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Keynote manchester-Lizzie-Sherwood

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First hand experience of the DSA assessment system. Presented at the iansyst DSA roadshow

Published in: Education, Health & Medicine
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Keynote manchester-Lizzie-Sherwood

  1. 1. MANCHESTER<br />10 June 2011<br />
  2. 2. DISABLED STUDENTS ALLOWANCE<br />Lizzie Sherwood<br />Exeter Access Centre<br />
  3. 3. My perspective on DSA<br />Assessor best practice<br />Matching technology to students’ needs<br />Potential challenges faced<br />Process frustrations<br />Thought provoking queries on the DSA systems !! <br />
  4. 4. Getting there !<br />Teaching or medicine?<br />Voluntary work with severely disabled children<br />Trained to teach ESN(S) children<br />Kept discovering children who did not fit<br />Finding out more about Autistic Spectrum Disorders (ASD)<br />Having children with different SpLDs<br />Re-training about 12 years ago<br />
  5. 5. Leads to a continuous<br /> awareness of needs<br />
  6. 6.
  7. 7. Why me ?<br />Widest range of assessments<br />40% Dyslexia<br />25% Other SpLD mixtures<br />10% Autistic Spectrum<br />25% Physical and complex mixtures <br />
  8. 8. 5 Years ago<br />80% Dyslexia<br />10% Other SpLD mixtures<br />1% Autistic Spectrum<br />9% Physical and complex mixtures <br />
  9. 9. UNUSUAL COMBINATIONS<br />18 year old female student<br />Rectal atresia - a rare anorectal deformity <br />Corrective hip surgery – now one leg is shorter than the other<br />Lower limb deformity – feet / toes<br />Hypomobility syndrome – low muscle tone / ligaments<br />Hearing – deaf in right ear<br />Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (as a result of sexual abuse)<br />Anxiety / Depression<br />Immature 18 year old male student<br /><ul><li> Blind in right eye
  10. 10. Asperger Syndrome
  11. 11. Specific Learning Difficulties
  12. 12. Spatial / orientation problems
  13. 13. Anxiety – fear of being attacked</li></li></ul><li>Do I need to prioritise one disability more than another to provide the best range of support?<br />Deaf and Dyslexic students<br />Access Unit for Deaf and Disabled Students - Bristol<br />BSL – gives rise to specific literacy problems<br />different to those of typical Dyslexic students.<br />You need to understand the linguistic structure of BSL <br />to differentiate what is a typical BSL related problem <br />and what could be Dyslexia.<br />
  14. 14. Assessor best practice<br />Sharing specialist knowledge<br />Making friends at SFE<br />Inviting suppliers to give personal training<br />Colleagues<br />SFE<br />E-mailing a person<br />4-6 training sessions<br />Product knowledge<br />Improving products<br />CPD<br />
  15. 15. textHELP Read&Write GOLD<br />Listening to proposed new voices and giving feedback<br />Attending regional feedback sessions and explaining how student REALLY use the software<br />Suggesting improvements<br />Underline<br />Improved dictionary<br />
  16. 16. Improved Dictionary<br />Christine Maxwell<br />Dictionary ofPurrfikt <br />Purfict <br />Purfect<br />Perfect Spelling(Revised Edition)<br /> ISBN 1-84299-281-3<br />
  17. 17. Assessor best practice<br />Listen carefully to HOW the student explains an issue <br />Explain <br /> – this is not a TEST !<br />Explain the process of what happens once the interview is over<br />Can often pick up another concern, even another disability<br />Students relax and tell you more<br />Process helpsheet <br />
  18. 18. DSA Application Process<br />
  19. 19. Can be a confusing process<br />More information needs to be given to students in FE Colleges and Sixth Forms<br />Having copies of all the documents available well in advance of the start of term (4 months)<br />Having student mentors who can give support and advice to fellow students<br />Photocopy ABSOLUTELY everything sent as documents go missing very easily<br />
  20. 20.
  21. 21. TOP TIPS<br />Remember that TWO SpLDs and / or additional / multiple disabilities substantially compounds the difficulty experienced<br />Learning from students - they know a lot about their own difficulties, which is particularly useful if it is something unusual <br />More pro-active students often have brilliant solutions that are not expensive and are not on equipment lists<br />
  22. 22. What is this?<br />
  23. 23. Can you remember ?<br />
  24. 24. Matching technology to student need<br />
  25. 25. COUNTRY BOY<br />My dyslexia is just who I am, I have no memory, my organisation is poor and my handwriting is awful ! I’m really excited about my course as I get to work on farms here and abroad.<br />
  26. 26. LEGAL EAGLE<br />My reading is fine – its slow but I allow for that I like to take my time and in the legal profession you need to read everything a least twice anyhow – I’m best at talking and I listen well, which is why I want to be a barrister. <br />
  27. 27. INFANT PROGRAMMER<br />By the time I was 8 years old I could program in 4 languages and I work in all formats. I’ve chosen a 4 year course that allows for this.<br />
  28. 28. What’s in a name?<br />Does it matter what the SpLD is called as long as the support given is appropriate?<br />
  29. 29. Super-Specific SpLDs<br />Working Memory problems<br />The ability to hold and manipulate information in the mind over a short period of time. Working memory provides a mental notebook for storing information used in the course of our everyday lives. Either our juggling fails because there is too much information or, most likely, a minor distraction results in a complete loss of the poorly stored information.<br /> e.g. Mental arithmetic; taking in directions<br />Need to make ‘units of information’ more meaningful.<br />It is a processing deficit rather than a specific literacy problem.<br />Working Memory and Learning – University of York<br />Susan Gathercole and Tracy Packiam Alloway<br />http://www.york.ac.uk/res/wml/SG.htm<br />
  30. 30. Potential challenges<br />Finding out about the facilities available at a specific University during vacations<br />Considering what are ‘reasonable’ adjustments<br />Convincing the ‘independent thinking’ student that they need more support than they consider essential<br />
  31. 31. Process frustrations<br />e-mailing SFE and just getting a computer generated reply<br />Indicating a ‘preferred quote’ with well-reasoned evidence to support the choice and having it ignored by SFE<br />Not always knowing which quote has been chosen<br />
  32. 32. BIGGEST FRUSTRATION<br />
  33. 33. Thought provoking queries on DSA systems !<br />
  34. 34. Thought provoking queries on DSA systems !<br />A student books an assessment at his nearest centre. He tells Assessor 1 he already has a modern, high-spec, fully functioning laptop, so he gets a tailor-made quote allowing for this. Then he hears that another centre gives more generous ‘packages’ heedless of equipment already owned. He books in, he does not say he has already had an assessment. Assessor 2 recommends a new laptop as well as other appropriate support.<br />SFE will only pay for one assessment.<br />
  35. 35. Thought provoking queries on DSA systems !<br />Everyone has a laptop these days – or gets one when they go to University. <br />Therefore, Dyslexic students only need additional bits of software, a digital recorder and some specialist study support. <br />
  36. 36. Thought provoking queries on DSA systems !<br />Students have been known to sell-on their DSA equipment via e-bay !<br />How would you deal with is ?<br />Do we have a duty to recover the goods ?<br />Should the student be penalised ?<br />
  37. 37. Conclusions<br />Every disabled student deserves a well-reasoned objective assessment<br />It is the professional (impartial) balance achieved between the assessor and SFE that makes this a fair system<br />A problem shared is often a problem solved !<br />
  38. 38. Recommended Reading<br />That’s the Way I Think – David Grant – Routledge Dyslexia, dyspraxia and ADHD explained - ISBN 978-0-415-56464-9<br />The Passionate Mind – Wendy Lawson – JKP<br /> How People with Autism Learn<br /> - ISBN 978-1-84905-121-7<br />Aspergirls – Rudy Simone - JKP<br /> Empowering Females with Asperger Syndrome <br /> - ISBN 978-1-84905-826-1<br />
  39. 39. Contact Information<br />LIZZIE SHERWOOD<br />Disability Advice<br />e.m.e.sherwood@exeter.ac.uk<br />Specialist Teacher Diagnostic Assessments<br />lizziesherwood@yahoo.co.uk<br />

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