Tag Archives: disabled students’ allowance

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!

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. The theme this year is 21st century Dyslexia with an overeaching  focus on the ‘enabling technologies’.

While this week is one of the biggest weeks of the calendar year for dyslexia awareness, the work goes on here at Tandem  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. It is not all about poor spelling and reading as often assumed.

However, if dyslexia can be spotted then there is plenty that can be done to alleviate its effects – 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  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 Tandem.

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.

So, here’s wishing you all a great 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.




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.

How Will ‘Brexit’ Impact Neurodiversity In Britain?

In case you have been hiding under a rock for the last couple of weeks, a referendum was held in the UK about membership of the European Union, with 52% voting to leave the EU and 48% choosing to stay. This means that, unless something changes, Britain is set to cut many of its ties with Europe – but what does this mean for neurodiversity and the laws regarding things like employment and education for those with conditions such as autism, dyslexia, or ADHD?


As it stands, nothing is set to change any time soon. With matters already being delayed by the need to choose a new Prime Minister following the resignation of David Cameron, talks over how Britain will leave the EU have yet to begin. These are expected to take up to two years to complete before an agreement is reached. This means that any support you get under laws like the Care Act or the Welfare Reform Act will stay as they are for the time being.


Indeed, most of the rules made about care and support are not made by the European Union, so many of them should stay as they are even after we leave the E.U. That said, we cannot know what rules or laws may change under future governments


So, while we don’t expect much to change right now, we also don’t know exactly how things will look once Britain leaves the E.U. Quite simply, no nation has ever left the E.U. like this before, so nobody really knows exactly what will happen.


You may have noticed that a lot of economists and other experts have said that there will be a negative impact on finance, which has already been seen in how the pound dropped in the markets compared to other currencies. The knock-on effect of this could be that businesses are forced to cut jobs or move out of the UK as they face losses on imports and exports. Should this occur then there will clearly be an impact on employment for everyone, including neurodiverse groups. There could also be an effect on the freedom of movement and for those looking to come to the UK, or go abroad, to study.


It seems that we are living in the quiet before the storm. It is a time when we really can’t be sure what will happen and how any exit negotiations and agreements will go. As a result, for many, it may more-or-less seem like business as usual, but there is a good chance changes are ahead…

Concerns Grow As Government Confirms Cuts To Disabled Students’ Allowance

Concerns have been growing following the confirmation of government cuts to Disabled Students’ Allowance (DSA).

The government has confirmed that they plan to push ahead with plans to cut government funding for disabled students, instead telling universities to pay for the majority of the provision.

Universities minister, Jo Johnson released a written statement explaining that future government funding would just be to “complement the support put in place” by universities, who would take “primary responsibility” for support from September 2016.
Continue reading Concerns Grow As Government Confirms Cuts To Disabled Students’ Allowance

DSA – are you claiming it?

At least 50% of the people who are eligible for Disabled Students’ Allowance (DSA) don’t claim it, according to figures from the last academic year.

Disabled Students’ Allowances (DSAs) can pay for extra support for students on a higher education course. The funding can cover the cost of specialist software, assistive technology, study skills support or mentoring.

Many have not heard of DSAs, don’t consider themselves disabled, feel their needs are not important or big enough or often are just too embarrassed to ask for help.

Assessment for DSA

To claim the support a student needs to show that they have an impairment or condition which affects their ability to complete their studies.  These include all sorts such as ADHD, arthritis, dyslexia, IBS, migraines and visual impairment. The individual does not need to be registered disabled but has to complete a needs assessment.
Continue reading DSA – are you claiming it?