Student Finance

In November 2011, I was “recruited” to help out in a church, working with/alongside the young people. As part of the exchange, I enrolled in University, and the church covered my expenses (£4000) a year. (Meanwhile, my loan covered Tuition Free (£2,700) and Maintenance (£3,800).) I was to work in the church, a youth club and a school setting as part of the course requirements, and yet, with the contract coming to a close, I feel it is vital I review the year, financially and educationally as recently, some sudden changes have radically altered my perspective on things.

In May, after first applying in December, my “needs assessment” was processed and I was assessed by a learning centre in Central. After sending pages of notes, reports and previous assessments to Student Finance, they finally agreed to process my case, and forwarded me to an assessment provider where I was to have my needs examined. I attended this assessment, and claimed I had a learning disability (dyslexia), a physical handicap (mobility impairment), and a mental health issue/condition (previously referred to as mental illness.) I will return to this later, however, I am writing this entry to share with you the tremendous amount of power that decision-makers have, as, following this assessment, the assessor recommended the following enabling technologies, equipment and learning aids:

Lightweight Laptop (2 year insurance and maintenance)
Aspire IT Training CD Rom
ClaroRead Plus (text to speed)
Book Scanner
Book Chair
Inspiration (mind maps)
Dragon Naturally Speaking (speech to text)
Colour Inkjet Printer
Digital Recorder (Olympus)
Unidirectional Microphone

Wheeled Carry Bag
Flo Chair
Relax Foot Rest

Small Book Allowance
Weekly Mentor
Training Sessions for Equipment
Funding for photocopying
Funding for Internet access [£15 per month, subscription, for digital TV, home telephone, mobile phone so £150]
Funding for small consumable items used to support proofreading, e.g. paper, inkjet cartridges. [£200]

All together, that costs… £2, 227. Adds the internet and consumable items, and you have almost £2,500, but it doesn’t end there. Here are the other costs:

Needs Assessment cost £550
IT Training 6 x half day @ £225 per half day and BITT charge, £170 per half day, so , £1,020
Study Skills Support, cf University Disability Advisor, 30 x I hour sessions @ £65 pher hour, £1,960
Mentor Support, cf University Disability Advisor, 36 x 1 @ £42 per hour, £1,543
Total: £5,073

That means, all together, Student Finance (the Team) have been ADVISED to invest around £7,500 in supporting my needs. (These recommendations are based on meeting personal support needs and providing strategies that facilitate: Research, Composition, Proofreading, Note-taking, Time Management and Organisation, Mobility/Ergonomic Support as well as a Non-Medical Helper and a Mentor.) That means, if you are “disadvantaged”, for your “pathology”, you can get funding of around £7,500. That sounds wonderful… yes… and surely it will “motivate” (empower) and “encourage” (enable), and yet, WHY NOW??? I am not impressed…

Once I receive my LOAN, I will invest it in my three other books which complete the 8 project: An End To Childhood (650 pages), Making Malone Volume 2 (540 pages) and Making Malone Volume 3 (240 pages). Combined with Volume 1 (180 pages), I have arranged around 1,600 pages, and yet, that’s inaccurate. Originally, the AETC series was supposed to be in five volume (totalling more than 2,000 pages) but for the sake of economy, that work was “subsidised” (compromised.) That said, I’ve arranged 3,000 pages in a period of just under four years, and yet, think about how this was done? I had to borrow Laptops, “lose sleep”, “stay indoors” and “bunk” of formal studies in order to complete these works, and it has been difficult… and yet, thinking ahead, fast forward.

About omalone1

I live I die I write
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