The first time I went through the UK’s Disability Needs Assessment process to secure Disabled Students Allowance for a PhD, it took four months and the production of a letter that I wrote, signed off by my then-supervisors, clearly stipulating the range of activities that typically distinguish postgraduate researchers from any of the prior stages of academic study.
Going through this process again now, and despite having supplied this letter to my Needs Assessor, it’s become apparent that these points about the specific character of PhD activity need reiterating. And if I’ve had to say them not just once but twice, there’s a strong chance I won’t be alone in this.
Here’s the process, in brief. In the UK, disabled and chronically ill PhD students will be entitled to access support from the Disabled Students Allowance, a fund that provides for equipment, specialist and non-specialist helpers, and other provisions that…
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