The argument is as follows: I'm not going to be better enough to do very much in May; but waiting until September is plain stupid. I'll get frustrated and behind. Really, I want to go back in June or July, but that isn't an option. Bah.
So I have to figure out getting some extra support from my Disabled Student's Allowance. The Disability Office at College reckons I shouldn't need to have a "top-up" Needs Assessment, I should simply need "some hefty medical evidence", but that still requires effort on my part. And I'm not exactly sure what I need in order to manage at College. Things that might be suggested are:
* a Personal Assistant to help with a manual wheelchair
* taxis all the way from home to College
* an electric wheelchair/scooter
I can't use a manual wheelchair without help because London pavements are absolutely terrible. I simply don't have the strength to push myself around, except indoors. So it's get help with a manual wheelchair, or get an electric wheelchair.
I don't know. I'm pretty uncertain about getting a random stranger as a PA, because I have enough problems using my Library Assistant funding. I feel too guilty and uncomfortable having someone I don't know sitting in the library with me waiting for me to need a book. Oh sure, they're being paid to be there, but it makes me anxious. I think I'd feel triply anxious if the person I didn't know was pushing my wheelchair - sometimes I get panicky when Richard apparently launches me into a stream of traffic. I really don't want a stranger doing that, and then sitting around while I do work for me to need help with moving myself again.
There is the option of asking someone I know to be my PA, but the DSA payment would only appear on proof that the person is paying tax and National Insurance. It would probably mean doing a Tax Return, which is sufficiently stressful as to provide a serious disincentive.
I'd much prefer to get an electric wheelchair or scooter so I can get myself around. Even if I have to pay for it myself. But there's a lot of things I don't know. The principal ones, which are technically Google-able except that I am totally out of spoons for today are:
1) Can you rent a scooter by the day, or is it always by the week?
2) Can you take scooters into London taxis? Are their ramps strong enough?
3) If I have to pay for it myself, would it be cheaper to buy a scooter from eBay rather than renting one?
4) How much life does a typical scooter battery have on it, and how do you go about charging scooter batteries?
5) Are you allowed to take electric scooters into academic reference libraries? (British Library and UCL Science Library being the main ones - and this will probably need an email to the Disability Liaison person rather than being found online).
This is all hurting my head.
Also, are there any livejournal (or dreamwidth) communities for people with disabilities/chronic health conditions other than chronic_health, malingerers and sicklygoth, all of which are dead? I can see why it happens - people run out of spoons so stop posting, but it's rather eurgh when you need advice. Really, I want some sort of UK-focused community, since at least half the questions above are very locality-specific.