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To think this is not equality of opportunity for disabled students?

(25 Posts)

Crashdoll - is it strathclyde? If so, if you have a blue badge, there's other places you can park for free. Not the point, I know, but as far as I'm aware, staff and other students pay far more... Around £20 a month, as far as I recall.

Eyesunderarock Mon 08-Jul-13 21:34:51

It depends what other expenses you are trying to meet as a student with a disability that an able-bodied student wouldn't have to consider though.
£5 a week can add up, especially if you have to run the car and your part-time job opportunities are limited.

NewFairy Mon 08-Jul-13 20:58:27

But £150 per year over a thirty week term is £5 pw, or £1 per day, so it's hardly excessive compared to bus fares.

slapandpickle Mon 08-Jul-13 20:48:54

It's a shit policy, they are charging you for something you need in order to go to college. Staff parking is a luxury (for non-disabled staff, anyway) and should remain paid for.

They are taking the piss.

crashdoll Mon 08-Jul-13 20:33:31

My taxis were covered by DSA although I had to pay a small contribution.

Just to clarify: I can afford the money but I feel the policy has not been thought out. This is a new policy. The university has closed one of it's campuses and therefore, there is a huge influx of extra students.

SlowlorisIncognito Mon 08-Jul-13 20:01:33

Do you get DSA (Disabled students allowance) at all and does this help you cover your travel expenses? If not it is applied for via student finace (if you are english or welsh) and they may pay your parking for you. I'm not entirely sure how DSA works though, but it's something to look into if you don't already get it.

Is £150 not less than you spend on taxis already?

Also, depending on the nature of your disability and the parking nearby could you find a cheaper option? My friend drives to uni as she lives locally but public transport links are cool, and she has found a street about 50m from uni which has some parking restrictions, but she can park in for free for most of her lectures. It is usually pretty empty as the restrictions limit commuter parking. It might be worth having a drive around the area to see if there is anywhere close by you can park for free.

I think you should discuss this with whoever in your SU takes responsibility for disabled students though too, especially if you DSA will not pay for/cover your parking as the university may not be aware of this.

Fuzzysnout Mon 08-Jul-13 18:46:39

I second upthechimney's advice - the students union should have a disabilities or equality officer. Email them & see what they say.

Eyesunderarock Mon 08-Jul-13 18:44:39

Even if there is a regular bus service, a person with a disability could struggle to access it, may not be up to walking to and from the stops or the buses may be packed full with barely room to stand.
It seems a petty, unreasonable thing to choose to charge for, the number of students with BBs is likely to be very small.

LRDLearningKnigaBook Mon 08-Jul-13 17:57:58

That sounds absolutely ridiculous, unless there is a regular bus service to the university.

UptheChimney Mon 08-Jul-13 17:40:09

If you're paying £150, I think you may find that staff have to pay £150 as well -- if not more, as £150 for an annual parking charge at a university is very cheap IME . I have a colleague who has limited mobility on a campus with it's own "heart attack hill." He has a Blue Badge, so can park in disabled spots very close to all the different places he needs to get to (office, admin offices, lecture theatres, seminar rooms) but AFAIK, he pays the standard annual charge to park like the rest of us. The "reasonable adjustment" is that he can park right outside any building he has to work in -- well, that's the theory, although I know a lot of the time, it's not possible because --- well, all those "parking in a disabled space if you're not disabled" problems.

So on that ground, you are being treated the same as a disabled employee.

But usually students don't have the finances that employees do (not always, and not all university employees are highly paid) so why not go to your student union and see if they'll take up your case? There should be a Welfare Officer, or even a Disabilities officer who could help get the £150 parking fee waived. It would be a very good thing to do for you, and for all the mobility impaired students who will come after you.

crashdoll Mon 08-Jul-13 16:58:09

No students are allowed to use the car park. A concession is made for disabled students but they must pay £150. Once written out, that sways me to think maybe IABU and that they are trying to level out the inequality.

frogspoon Mon 08-Jul-13 16:57:07

Your disabled student allowance should cover things like that. You may need to pay out and then submit a receipt.

Because I sometimes had difficulty getting to university, my DSA covered things like internet, so I was able to work from home on the days I was unable to get in. I had to send copies of the bill to my local authority (who managed the DSA) and they would refund the cost.

JuliaScurr Mon 08-Jul-13 16:55:51

starfish it's not equality because we have no choice but cars

Floralnomad Mon 08-Jul-13 16:52:53

Can an able bodied student pay the £150 or is that only because you are disabled ? If that is the case then its discrimatory towards the able bodied .

crashdoll Mon 08-Jul-13 16:48:01

squeaky Well, I will be using my DLA and I am fortunate that I have financial support from my family but as a disabled person, the little costs do add up and can be overwhelming for some people.

I'm just thinking that the lecturers (for example) can choose to say "I can't afford it" and will find another way of transporting themselves to and from uni but a disabled person may have no other option.

starfishmummy Mon 08-Jul-13 16:46:21

Dla has a mobility component which many people choose to hand over to Motability in order to get a car. So it wouldn't leave any over for parking charges.

However paying parking charges as any person would in this situation is being equal. Whether there should be further concessions made, however, is entirely another question.

squeakytoy Mon 08-Jul-13 16:37:00

But you can park, if you pay. Would a disabled person not receive DLA for this type of expense? Genuine question as i do not know the answer, and would have thought this to be exactly the sort of use that the money should be for.

manicinsomniac Mon 08-Jul-13 16:35:43

Sounds like my old university. All on hills and cobbles, spread through the city and with the main access route to one dept named 'cardiac hill'. They even said in their prospectus or on the website (if I'm remembering correctly!) that they wouldn't recommend some disabled students to apply to them as they weren't easily accessible to those with significant mobility problems! I'm not sure how much they must have had to adjust by now though. I graduated in 2005 though and feel sure that things must have changed at least a little (although I'm not sure how it will have been physically possible in some places)

YANBU though. I'm surprised they charge disabled. You had to prove you needed a car at my uni (for either diability or course or extra curric reasons) but, if you did manage to prove it, you didn't have to pay for it as well. That's mean!

crashdoll Mon 08-Jul-13 16:29:47

HairyWorm Car parks can make up their own rules really.

YBR I had taxis to and from university.

PeterParkerSays Mon 08-Jul-13 16:29:22

I guess the equality thing is that you do have right of access onto campus to park, albeit with a charge.

It is an equality thing compared to other, able bodied, students, who are therefore not able to park on campus.

It's not an issue about equality between you and the university staff who also park near their place of work.

HairyWorm Mon 08-Jul-13 16:26:53

I thought if you had a disabled badge you could park where you wanted for free? Is that just outside of car parks?

Eyesunderarock Mon 08-Jul-13 16:26:49

Fair enough to charge for staff and student parking. Fair enough to charge my DS who has a disability but regards 5 miles as a brisk walk.
Not reasonable to charge a student who needs a car to access the university.

Eyesunderarock Mon 08-Jul-13 16:25:30

No, that is completely wrong, if the student is disabled and needs a car then the permit should be free.
That really isn't equality of access. Hmm.
Who to contact?

YBR Mon 08-Jul-13 16:25:05

It may be equality - my Local Uni charge about that for staff parking.
It doesn't seem to be fair or supportive.

What did you do before?

crashdoll Mon 08-Jul-13 16:18:06

My university is situated on a massive hill. Even the abled bodied and fit complain occasionally! There is no on-site parking for students, only employees and there is no other parking (paid or otherwise) for several miles.

I have recently got a car and enquired with regards to parking for disabled students. It's going to cost £150 per year. I am in a position where I can pay this but what about those who can't? I queried the cost and they said it is non-negotiable. Now, students aren't known for being the wealthiest members of society and having an impairment can be very costly too. I feel that this is not equal for everyone. AIBU?

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