Students with Disabilities

Introduction

 

Tobias School of Art & Therapy welcomes applications from students with specific learning difficulties and disabilities. We are committed to a policy which allows, as far as possible, for equality of opportunity and access to higher and further education. Central to this policy is the following statement, which is contained within our Equal Opportunity and anti-discriminatory Policies “We are fully committed to a policy of challenging all prejudice and discrimination, for example: age, gender, disability, language, racial, ethnic or national origin, belief, sexual orientation, class and employment status.”

The Tobias’ Disability Statement aims to outline our provision for students with disabilities and/or specific learning difficulties. Our Student Welfare officer Helena O’Sullivan is the coordinator both for assistance regarding the teaching provision and the student hostel. If you have any queries as a result of reading this, please do not hesitate to contact her on 44 (0)1342 313655 or e-mail info@tobiasart.org

With the active involvement of both staff and students, provision is constantly being developed and improved, to add to the learning experience of all our students. It is therefore important that we are aware of your needs so that, where possible, we can work with you to help support you.

The campus is made up of two buildings, all built in the 1970s, and have steps and other physically limiting factors. As a result, access to some areas of the School is restricted for those who have mobility difficulties. We strongly recommend that you take the opportunity to visit the campus so that you can assess the arrangements for yourself and discuss the issues with members of staff.
We would welcome comments that you have about this statement, the application procedure to the School and any other aspect of our provision.

 

Dyslexia and specific learning difficulties

Support for students with dyslexia and/or specific learning difficulties are available via Helena O’Sullivan, our Student Welfare Officer.

• setting up one to one learning support tuition

• access to specialist IT support

• recommendations to academic staff around different exam and assessment arrangements

In order to access this support, students will need a full, up-to-date report that confirms specific learning difficulties / dyslexia. This would be carried out by a practising psychologist or a qualified teacher (OCR Diploma SpLD). Specialist teachers and IT equipment may need to be funded by Social Services or other agencies.

Assessment for dyslexia

• Students who have not previously been assessed for specific learning difficulties, but feel that they may have difficulties in this area, should inform Helena O’Sullivan, who can arrange a formal assessment. There may be funding available to the student to help with the cost of this assessment.

• If requested, the student will then be referred to an Educational Psychologist for a full assessment.

 

Mobility difficulties

For those with mobility difficulties, access is not comprehensive across the campus and for some cases limited, and therefore we strongly recommend you visit to enable you to assess if there are any adjustments which can reasonably be made in order for you to study here. If you have a query about access issues please contact Helena O’Sullivan.

Your mobility difficulties may be part of a fluctuating condition such as ME, you may have difficulty walking or you may be a permanent wheelchair user. Access to the site will be one of your main concerns and the degree to which you can access the campus. The School will, however, in consultation with you, make reasonable adjustments to facilitate your needs.

If you accept a place on a programme of study we will need to liaise with you in advance of your arrival at Tobias in order that we can timetable any adjustments so that they are carried out before you arrive. These may include using ground floor studios wherever possible, organise assistance to navigate steps, arrange the installation of ramps for wheelchair access.

We are committed to installing a disabled toilet to both the Office and Studio Block, and Student Hostel in due course. However, currently, these plans are predicated on Tobias attracting sufficient grants or through internal financial surpluses. At present we have no date when this work is to be carried out.

 

Deaf and hard-of-hearing impairment

The Student Welfare officer can help with:

• finding human support: note-takers and communicators.
• information about and assistance with application to the Disabled Students Allowances.
• deaf awareness training for School staff.
• examination provision.
• advice on and help with audiological equipment.
• on-going monitoring support.
• adapted hostel accommodation including provision of flashing fire alarms can be installed.

Where possible, and usually prior to the start of your course, you will be offered the opportunity for an advance meeting with Helena O’Sullivan, our Student Welfare Officer, who will be working with you. This meeting will allow you both to discuss your specific requirements in relation to the course and, if required, the student hostel.

 

Other disabilities, including medical conditions

There are many other conditions that are also considered a disability. These include epilepsy, diabetes, asthma and conditions that affect health and stamina such as ME, sickle cell, HIV, haemophilia and cystic fibrosis. Many of these can be controlled by drugs and will usually not affect your ability to study. These conditions should be noted by your Doctor on your Medical Report, which is requested with the application forms. If any of the above medical issues have implications for your studies you may need more specialist assistance. This can be arranged and paid for through Social Services or other agencies, if you are eligible. Please come and talk to Helena O’Sullivan, our Student Welfare Officer.

 

Medical services

For those who need it, we recommend all students register with the local Doctor’s surgery located in Ship Street, East Grinstead.

 

For more information about Tobias or any courses, please get in touch by emailing info@tobiasart.org or using the contact form below.

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