 11:08 am

Incidentally - maybe there is useful experience in another thread which could be worth posting in - to see how things are working out for contributors from years ago?

http://www.dyspraxicadults.org.uk/forum ... =12&t=4623

Andrew_S_Hatton
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Re: Should I disclose to my university? Help

Post by Andrew_S_Hatton » Wed Aug 29, 2018 11:20 am

Incidentally - as a probation officer/social worker - I worked with clients throughout an almost 30 year career who were dyspraxic - sadly I only gained self knowledge very latterly but even over that time it was useful.

The biggest problem was the high number I suspected who were dyspraxic who had no idea about the condition - I did not necessarily disclose to them and at that time was (ridiculously) initially ashamed of being found out.

My efforts to get one fellow referred for assessment were a complete failure due to the poor services available in the prison where I was then seconded to work - nonetheless I felt my practice was enhanced by that knowledge.

I do not know what happened to this research: -

https://www.theguardian.com/society/joe ... fficulties

northolt999
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Re: Should I disclose to my university? Help

Post by northolt999 » Tue Sep 11, 2018 9:17 am

I recommend disclosing to your university even if you just go to the disability service department during freshers or any time, this will allow you to receive extra support if needed. Before going to uni I had an unofficial diagnosis and got a full assessment free of charge and feel the help I have recieved has been able to get me through the first year.

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Re: Should I disclose to my university? Help

Post by Andrew_S_Hatton » Wed Oct 03, 2018 12:14 pm

This looks dodgy, I have reported post and suggest that you ignore the link.

I presume a longstanding member has had email address hacked, I cannot imagine such a person who posts being allowed to join our Forum.

Andrew_S_Hatton
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Re: Should I disclose to my university? Help

Post by Andrew_S_Hatton » Wed Oct 03, 2018 12:15 pm

This looks dodgy, I have reported post and suggest that you ignore the link.

I presume a longstanding member has had email address hacked, I cannot imagine such a person who posts being allowed to join our Forum.

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Re: Should I disclose to my university? Help

Post by Tom fod » Thu Oct 11, 2018 6:35 am

Gone now

The site joining process doesn't allow for moderator review and acceptance of new members so IDing and removal of fake accounts is retrospective.
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Di Watkins
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Re: Should I disclose to my university? Help

Post by Di Watkins » Sat Dec 22, 2018 8:59 pm

Hi

I started my MRes in September. I'm in my 50s and was only formally diagnosed in my first year at university. Since then I have received quite a lot of help- the Additional Learning Support team have been brilliant. I have also got a small grant from the DSA which among other things helps pay for extra printing costs and voice-recognition software. From my own experience, I would say disclose your dyspraxia. Education isn't one-size-fits-all. Often, just mentioning that you have a problem with a certain way of doing things will inspire people to find ways of allowing you access. Sometimes quite small things make all the difference. Good luck with whatever you decide :-)

Muninn
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Re: Should I disclose to my university? Help

Post by Muninn » Wed Feb 06, 2019 10:07 pm

It's your choice, but I would recommend that you disclose. This is a University, they should be used to this sort of thing and have a Disability Services department to arrange the extra support for you to get up to everybody else's level. Do you believe that nobody else with dyspraxia ever went to University before?

As to the course: dyspraxia does not mean you are stupid, and I should think a room full of prospective OTs should be the last people to be ignorant about it! And if they do kick you off they're a shitty institution and you get them for discrimination - they're obligated to make reasonable adjustments.

When I went to University with my dyspraxia diagnosis in hand they were practically trying to give things away to me: laptops, scribes, Dragon... and I'm like "I'm fine just give me the extra time I asked for!" So I recommend disclosing, if anything they ought to be grateful for the extra stat they get to add to their equality pie charts for the academic year. That support is intended for you, so you go get it!

bongoblue
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Re: Should I disclose to my university? Help

Post by bongoblue » Fri Jul 19, 2019 8:12 pm

Yes! disclose. I know because I didn't until I started to seriously struggle (as a student nurse). After I got help and things improved massively. I have learning contract and placement contract (idk if this will be relative to you). I find with knowledge comes understanding not negatively.

My advice be honest and positive. Say what you can and cant do.

Good Luck!!!!

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Re: Should I disclose to my university? Help

Post by Niamh » Fri Sep 06, 2019 11:06 am

This is a bit of a late reply, but if I were you I would disclose, though it is absolutely your choice. I say this as someone with experience both as a student and as a university educator.

Firstly, as others have said, this is absolutely you choice and there is nothing legal obliging you to tell them you are dyspraxic (or not). There will definitely not be any consequences for not initially ticking that box in your application form. You will not be punished for 'lying', though I get the sense that feeling you are hiding something will be a burden for you. I would recommend going to your university's disability services when university starts and making an appointment to see what support or guidance they can offer. This can vary from hardware (i was given a dictaphone for recording lectures, a laptop and printer/scanner, and was allowed to use a computer during exams instead of having to handwrite, all of which was incredibly useful) to accommodation in terms of flexible deadlines, extra time in exams, etc - they will be able to discuss with you what might help. Also, if you speak to disability services they will ask permission to tell the department - you can get study support without the lecturers knowing, and the services will tell you whether that will impact any accommodations they can offer.

In terms of lecturers looking at you to find fault if you disclose, I'd almost say the opposite. In the university where I taught, I would receive an email from the administrator telling me the student's name, diagnosis and what I needed to do to accommodate them. This was never a problem for me. I had a student and the first essay she gave me was full of serious issues, which could have indicated that she was either not trying at all or really unsuited to the course. She then let me know she had dyspraxia and accessed disability services. Me having that knowledge meant I knew why her essay was that way so I could be a better tutor for her when otherwise I could have dismissed her as low effort or a bad fit, and disability services were able to support her - I watched her graduate with a first last year.

Term may be starting for you now, so best of luck and I hope that the anxiety you are feeling around this has subsided.

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