helen-louise (baratron) wrote,

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More college and disability stuff.

There are lots of things that I could/should write about, but I frankly haven't got enough spare energy. I've been suffering from moderately bad chronic fatigue, then a cold, and I'm still chasing up college paperwork. My prediction of February for the student card is correct: as of today, I was told "once we have received payment and your status has been changed to E[nrolled] I will be able to print your ID card and send it out to you. [...] let me know when you have made the payment". I am thoroughly confused because Richard handed in the forms on Monday authorising the college to take payment from his account, and the person from Registry who emailed me acknowledged receipt of that paperwork. I/we can make the payment online, but we were under the impression that handing in those forms would make the payment happen. So we're wondering what on earth is going on.

In better news, my Individual Student Support Agreement is now finished and approved by the Disability Office, and has been sent to the departmental administrator for circulation. I'm suspecting that it won't actually make it to everyone who needs to see it, though. Fortunately, I have a copy myself and can always send it to people if necessary. I still need to write an email "with as much detail as possible" to sort out the issue I have regarding the twice-weekly semi-compulsory meetings at UCL; currently impossible for me to attend without a lot of spoons since you need a UCL swipe card in order to use the lifts in that building. (Even getting into the building requires steps, though I found a secret step-free entrance today. Not sure whether it's always open - it looks like the way in for deliveries/building maintenance people rather than students/academic staff). I've tried doing the stairs and it made me non-functional the following day. Today I managed it by simply asking random strangers with UCL swipe cards to operate the lift for me, but that takes spoons in itself. Apparently it should be possible for Birkbeck Disability Office to liaise with UCL Disability Office to get me access, but having to organise that is more spoons lost. "Normal"/"healthy"/non-disabled people simply do not get how much damn energy and enthusiasm a person loses in having to arrange basic physical access to resources/buildings - to say nothing of the extra emotional support needed in order to study with unseen disabilities such as mental ill health. It's taken me essentially a month to get to a state of 90% sorted with regard to access & support - and this is in a university with extremely good disabled students support!!

My new Needs Assessment for Disabled Students Allowance is booked for 4.30pm on Friday 12th February, at Roehampton with the same assessor I saw before. Hoping for a really positive outcome. Certainly I have a case for a new laptop, as mine is 5 years old and really slow and suffering of late. Meeting Philip and Katherine (my two supervisors) this Friday to discuss the specification of a computer that I need in order to run college-licensed software and access supercomputers remotely from home. (Wondering if I might be better off with a Mac than a PC - scary thought, that. I'm not really a "Windows person", but I'm definitely not a "Mac person" - meeping & I have horrible memories of the old Macs in the chemistry department at Imperial).
Tags: chronic fatigue, college, disability, spoon management

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