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Profile: Susan Hedges
Subject: BA Popular Music Studies
Institution: Liverpool Hope University
My name is Susan Hedge. I’m 22 years old and studying a BA Hons in Popular Music Studies at Liverpool Hope University. I’ve always been interested in music and when leaving St Vincent’s School for the Blind I studied at Liverpool Community College where I obtained an HND in Music. I applied to three Universities to study Music and found the forms easy and straight forward to fill in. Obviously being blind I needed someone to help me do this. I was accepted for all three and chose Liverpool Hope University as the course content covered subjects I enjoy most.
I applied for Disabled Students' Allowances which paid for the specialist equipment I needed such as a laptop with voice-recognition software. It also pays for a note taker who also assists me in specialist areas such as Music Technology to help me operate the studio recording equipment.
I live in a student flat on campus with four other students and have a great social life going to clubs, swimming, choir, etc. The few problems that have occurred have been, not because the University staff have been unhelpful, but because they do not always understand my disability needs and do not know how to support me correctly. It is therefore important that you make clear to lecturers what you need such as equipment or extra time for exams. This is your right, don’t be afraid to ask for it or to make further requests during the course if you need extra help or assistance. I was lucky that in attending Liverpool Community College first, I knew what I needed to help me with my studies and was able to present this to my local authority, Hope University and my tutors.
Attending higher education can be a very exciting and enjoyable experience. I still have many friends from my college days and we keep in touch regularly and meet up for social occasions. Just remember higher education is your right as much as any other student. Be positive in your approach both academically and socially and it could be the best time of your life.
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