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Louise King

I am considerably deaf and whilst this doesn’t hugely affect my day to day life, I required assistance wherever possible to ensure my PGCE year went as smoothly as possible. The Faculty of Education ensured that I was welcomed and consulted ahead of the course through meetings and email correspondence to start the process going. A network of people worked together to make sure what I felt I needed, and what they recommended based on previous experience, was met and followed up. Having claimed the Disability Students Allowance I was directed to a specialist for recommendations and to the Disability Resource Centre for resources such as a Dictaphone for lectures and note takers to attend all lectures and seminars. The course manager worked with my placement schools to produce risk assessments for my placements. They informed the schools and made visits to ensure I would be happy in my assigned school and class.

The PGCE team always followed up to see how things were going by email or in person around the Faculty. All the efforts of the Faculty had a significant impact on my year and I am very grateful for their hard work that made everything go smoothly. I found all the staff very approachable and willing in response to my requests. Having a note taker and dictaphone during lectures and seminars was very useful as not only did it mean that I had a second set of notes to fill in gaps of information, but it also meant that I could relax a bit more and listen without worrying about getting everything down. Staff always made sure that the front rows of the lecture hall were vacant for my friends as I always chose to sit near the front for lip reading purposes, but without feeling as though I’d stand out from the crowd because of my impairment. All staff wore the microphone during lectures and would always subtly check that I could hear them which really made a difference. Lecturers were made aware that they were recorded so would make sure they were standing in appropriate places for lip reading and recording which again really reduced the worry of not being able to hear and follow the lecture.

I found everyone very approachable both in the office and around and always felt as though I could raise any issues or give general feedback at any point. I never felt that my impairment was a drawback in the career itself as everyone in the Faculty was so supportive, and still are, even now that I have completed the course.

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