Tag Archives: student support

The Personal Touch – With Assistive Technology

Assistive Technology or ‘A.T.’ is specialist technology that helps support those with disabilities and learning needs. It can be either software or hardware and can be awarded through either Disabled Students Allowance (DSA) or Access To Work (ATW) schemes.

 

Designed to help students and employees overcome any difficulties they may have, for example with dyslexia, ADHD, or autism, Assistive Technology comes in a number of different forms depending on requirements.

 

However, since everyone is unique, Vocendi believe that any Assistive technology support should be matched to the needs of the individual, rather than seeking a ‘one-size-fits-all’ solution, as is favoured by some other providers.

 

In fact, Vocendi offer one-to-one training sessions where an individual’s needs can be assessed so that the best solution can be found for each person. This holistic approach offers users a unique experience tailored for them rather than trying to cut corners to get as many people on board as possible without actually doing much to really help.

 

Vocendi make sure that our trainers have the rights skills and experience to offer this personal touch when it comes to Assistive Technology. With this in mind, we have implemented a competency framework to monitor and assess our team to ensure that service users have the best possible experience.

 

We believe that everyone has the right to reach their full potential and that far from being a burden, those who require Assistive Technology have a great deal to offer just as long as there is the help required to achieve this potential.

 

Of course, the Equality Act means that discriminating against someone in the workplace because of a condition like dyslexia is illegal and reasonable adjustments are expected to be made by an employer to prevent this.

 

The same can be said for those who are studying, with Disabled Students Allowance designed to help people be all they can rather than being side-lined due to disability or a learning difficulty.

 

You can find out more about our services and how they can help you right here on Vocendi.com – don’t settle for less, be all you can with Assistive Technology and support!

Lifting The Lid On Hidden Disabilities

As people, it seems that many of us are guilty of ignoring what we can’t see. This can be seen in how so many are happy to ignore the plight of the poverty-stricken, refugees, homeless, and others in similar situations. So long as it doesn’t impact on our daily lives, it seems that many people are happy to carry on as if these things don’t exist.

 

However, it is not just societal ills that people turn a blind eye to – but also things such as mental health issues and hidden disabilities such as dyslexia. While we wouldn’t berate someone in a wheelchair for not being able to climb a flight of stairs, it is all too easy to ignore the less-obvious disabilities and issues that others may face.

 

A large part of this is because conditions such as dyslexia are not immediately obvious, often went unrecognised, and were frequently misrepresented as someone not trying, or being ‘stupid.’ Of course, things have steadily improved over the years, but our ability to recognise and appreciate the effects of hidden disabilities still leaves a lot to be desired.

 

Fortunately, with anti-discrimination laws in place, it is becoming harder for employers and others in positions of power to discriminate against those with conditions like dyslexia, dyspraxia, and ADHD. In fact, employers are now required to take reasonable steps to accommodate and support those with these types of conditions.

 

It is not just in the workplace that there have been advances in supporting those with such conditions, but there is also a great deal that can be done to help students to thrive and reach their true potential despite of their dyslexia, ADHD, or other hidden disability.

 

Assistive technology has helped immensely, and is something that we at Vocendi take seriously, but it is not just a question of throwing technology at the problem. It is also about attitudes. As employers, teachers and tutors become more aware of hidden disabilities and how to support those with them, so we are all able to better see the potential of those who have them. Far from being judged by a condition, we can now look to the strengths rather than dwell on the difficulties.

 

Out of sight, out of mind may still be a real attitude problem in our society, but hidden disabilities needn’t and shouldn’t be brushed under the carpet or passed off as something else. It is all about education, knowledge and understanding – not for those with the condition as much as for those without.

 

Just because you can’t see it, doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist!

It’s Dyslexia Awareness Week!

This week is Dyslexia Awareness Week, which means there are a whole host of different activities and events taking place, while the focus this year is on the ‘identification of dyslexia.’ While this week is one of the biggest weeks of the calendar year for dyslexia awareness, the work goes on here at Vocendi all year to help those with the condition.

 

While things have certainly improved when it comes to spotting dyslexia in people (particularly school children) there is still much to do to help battle against the stigma associated with the condition.

 

Some still hold the belief that dyslexics are somehow ‘stupid’ rather than having a condition that impairs their ability to read or work with numbers. Of course, this is plain ignorance and cannot be condoned, just as the belittling of someone with any other type of disability would not be tolerated.

 

However, if dyslexia can be spotted then there is plenty that can be done to alleviate the effects of the symptoms – particularly through the use of Assistive Technology. Again, this is an area where there have been huge improvements over recent years, meaning that with the right help those with dyslexia can be supported fully whether studying or at work.

 

However, Assistive Technology is no good unless you receive the correct training in how to use it – which is something that we can provide at Vocendi.

 

With the right support, training and relevant technology to help there is no need to feel that your disability is holding you back and you can then use your skills to great effect either at work or in college or university.

 

Take a look at our site today to see how we can help you or someone you know to fulfil their potential. Dyslexia needn’t hold you back or be debilitating, as just like with any condition, once recognised you can go about making sure the problem is catered for.

 

So, here’s wishing you all a great Dyslexia Awareness Week and hope that you can use it as inspiration to push forward, find out how you can be supported, and make a difference in your daily life.

New Year, New Studies, New Goals

It’s a new academic year which, for many students means heading back to school, college, or even off to university. Whether you are returning somewhere for another year or starting something afresh, you will want to be prepared to get off to the best possible start.

 

Getting Equipped:

 

The first step in this is making sure you are ready with all the things you might need to see you through the week. Pens, paper, and a sturdy bag to carry your stuff around in is a good starting point, while buying a few new things can also help you to feel like you are making a new start for the academic year – even if you are returning to a course you began last year.

 

If you are returning to a course, it is also worth tidying up your notes from last year. Throwing away any unimportant or unnecessary papers, making sure your work is filed properly, and even going over some old notes to make sure they still make sense may seem like a bit of a waste of time, but it will help refresh your memory ready for the new year, while also giving you a head-start for when it is time to revise later in the year!

 

Of course, it is not just about what you might need for your studies either, you will want to make sure you have a few other items too – tissues (winter is coming!), lip balm, your iPod, money for the bus or lunch, and those other little things that you need each day.

 

Timetables?

 

You will also want to make sure you know where you are going, which means getting your timetable organised. Knowing where you have to be and when takes a lot of the stress out of the day, but your timetable shouldn’t just be a list of where and when your classes are. It is also a good idea to keep track of your deadlines for essays and other work. Keeping a study diary is a good way to do this and make sure you don’t accidentally leave something until the last minute – or forget it entirely!

 

A study timetable can also help out your social life as it will mean you are more organised with your work and therefore able to sort out meeting up with friends and other activities too.

 

Extra Support?

 

You may also want to look for some extra support with your studies by speaking to your college and finding out about what they can offer you if you have a condition such as dyslexia. There is no need for this to hold you back from being all you can be and achieving your goals. You may be eligible for DSA or assistive technology which will help support your studies.

 

At Vocendi we can help with these type of things – from study support to assistive technology training – which means that you can step confidently into the new academic year.

Advice On Cloud Storage For Students

Let’s face it, after weeks or months of work, the last thing you want is for something to go wrong with your computer and you lose that large essay or dissertation that you were working on. Backing up your files should be something that is automatic to students these days, but could cloud storage offer an effective solution to storing your work, as well as some flexibility with your studies?

 

Cloud storage is a system whereby your data is remotely managed, maintained and backed-up – allowing you to access your files online from anywhere via the Internet. This is ideal if you want to check something out from your files while you are on a café Wi-Fi system or over a friend’s house. It could also mean that you can do some study wherever there is an Internet connection – even on holiday!

 

Of course, the main plus point of using the cloud is that your files are instantly accessible from anywhere, and it is easy to just move files between your local and your cloud storage, offering an instant back-up to anything you have stored on your computer.

 

You can of course access your files from different devices, so long as they have the service downloaded to them to allow you access. Systems like Dropbox are widely used and could provide a quick and simple solution to accessing your files remotely.

 

However, be careful when moving items from your local and cloud storage – you will need to copy and paste rather than drag and drop the files – since moving them will delete them from your original location.

 

While there are some real advantages to using cloud storage as a student there are also a few potential problems that you will need to be aware of too.

 

You may have some concerns about data safety and how easy it might be for other people to access your files. While hackers may be a concern for some cloud storage users – particularly businesses – chances are there won’t be too many hackers interested in locating your files on Popular Culture In The 17th Century, or whatever else it is you are studying!

 

The main downside to what is otherwise a great storage solution for students is also its greatest strength – the Internet.

 

Being able to access your files from wherever you are using the Internet is a great thing – unless the Internet goes down. Not being able to get a connection or facing a fault with your Internet service on the day when that assignment needs to be in could prove to be a real headache!

 

That said, as an extra tool to help in your studies, cloud storage could offer you some extra flexibility to keep your life in synch with your studies!

 

Understanding ADHD

There is a degree of uncertainty about ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) – including exactly what it is, how you may come to have ADHD, and how best to deal with it.  Symptoms of ADHD include having difficulty in staying focused, problems with controlling your behaviour, and hyperactivity.

 

You have probably heard of ADHD, but did you know that it is actually made up of three main sub-types?

 

These are, predominantly inattentive type, predominantly hyperactive-impulsive type, and combined inattention and hyperactive impulsive type.

 

Predominately inattentive means that those with the condition are less likely to misbehave or have problems getting along with others, but it can mean difficulty in paying attention. This type is easilt overlooked or confused for simply not paying attention.

 

However, most people show the combined version of ADHD, but this can be managed in school, work, and in life in general with the right support. However, ADHD is no measure of your intelligence and does not mean that you are likely to have a learning difficulty, however the difficulty in focusing can have a knock-on effect in things like education.

 

ADHD is not something that you grow out of as you get older, although the symptoms can lessen over time.

 

In fact, scientists have uncovered evidence that ADHD may be a genetic condition, although the impact can be lessened through support and environmental factors, such as a good quality home life and positive personal development.

 

ADHD has nothing to do with diet or parenting, but is instead down to how your brain may develop, making it a neurodiverse condition.

 

The Disability Discrimination Act 1995 Chapter 50 Section 1 Sub-section 1 states, “Subject to the provisions of Schedule 1, a person has a disability for the purposes of this Act if he has a physical or mental impairment which has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on his ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities.” This means that, in some cases, ADHD can be determined to be a ‘disability’ under the law.

 

Methods for dealing with ADHD include exercise as well as having structure and organisation to help lessen anxiety. Recognising and managing the condition is the first step in dealing with ADHD, but there lies the problem – especially for children who may be seen as just being ‘naughty.’

 

You can find out more about ADHD and how to get support right here on Vocendi.com.

Is Neurodiversity A Trigger For Mental Health Problems?

Could neurodiversity be a trigger for mental health problems, and are neurodivergent people more likely to suffer from mental health problems, and if so, why?

 

It is true that those people who are identified as being autistic are more likely to suffer from anxiety and depression than those who are not seen as being so far along the autistic scale. Of course, it must be recognised that neurodiversity is not in itself a mental illness, but simply the way in which different people’s brains work differently. However, there seems to be a link between neurodiversity and mental health, which is most-likely caused by societal factors and circumstance.

 

For the more neurodivergent among us, it can be stressful to try and ‘fit in’ to a world that seems to be at odds with your way of filtering it. Being sensitive to stimuli like loud working environments, difficulty in reading other people, and so forth can cause anxiety. Meanwhile, having difficulty fitting in or finding a suitable job can lead to depression among those with autism and other conditions.

 

However, this can be helped by taking some simple steps to recognise the needs of neurodiverse groups and acting to make changes to suit them in their day-to-day lives, whether that is studying or at work.

 

It is time that we accepted our differences and realised that they are not faults, but rather something that can add to the diversity of human life. It is our differences that should become our greatest strengths as we work together, using our various skills to support one-another.

 

Rather than alienating the neurodivergent sections of society in an ill-conceived bid to make everyone ‘normal’ we should be ready to understand that neurodiversity is not an illness to be cured, but rather a different way of thinking that we can appreciate and accept.

 

With more acceptance, understanding, and support we would surely see a drop in cases of anxiety and depression among the neurodiverse – which is surely a win-win situation for everyone involved.