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College Won't Buy Me A Laptop - What Do I DO?

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  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I am slightly confused.

    When you are on the internet like now, do you have a special laptop or computer at home?

    She has a 20" screen at home but not in college
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Melian wrote: »
    There's nothing to stop other people using my PC.


    Yes there is, because it would be allocated to you as YOUR PC.

    If there's nothing to stop people using YOUR PC then there's nothing to stop people using YOUR LAPTOP.

    What aren't you getting here? You would have a PC with a big monitor that is allocated to you that no-one else is allowed to use. It's exactly the same as having a laptop, but it's

    a) less costly
    b) not requiring you to carry a laptop around
    c) not requiring any special installation process for the school's software
    d) not causing you to have to wait whilst the laptop is set up each lesson.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Melian, if you really need this laptop then you are going to have to come with clear answers to pretty much all of the questions people have raised in this thread (and they need to be better justified than I know what's best for me) because these will be the reasons that college have said no so far, and will continue to say no, until it's shown that it's the only option.

    It still sounds to me like you've got a bit fixated on the laptop and can't see all the problems it will cause and can only see the problems with the monitor.

    My user account on my PC is frequently set to funny res's and high vis, and I have a 22" monitor I plug my laptop into to work at my desk. Other people use it, and when I take it back to my profile it comes back to my settings.

    One thing I don't think you realise is that if college give you the use of a laptop, they are then responsible for your use of it and any problems you may encounter. The big ones here are back problems from moving it and RSI/ergonmic problems from moving it. I gather that the big laptops have far more problems with these things than smaller ones (keyboard/mouse positioning is ergonomically worse and they are much heavier) so that will also have to be overcome for you to get one from college.

    Most people with DSA laptops have carrying rucsacs, lightweight laptops, plug in key boards and mouse and stands to get the screen up to a proper level. There's far more to it than just the laptop and the cable as far as providing non standard equipment to pupils is concerned.

    While this thread must be very frustrating, use the questions and the points made as a starting point to make your case to college, and take heed of what people are saying there are some people around with a lot of experience of using laptops in college/uni and travelling with them, supporting them and using large screens for one reason or another.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Other people use it, and when I take it back to my profile it comes back to my settings.

    None of the PCs at college do that. Mine (at home) doesn't even do that.
    One thing I don't think you realise is that if college give you the use of a laptop, they are then responsible for your use of it and any problems you may encounter. The big ones here are back problems from moving it and RSI/ergonmic problems from moving it. I gather that the big laptops have far more problems with these things than smaller ones (keyboard/mouse positioning is ergonomically worse and they are much heavier) so that will also have to be overcome for you to get one from college.

    I wouldn't be carrying it aound with me all day. (if that's what you're trying to say?)

    Just to point out - if I was to have a laptop, I wouldn't need to plug in a mouse or keyboard. I generally find the mouse and keyboard pluged into a PC/laptop harder to use. (I have problems with 2 of my middle fingers & thumb on my right hand)
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I don't know why people are concerned about trying to save the college money, isn't the whole point to see who can get the best and fastest free laptop and printer and extra software etc etc and then see who can get it all bought again for them the next year so they can flog the first lot? I dunno, you'd have thought all you lot were on the side of 'the system', SIGH.

    fight for the free stuff is what I say. when people I know, and people in here get free stuff I usually give a little cheer and think 'fair play', why not in this case too?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Melian wrote: »
    I wouldn't be carrying it aound with me all day. (if that's what you're trying to say?)

    I got the impression that you would keep it somewhere and then take it to where you wanted to use it.
    Just to point out - if I was to have a laptop, I wouldn't need to plug in a mouse or keyboard. I generally find the mouse and keyboard pluged into a PC/laptop harder to use. (I have problems with 2 of my middle fingers & thumb on my right hand)

    Ah, you'll probably need to explain that to them as well, because if you're regularly using the machine then they should want you to be using a proper mouse and keyboard.

    If the information college orginally had is similar to what you've been posting then it's unsurprising they said no, becuase the laptop isn't the most suitable.

    It sounds like you maybe need to sit down with someone who knows about disability access and specialist equipment and the way FE colleges work, come up with a list of what you need (and by that I don't mean laptop I mean 20" display with xyz resolution settings, xyz contrast options, yellow filter, which ever mouse it is you can use etc etc) and then from that list work out the best solution for you.

    Does that make sense? To get what you need you'll need to start from the requirements, then turn those into a list of equipment, rather than the other way round. It's basically the same way as the DSA works. The DSA assessment works out what you need, and then from that list of needs determines what equipment you need to provide that.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    katralla wrote: »
    I don't know why people are concerned about trying to save the college money, isn't the whole point to see who can get the best and fastest free laptop and printer and extra software etc etc and then see who can get it all bought again for them the next year so they can flog the first lot? I dunno, you'd have thought all you lot were on the side of 'the system', SIGH.

    fight for the free stuff is what I say. when people I know, and people in here get free stuff I usually give a little cheer and think 'fair play', why not in this case too?

    It's not actually "free" though, everyone pays for the "free" stuff through taxation.

    But, that aside, I've actually spent this thread trying to explain how a laptop is more inconvienient than a monitor. But melian is not interested. She should be, because the school would need convincing of the opposite before they will consider getting a laptop. But that's not my problem, so I give up.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Mist wrote: »
    It's not actually "free" though, everyone pays for the "free" stuff through taxation.
    Yup the money's gotta come from somewhere
    Mist wrote: »
    But, that aside, I've actually spent this thread trying to explain how a laptop is more inconvienient than a monitor. But melian is not interested. She should be, because the school would need convincing of the opposite before they will consider getting a laptop. But that's not my problem, so I give up.
    Yep I don't feel like there's a lot else to say, we've helped come up with many other solutions so if she's not willing to accept them then she's on her own. There's absolutely no compromise going on
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I genuinely feel, and as somebody that has worked in IT for the last decade I have a valid opinion on this, that if somebody is going to have problems spending 30 seconds changing some settings, then they should seriously consider if studying computer science is the way to go.

    Melian, please consider this. You can't kick up a fuss at EVERYTHING that isn't going your way. You're just going to have to learn to deal with things.

    Otherwise, I agree with the previous two posts, there isn't a lot left to say as you are unwilling to take onboard anything that you don't want to hear.

    Go on, stamp your feet some more with your fingers in your ears singing LA-LA-LA...
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Mist wrote: »
    It's not actually "free" though, everyone pays for the "free" stuff through taxation.

    You pay for uni students to have a laptop, so how is it any different paying for a college student to have one?:confused:

    And another thing - if I was to just have a monitor linked to a PC, then I would need mroe than one because I won't be in the same for the 2.5 days I'm in college and I would also need on for use in the library.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Melian wrote: »
    And another thing - if I was to just have a monitor linked to a PC, then I would need mroe than one because I won't be in the same for the 2.5 days I'm in college and I would also need on for use in the library.

    Which you've only just mentioned after 13 pages :rolleyes:
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Melian wrote: »
    You pay for uni students to have a laptop, so how is it any different paying for a college student to have one?:confused:

    You're reading stuff in to my posts that isn't there. I am not making any judgements over whether you deserve this thing or that thing, I'm making factual statements about the practicalities of both possible solutions.

    In the end, the college will either decide to buy you a laptop, or a monitor, or nothing. What will influence that decision is what arugments you have to support either outcome.
    And another thing - if I was to just have a monitor linked to a PC, then I would need mroe than one because I won't be in the same for the 2.5 days I'm in college and I would also need on for use in the library.

    That is one piece of information that you need to use then. But you also need to go back through my posts and consider all the aspects involved with having a laptop - support, networking issues, non-standard configs, whether your roaming profiles will work.

    I'm not just plucking this stuff out of the air. I've worked in computing or geeked about with computers for most of my life. Laptops DO cause issues and you stand a better chance of getting one if you are informed about what the issues are and what measures you can put in place to avoid them. That may mean that you have to speak to the college IT staff first, before the finance people, to confirm what is and is not a problem.
  • JsTJsT TheSite Graduate Posts: 18,265 I am one with The Mix
    Melian wrote: »
    And another thing - if I was to just have a monitor linked to a PC, then I would need mroe than one because I won't be in the same for the 2.5 days I'm in college and I would also need on for use in the library.

    Two monitors would still be cheaper ;)
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Mist wrote: »
    It's not actually "free" though, everyone pays for the "free" stuff through taxation.
    .
    yes, even melian pays her taxes
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    It isnt a case of getting "free stuff". If there is x amount available for disabled peoples equipment and £1200 is spent on a laptop, when really the expense could have been limited to £120 by buying a monitor - theres more money left over for other disabled people that need things buying.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Melian - I think you should listen to scary monster. You are going to have to plead your case to the school if you do want a laptop, and you're going to need to convince them. You need to identify what your specific needs are and what the best way to fulfill those needs.

    It's a bit perplexing to me though, as to why someone who cant view a monitor, who cant use a normal keyboard and mouse, would choose to do a course in computer studies?

    Also, please do get in touch with your college regarding the login settings - it is fairly straightforward to do. You could even set up a theme and save it, so when you go back on the computer just change to that theme. In fact, computers (especially PCs, sod macs) are so incredibly customisable like that, its just about having the perseverance to do it. And if you have a system admin, they get paid to do it.

    In whatever career you choose where you need to use a computer, you may have to use a screen smaller than 20" - but that needn't be a cause for concern because I am so certain that you can customise even a 10" screen so it is viewable and accessible for anyone with any kind of visual impairments. I'll do some basic adjustments on my PC and post some comparitive screenshots.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    ShyBoy wrote: »

    In whatever career you choose where you need to use a computer, you may have to use a screen smaller than 20" - but that needn't be a cause for concern because I am so certain that you can customise even a 10" screen so it is viewable and accessible for anyone with any kind of visual impairments. I'll do some basic adjustments on my PC and post some comparitive screenshots.

    No mate - it's not so much what is displayed on the screen that is the problem, as the fact that due to the movement of her eyes, if she is using a smaller screen, the boundaries of what she can see are outside the boundaries of the screen.

    I did some reading, and a 10" screen wouldn't be any use for her condition as her field of vision would effectively miss it. Did you miss this:

    My interpretation that Melian confirmed as correct a couple of pages later on
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Doesn't matter...
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    ShyBoy wrote: »
    It's a bit perplexing to me though, as to why someone who cant view a monitor, who cant use a normal keyboard and mouse, would choose to do a course in computer studies?

    There is absolutely no reason why she shouldn't - I know pleanty of people who have visual impairments who use computers every day as part of thier jobs. There is pleanty of technology avaliable to make this possible. Its just that Melian is having problems accesing it.

    Melian you are entitled to support but you need to put forward a rational argument as to why you need it - clearly stating your condition and your circumstances. You also need to state what will happen if you dont' get access to the technology you need. You also need to state what your rights and entitlements are - your much more likely to win your argument if you pin point the exact clause in the DDA which entitles you to support - also anything on your local authorities website, the IUB also probably have some good stuff and your college probably has a disability statement and policy as well - you need to quote that back at them. Lastly your entitled to access education as a part of the UN Convention on the rights of people with disability.

    On two side notes - when i was at university the people who got laptops had them provided by the local authority not the university - so you might need to investigate different sources of funding.

    Secondly you might also need to consider getting a copy of Jaws software as well if your having difficulties with settings etc - also investigate all of the technology options as well.

    I am happy to help you write a letter to your college explaning all of this - if you think it will help - PM me if you would like me to help you with this.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Wyetry wrote: »
    There is absolutely no reason why she shouldn't - I know pleanty of people who have visual impairments who use computers every day as part of thier jobs. There is pleanty of technology avaliable to make this possible. Its just that Melian is having problems accesing it.

    Ibndeed. There's a booklet called 'Understanding Nystagmus' and it says that many people use computers and generally have no problems because they can change the colours and change the position of the screen. I do remember someone from a charity called Nystagmus Network telling me that they know a blind person who works with computers (computer programming I think) and appears to have no problems with it.
    Melian you are entitled to support but you need to put forward a rational argument as to why you need it - clearly stating your condition and your circumstances. You also need to state what will happen if you dont' get access to the technology you need. You also need to state what your rights and entitlements are - your much more likely to win your argument if you pin point the exact clause in the DDA which entitles you to support - also anything on your local authorities website, the IUB also probably have some good stuff and your college probably has a disability statement and policy as well - you need to quote that back at them. Lastly your entitled to access education as a part of the UN Convention on the rights of people with disability.

    They are aware of my condition and my circumstances. I have 2 pieces of paper (and a copy on my computer) that states what Nystgamus is and how it personally affects with working and school.
    On two side notes - when i was at university the people who got laptops had them provided by the local authority not the university - so you might need to investigate different sources of funding.

    I think you're talking about Disabled Students Allowance, which people at further education colleges/6th form aren't entitled to.
    Secondly you might also need to consider getting a copy of Jaws software as well if your having difficulties with settings etc - also investigate all of the technology options as well.

    I will do. I was talking to someone from RNIB yesterday and he did talking aout magnifying software and some of the other options. (font size & colour, background colour, talking & magnifying software, etc)
    I am happy to help you write a letter to your college explaning all of this - if you think it will help - PM me if you would like me to help you with this.

    Thank you.
    No mate - it's not so much what is displayed on the screen that is the problem, as the fact that due to the movement of her eyes, if she is using a smaller screen, the boundaries of what she can see are outside the boundaries of the screen.

    This is correct and pretty much why I struggle to use a 17" screen and anything smaller.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Melian wrote: »
    They are aware of my condition and my circumstances. I have 2 pieces of paper (and a copy on my computer) that states what Nystgamus is and how it personally affects with working and school.

    Does this make it clear to them?

    If it only contains outline information then college will be having the same problems we are.

    Like I said earlier, you'll need to go back to college with a list of your requirements (not your wants, your requirements) and by requirements I mean a list like I outlined earlier, not simply 20" laptop and power supply, the relevant bit of the DDA and the colleges inclusion policy. The RNIB can probably help you out with the legislation side.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Yes it does. They have managed to meet my other needs so far. (the stuff regarding yellow paper)
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Sorry if I've missed it, but what are the reasons the college gave you for saying no?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    That's an easy straight forward one though. Your bit of paper says yellow paper, therefore they've got yellow paper.

    You're possibly giving them too much credit.

    Your bit of paper doesn't say laptop, or xyz monitor with xyz settings therefore you won't get that from them as easily.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    All it says about the monitor is that it has to be least 20".
    Sorry if I've missed it, but what are the reasons the college gave you for saying no?

    They've pretty much said I can use the ones they have. If I use my yellow filter, I should have no problems, which isn't true.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Wyetry wrote: »
    There is absolutely no reason why she shouldn't - I know pleanty of people who have visual impairments who use computers every day as part of thier jobs. There is pleanty of technology avaliable to make this possible. Its just that Melian is having problems accesing it.

    Yea I agree, it was just a sidethought I had if she has so many issues with computers, why do a specific computing course out of choice? Not knocking it or saying she shouldn't, just a bit unusual.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    ShyBoy wrote: »
    Yea I agree, it was just a sidethought I had if she has so many issues with computers, why do a specific computing course out of choice? Not knocking it or saying she shouldn't, just a bit unusual.

    Because she shouldn't have so many issues with computers if the college do their job and allow for disabilities. Not that there's any course where you don't need a computer nowadays.

    Having said that, if the rules only specify a 20" monitor, you'd be hard-pushed to get them to get you anything more than that. Just out of interest, would a dual-screen setup be adequate too? Not suggesting it, because that'd probably be even more of a pain in the arse, just wondering.

    Also, if your college has an art department, it might be worth pointing out that a 20" monitor would be a good investment because it would be good for graphic design. After you've finished with it of course.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I can't believe that some of you guys are even going as far as suggesting that melian shouldn't be studying her course because of her disability. Plenty of disabled people have computer adapted in special ways, there are just so many jobs that would be open to melian at the end of her course, it seems like just another way for people to have a go.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Because she shouldn't have so many issues with computers if the college do their job and allow for disabilities. Not that there's any course where you don't need a computer nowadays.

    :yes:
    Just out of interest, would a dual-screen setup be adequate too? Not suggesting it, because that'd probably be even more of a pain in the arse, just wondering.

    Never tried this.
    Also, if your college has an art department, it might be worth pointing out that a 20" monitor would be a good investment because it would be good for graphic design. After you've finished with it of course.

    Interesting suggestion and something I'd never thought about.

    Thank you RG.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Randomgirl wrote: »
    I can't believe that some of you guys are even going as far as suggesting that melian shouldn't be studying her course because of her disability. Plenty of disabled people have computer adapted in special ways, there are just so many jobs that would be open to melian at the end of her course, it seems like just another way for people to have a go.

    I'm honestly not. I made a post in the last page and made a one sentence comment saying I was confused as to why she chose to do computing when she had so many issues with using a computer. Just my opinion, I couldn't work it out. Then I replied to wyetry who said just because she has issues she should still be allowed to do it saying I completely agreed with her, again reinforcing my point that I was confused as to why someone who does not get on with computers would choose to do computing.

    But again, the vast majority of my post with useful advice was ignored and the one sentence where I stated my bewilderment was ignored. I would be equally confused by someone who gets heavily sea sick and such choosing to join the navy where they will be spending their whole time out at sea. Or someone with a crippled back choosing to be an industrial operative in a warehouse or something.

    It doesn't mean they shouldn't, by any means. But it is so much easier for people to misrepresent what I said to 'score points', where the real points I made are completely ignored. Consistently, as well, because I've reiterated many of them several times, and by this point I'm getting pretty frustrated, not just because every attempt I've made to help has been ignored, and more problems invent themselves aftewards, not just because this thread is dragging on and on because the same questions come up with the same answers, but now people are misrepresenting what I'm saying completely. All of this post, just for a single sentence thought I had. Waste of time?
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