Sunday, May 22, 2011

I've applied for a job - wish me luck!

There's a couple of part time posts going at the uni for disability advisers and after a little push from my friends in the LTI and BLU departments I've applied for one of them.

Hopefully under the 2ticks scheme I should at least get an interview depending on how HR view my application prior to passing it on to the head of disability services but.. Meh, we'll see.

This is the personal statement I included with my scanty cv offerings (scanty because I've obviously had no job since getting me/cfs and I didn't see the relevance of adding the stuff I did over 10 years ago)

As a soon to be graduating student at the university I am fully aware of the facilities available and how to access them from the student perspective and have personally benefited from the assistance provided by the disability support team. I understand the university systems and am aware of the procedures already in place.

I feel that I could bring something to this post beyond the people facing, administrative and customer service type skills my CV demonstrates. I not only have personal experience of studying with both a young child and multiple hidden physical disabilities, but I have voluntarily participated in two projects associated with blended learning and the use of technology through the Blended Learning Unit: Dominic Bygate, the then team leader of the CABLE (Change Academy in Blended Learning Enhancement) group project said of my work “Vicky has had an enormously positive effect on the project and has made a huge contribution in terms of the technical aspects, the coordination and the direction of the project”. August 27, 2009 (via my linkedin profile:

I am also currently the student member of a Higher Education Academy (HEA) funded project ‘Developing an Inclusive Culture in Higher Education’, the aim of which is to develop an inclusive teaching strand to the University's curriculum design toolkit. The core team members, besides myself, are Helen Barefoot and Sarah Flynn of the Learning and Teaching Institute and Marcella Wright; Head of Equality. Together we are trying to assess the needs of all staff and students across the institute and develop mechanisms through which to best support them. During the recent HEA residential I ran an open space session for the other student delegates, all of whom have a disability. We discussed the levels of support within their institutions and determined specific challenges from the student perspective and considered how best to address them.

Use of technology is integral to all aspects of work and study and I am passionate about ensuring technology is used to best effect to aid learning. I would relish the opportunity to promote the more integrated use of technology within the curriculum, ensuring that all students are given the maximum opportunities to succeed.

I have provided support and guidance for fellow students with disabilities and have been able to provide guidance on accessing the Disabled Student Allowance as well as information regarding Disability Services and the appropriate contacts for students in need. I also provide online support and mentoring for sufferers of chronic fatigue syndrome and I have published coping strategies based on research and my personal experiences.

I am an active member of several online support networks for parents and people with disabilities and would like to continue in that vein by offering help and support for students to create their own coping strategies where appropriate; whether it be leveraging online social media and choosing technologies to complement their learning style and physical needs or simply choosing a work flow to make the most of their strengths and creating a study needs agreement to reflect that.

Most of all, I want to be in a position to help people achieve beyond their expectations and make use of my own skills and knowledge in doing so; being able to support other students who for whatever reason may struggle with university life would be the logical extension of my time at the University of Hertfordshire; they would benefit from my personal experience and knowledge of possible tools and techniques to aid their studies as well as the core function of first contact for their basic study needs and well being.

Fingers crossed that's enough; I've been boning up on uni policy and the disability/ equality act in preparation for a possible interview.. I mean how ACE would it be to not only get my degree but to get OFF benefits before my graduation ceremony actually occurs?

Yes, I've worked out the finances and taking this job potentially leaves me £100pm worse off than I am on incapacity but tbh I don't really care - maybe I can make that up with some freelance web design or finally making jewellery to sell - the most important thing is getting out of the benefit trap and on the path to finally owning my own home, after all - wages increase more than benefits and once Bella is full time at nursery Stef can work and a combined income will remove any deficit on my part.
..I hope.

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