Today, NUS is holding a national constituency-based lobby of MPs opposing the cuts to the Disabled Students Allowance (DSA). It is incredibly important that we outline how dangerous and damaging these cuts can be.
One ex-student said:
"I will always remember that day in the summer of 2007. I had just come out of my first needs assessment for DSA. To anyone else it might have seemed like I had just been offered a bunch of equipment and mentoring support, but to me it was so much more."
"It was the first time that I can remember where someone had sat down with me and didn't just consider me 'disabled', but wanted to enable me. It was a collaborative and personalised process so again, I didn't feel like a number but a person. These 'little' things made such a big difference."
Another student commented:
"I get DSA for dyslexia. I expect I am one of those David Willets would class as having 'mild difficulties."
"The DSA funds several things, most importantly a study skills advisor (non-medical helper) and a laptop with specialist software and a dictaphone."
"My study skills advisor is a godsend. She has taught me skills that I will continue to use for the rest of my life. I don't know if I would have made it this far in my degree without her, but thanks to her support I will be graduating this year with a neuroscience master's degree. I might cure Parkinson's one day."
A Masters student told NUS:
"I nearly dropped out of uni in my first year, it was really difficult, but the disability service at Manchester funded this guy from the NAS that I went to go talk to once a week my entire first year and part of my second, which really helped."
"In my second year, Manchester nearly threw me out because I had such low attendance due to what I subsequently found out was my ADD. DSA funded a note-taker for my third year that got my attendance rate up to 90%. I'm using a note-taker now for my Master's."
"I don't know whether I would have had to drop out of uni for my undergrad without DSA, but I definitely wouldn't be still at LSBU for my MSc without it."
To find out more about the NUS campaign to protect Disabled Students Allowance, please click here.
The above photograph kindly provided by the University of Sheffield Students' Union, whose officers have been campaigning on this issue.