I am beyond stressed. Just came out of a meeting with the manager of the college I am in and the rehabilitation officer. I was not expecting this today. I did get to raise all of the issues I am having though which is good I guess. It was a pretty positive meeting overall. I told him that I was not happy that I wasn’t able to access all of my notes, and I also told him that maybe I should get a reader. At first he said maybe we could record the classes, but then he decided that wouldn’t be a great option because of data protection and copyright and other issues of possibly the student in the class not wanting to be recorded as there is a lot of class discussion. So then I said would he get me a laptop. He eventually said yes he could but then he tried to tell me it would take 3 months. He gave me the option of exiting the course and coming back in 3 months when all issues have been resolved. I quickly said no that I didn’t want to do that. I would prefer to just continue with how things are now. So then he said he could probably get me a second hand laptop. He’s also going to talk to the training standards officer about the exams and assessment process and see if we can get alternative questions set for the ones I am unable to do, and see if I can have a reader. Usually they aren’t allowed to see the exam papers or assessment instructions before they take place but he said he’d make a case for me and hopefully they’ll agree and let them have them. I told him that everything else was going fine, and he said I was doing a good job on advocating for myself. I did mention my level of frustration which is why he gave me the option of exiting for a few months until everything is sorted out. I guess it will show when I do my first exam in two weeks. We’ll see then how well I am coping I guess. Until then, I’ll just work with what I have and how things are. Its all I can do.
Well I’m still loving college. Granted things arent fully started yet, its all still the induction process, so pretty boring stuff. We havent done any course work yet. Basically all we’ve done is have a couple presentations on what the programme will look like, on the rules and regulations, and signed some documents, about our rights as students and our responsibilities and also we had to sign the internet usage policy. We also talked about misconduct, and the things that are considered misconduct and the consequences of that. We had a talk from the rehabilitation officer, the resource teacher, and the manager of the college. We have to do health and safety and manual handling which is also part of the health and safety process. The manual handling will be done tomorrow. The instructors told us today their giving us Friday off so I was delighted to hear that. Early mornings are so hard. I’m still getting used to getting up early and it hasnt fully hit me yet but I did notice I do get very tired in the evenings. I stayed behind today after class to talk to the instructor about accessibility stuff and all that hasnt been fully ironed out yet. We mostly talked about the exams and getting them in an accessible format. We talked about me possibly getting a reader to read the text in my typing timed exams, an actual reader as in a person who can do that. We also talked about me possibly having alternative questions set if there were ones I couldnt answer due to their being images etc that my screen reader wont read. I’m not worried because I know these things will be ironed out over time. As I said to the instructor today there is always a way around something, sometimes you just have to look hard to find it. I found out that when it comes to work experience we have to find our own, I was under the impression that the school would find it for us. they do help you to get your resume ready, apply for jobs, do interviews etc but they do expect that you will be instramental in finding your own placement. Again I wont worry for now, it wont be happening for another year yet. The people in my class are really nice. Everyone is friendly and they have all been really helpful to me which I am grateful for. I’m really enjoying it and long may it continue.
So today was my first day of school. And it was great. I didnt sleep too well last night, only managing 2 hours in total. After getting up at 7:45, I showered and ate a bowl of cerial and drank some coffee. I had to leave at 9:45 AM. Normally class starts at 9 but because this is just the induction week its starting at 10:30 each day, with a 9 AM start on Thursday. When I got there the instructors were on their coffee break. But one of them came over to me and she made a point of asking me what I wanted to tell the other class members about Nitro, and whether I wanted to do it myself or have her do it for me. I told her to let them know not to pat him if he was working, and also not to feed him. She also asked me if I was ok with people helping me around the building, I said yes I’d welcome that. At 10:30 we went in to our class and started the induction process. Basically its going to take 3 weeks, they’re easing us into the course I think. Today we just went over the rules of the college, we talked about sick days and holidays and annual leave, we discussed our weekly payment and the school secretary came in and we had to sign forms so that we could be put on their system. The manager of the college also came to talk to us for a couple of minutes. We will have 3 instructors on the course, all female. There are 8 modules, including word processing, spreadsheets, database, the internet, work experience, communications, etc. At the end of each module there is an exam. At the end of our first year we will recieve our qualification. Then we can go on to do work experience in the second year, some people do and some dont. Some choose to just get their initial qualification and then leave. The instructor told us that every Monday the instructors have to do admin work for an hour and a half so we will have a 10:30 AM start on Mondays. Thats nice at the start of the week, not to have to get up super early after the weekend. I was pretty nervous this morning going in but once I got there the nervousness disapated and I settled down. The instructor told us of the supports which are available to us while we’re there. Some of which are a psychologist to talk to us if we’re struggling or need outside resources, a rehabilitation officer who we can talk to if things are impacting our training, a resource teacher to help if your struggling with maths or english etc. Of course I’ll also have Eileen and Dr barry and Mark the OT too. So I am very lucky with the supports that I have. Overall though it was a great day and a great start and I am very happy with how today went.
So recently I wrote that I will be starting a new course soon. The course is computer related, and leads to a computer related qualification in a years time. The name of the course is information processing. So I recently had the interview and I think I’ve been accepted. I didnt get the acceptance letter yet though. But I’ve spoken to the manager since the interview. He sounded positive that I’d be accepted on the course. He said he had started making arrangements about installing the technology that I need, purchasing a new computer for me to use etc etc. So all that sounds really positive to me. I may not be able to start at the same time as everybody else, because its gonna take time to organise things for me in order that I can start. When I went to the interview with the instructors on the course we talked about it and they said that if I missed a couple of weeks at the start that I’d be able to catch up later. I am not to kean on starting after everyone else, but the manager reassured me when I spoke to him that they do intakes a couple of times a year and that he wouldnt let me start alone because he didnt think that would be a good thing. Today I got a call to say that the manager wants to meet with me next Wednesday at 10 30 in the morning. I’m not sure what he wants to meet me for because it wasnt actually him who called me. I hope things are still ok and that there are no issues. I’m kinda worried in case there are issues presenting now. It cant be because of my medical because he told me he got that and it was all ok. Maybe though he just wants to go over some things with me and ask me some more questions. I also have to sit a maths and english assessment some time before I start the course. I really really hope there are no issues because I am really looking forward to having something to do to keep my mind occupied again.
So yesterday we had the second interview for a place on the course we are applying for. I, Carol anne went and did the interview. I was nervous, but I neednt have been. The course instructors were really nice. They were very friendly and approachable and they answered all of my questions about the course.
I was early for the interview and they commented on my prompt arrival wich was nice. We sat down and we discussed lots of stuff relating to my disability, mental illness, my needs while on the course, what technology I would need, etc etc. They said I may not be able to start on the actual starting date because they need to prepare for me coming in to the course, for example they need to get my computer with jaws ready, they need to talk to the head office about getting my exams in accessible format, etc.
I said I’d rather start with everyone else, and if I didnt I’d be really anxious and stressed out, but if I dont there really isnt anything I can do. They said they’d be hoping that I can start alongside everyone else, and they’ll do all they can to ensure that I do.
The course runs five days a week from 9 AM until 3 30 PM. There are 8 modules and each one lasts for six weeks, with an exam at the end of each one. I didnt tell them but I am hoping for the highest grade, a distinction, in each of my exams. I really want to get the best qualification I can get out of this. They said I’d have my qualification by next summer and then for the second year I’d be going out into the work force to do a work placement. The modules are in areas like word processing, spreadsheets, powerpoint, email and internet, text production, etc. I’m really excited to start.
I had to register with the local employment service which I did yesterday in order to get offered my place on the course. Today I am going to my GP to get my medical filled up. Then, next week I have to go in and sit an assessment in maths and english. That is to see how proficient you are in these subjects.
So its all go. The course is due to start on september 8th. I’m hopeful of starting on that date. Keep fingers crossed that I do!