Making the Transition

To get the right support in education you need to ask the right questions, but knowing the right questions can be difficult. You assume that the support you’ve been given and the tools and technologies you’ve tried are as good as it gets.

This guidance is written for visually impaired learners moving from school to college or from college to university. It will help you to support yourself using readily available tools and technologies as well as suggesting ways that others can support you. We’ve focused on technology and teaching resources because that’s the area where getting it right can make the biggest difference to you.

Transition experiences
Read about good and bad experiences of transition.  In this section we look at the different levels of support different organisations offer and to discuss how helpful (or otherwise) such support is.

Case Study: Open University support for disabled learners
The Open University attracts an unusually high percentage of learners with declared disabilities. This case study of an OU visit gives an insight into what “good support” feels like in order to gauge the level of support you are currently getting or know what questions to ask a learning provider on an open day.  Go to the Open University support resource.

Using Text Resources
The majority of courses depend on books, handouts and other text resources. Many disabilities, from deafness to dyslexia, visual impairment to coordination problems, make it difficult to handle text. This need not hold you back.  Never be afraid to ask to get your resources in a different way because until you try you don't know what a difference it might make. There are many different ways you can access information and this section takes you through some of the best alternatives.

Tools for independence
A range of tools (hardware, software and iPad/iPod devices) can assist students who are planning to move away from home.  The resource looks at some of these tools. Some of the information from this resource is based on Jennifer Murray’s session at ICC in Cluj Napoca. Go to Tools for independence resource.

Making Sense of the Disabled Students Allowance (DSA)
David Cochrane from the University of Loughborough answers student questions about the DSA assessment. Find out more about the DSA with some key links and some frequently asked questions.

This guidance developed from a residential Transition week delivered in August 2012. Advice and guidance was planned and delivered by Alistair McNaught (Jisc TechDis), Libby Hopton (ICC UK National coordinator) and Margaret McKay (RSC Scotland). Logistics, admin and financial support were provided by Tracie Tappenden and the team at VICTA.

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