In UK, there’s no reason for disabled students not to pursue higher education. Despite still being very challenging to study as a disabled person, significant improvements are done and nowadays university is equally accessible to everyone.
Furthermore, British universities are charged with legal obligations to ensure disabled students will get an excellent treatment through their studies. This includes many facilities, starting from the basic things they commonly need like wheel-chair friendly routes to the social treatment they’ll get.
Your rights as a disabled person
Studying in the UK as a disabled student won’t represent any difference to studying as a non-disabled student. As a disabled person in a British higher education provider, you’ll have your rights guaranteed by law. Universities in the UK are committed to making sure you will have a normal student life. What these rights include and why is important to know them?
Education is a fundamental right to every human and so is to the disabled people. Universities in the UK are obliged to respect and make sure to fulfill these rights under the Equality Act 2010 and the UN Convention.
With this being said, it is important for you to know that your right of attending university is guaranteed. Whenever there will be anyone or anything trying to deny to you this opportunity there are many institutions and many laws where you can address your concern.
Below are given some circumstances at which universities must not discriminate a disabled student:
If a student is rejected from admission just because he’s disabled (direct discrimination).
Providing application in only one form which cannot be accessible to disabled students(indirect discrimination).
Discrimination springing from a student’s disability, for example, going out in breaks because it takes him more time than his non-disabled peers.
When a professor shouts at the student who may have interrupted his lecture because of his disability.
When a student is suspended because he had protested about being harassed.
University’s office for disabled students
Within every British university, there’s an office and an official who’s in charge to deliver every service concerning this category of students. Disabled students can reach him for different problems and he will give instructions or help to overcome them.
Here’s a way this office can serve for good to a disabled student. Universities in the UK have many scholarship schemes dedicated only to disabled students. Those who are interested to get one, but know nothing about the application process and other details can contact the official person and he will help them.
If you’re for the first time in the campus of your university, the above official will show you everything you need to know about your access on campus. It may happen that around a certain building there may still be missing a wheelchair route alongside usual stairs and this may limit your freedom to move around that place.
Because universities may only be required to fulfill a required limit of facilities to disabled students while their needs may seek more we highly suggest to personally contact the university. For example, a visually impaired student may need a certain set of Braille books for his course so they will work toward adding those books in their shelves. They will seriously consider any of your demands and act in accordance with it.
Since disabled students may have different demands from non-disabled students they have to take additional treatment to never feel discriminated. The university and its staff must make certain adjustments to their schooling plan regarding their disabled students’ needs. This means they have to pay extra support and aid to these students if needed. Moreover, they have to take into account these students when thinking of building a new school object or modify the actual one.
Scholarships and loans
As we already said, the UK education system has many scholarship schemes allocated to disabled students. Financial support for them is of a great importance to make them feel equal to their non-disabled peers. Apparently, this will make attending a higher education easier for them.
These scholarship programs may be administered by the UK government, any charity organization, business British or not, nor by the university. Currently, there is a number of them you can look for.
International students of particular nationalities can be qualified as eligible for the Disabled Students’ Allowance which is one of financial support or loans a disabled person can pursue in the UK.
Additional information around scholarships and loans to disabled students you can be founds at these links
Disabled students in UK can also get financial support from the British loan system.
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