We want to arm you with as much useful knowledge as possible before you embark on your Uni or College course. In this recording of our online workshop, you’ll hear from LOOK Mentors who have – and are – studying research and essay-based degrees. They share practical tech advice to help you prepare for reading, research and writing, and there’s a Q&A discussing accessibility support you can get to help you complete your course successfully.
Watch the workshop
Meet the mentors
Studying Politics and International Relations (BHoNS), Khadija has cone rod dystrophy and is severely sight impaired. She can’t read any print, and uses a screen reader. Khadija told us: ‘My subject was mainly reading based, with some tables and graphs. I used my own MacBook with VoiceOver, with my iPhone to access my readings and to write assignments.’
TOP ADVICE: Get Organised! Your time is your own, so manage it well. Get your core subject readings in accessible formats as early as possible and create a timetable to complete assignments for yourself. No one will care about your education as much as you do, so you need to be proactive.
Ibz is in his final year of a Psychology degree. He has rod cone dystrophy, bilateral retina dystrophy and keratinous. He uses screen reading technology to access reading, lecture notes and essays.
TOP ADVICE – connect with your academic staff team, get to know yourself, your needs and the tools that enable your access so you can be clear in explaining and advocating for yourself with others.
Eve is in her second year of a Sociology degree. She has low vision and some hearing loss due to Schmid-Fraccaro. Eve’s access tools include an iPad with magnification and Zoom tools for reading. She usies tech to adapt print size.
TOP ADVICE: enjoy who you are, be proud and vocal about yourself and don’t apologise for having additional needs. Be open with your peers and teaching staff.
Jack completed a PGCE following his Sociology degree. He has Nystagmus & Ocularcutanious Albinism. Jack used magnification, Zoom tools and electronic texts for course reading.
TOP ADVICE: be smart with your reading, liaise with teaching staff about the Core texts and concentrate on using time to read the necessary texts as reading is far more time consuming for learners with VI needs.
Meet your host
Elin Williams is LOOK’s Volunteer Development Coordinator, and an alumnus of the Change100 internship – a programme of paid summer work placements, professional development and mentoring for disabled university students and recent graduates.
‘Through Change 100 I undertook a paid summer placement at the Royal College of Radiologists within their Conference and Programmes team, supporting the organisation of their annual national conference. This was my first paid role that really took me out of my comfort zone, involving relocating and working in an area I’d never considered before. It was an invaluable learning experience and I credit the Change 100 internship with directly leading to the volunteering and employment opportunities I’ve had since then.’