Alex has signed up to back the National Union of Students’ campaign against the LibDem/Tory Coalition’s proposals to change and restrict the Disabled Students’ Allowance.

You can sign Alex’s petition against the cuts HERE.

Alex with Saffron Rose, Graeme Brittles and Jay Malpass-Clark at Leeds Met
Alex with Saffron Rose, Graeme Brittles and Jay Malpass-Clark at Leeds Met

Higher education students living in England, can apply for a Disabled Students’ Allowance (DSA) if they have a:
◦ disability
◦ long-term health condition
◦ mental health condition
◦ specific learning difficulty such as dyslexia’ https://www.gov.uk/disabled-students-allowances-dsas/overview

David Willetts has proposed changes to this.

The proposals specifically apply to computer equipment and specialist accommodation
‘We will pay for higher specification or higher cost computers where a student needs one solely by virtue of their disability. We will no longer pay for standard specification computers or the warranties and insurance associated with them. We will no longer pay for higher specification and/or higher cost computers simply because of the way in which a course is delivered.
The additional costs of specialist accommodation will no longer be met by DSAs, other than in exceptional circumstances.

You can sign Alex’s petition against the cuts HERE.

As Hannah Paterson, NUS Disabled Students’ Officer, said:
“The prospect of deeply unfair cuts to support for disabled students should concern us all. We already know that disabled students are under greater financial strain than others.
“It is arrogant and out of touch to assume that disabled students can access ‘basic’ equipment or that universities will accept the new responsibilities ministers are seeking to place on them.’

Colum McGuire, NUS Vice President (Welfare), said:
“It is likely that many students will fall through the cracks as a result of this withdrawal of support and associated ministerial buck passing.
“The disabled students’ allowance currently plays a pivotal role in allowing these students to access, and stay in, higher education.
“We demand a full equality impact assessment of any proposed changes and a halt to their implementation until this is carried out.”

Alex has expressed his ‘horror at the proposals.
To expect already hard pressed institutions to fill the gap left by withdrawing government funding is frankly ludicrous.
But it is fundamentally wrong to attack those who are already under most strain – though it is typical of this coalition’.

You can sign Alex’s petition against the cuts HERE.

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