college bound?

After my interview last week for college I was told to nip in to talk with Learner Services to discuss financial support for disabled students.

Arriving at college I headed to Learner Services, unsurprisingly they were unable to help and send me over to finance. This did not go as planned….

After a 5 minute conversation which included going round in numerous circles the verdict was simply.

“We do not guarantee any financial support to disabled students.”

But I need access to the books to complete my course, surely you will help fund that?

“We cannot guarantee that.”

The cherry on the cake? the course will have been running for over a month before they even make a decision. So I would have to start the course sans books and I MAY get them at some point.

A little angry and disappointed I headed home. I quickly got on task and began looking for a book scanning service. I shot off a few emails and waited for a response. After 20 minutes I got bored of that and decided to start ringing around.

First port of call Action For Blind/RNIB. They were incredibly helpful and gave me the contact information for Leeds University Transcriptions services. After explaining my needs we got down to the nitty gritty of cost, £7.42 pp. Which for the roughly thousand pages I need require comes in at a whopping £7420.

More than a little out of my price range, shocked at the price I returned to online research. After a few calls I managed to find a private sector service that would do it for 30p a page +VAT.

A little math shows it would cost:

Books: £70
Scanning: £352.50
iPad: £429
Total: £851.50

This is before any other supplementary scanning costs for other documentation. I simply cannot afford to pay that much for 2 books.

The solution? Well thanks to my previous role I am reasonably tech savvy. So onto the shopping list goes a book scanner and a whole host of post processing tools. The money saved will be negligible but will allow me to run a service at cost for other users that need books scanning at a reasonable price.

7 thoughts on “college bound?

  1. This makes me ridiculously angry. All the money that gets thrown into giving people who don’t want a job or can’t be arsed to better themselves, yet they can’t help a man who will lose his vision and is trying to secure himself and his family for life. Ridiculous.

  2. Thats shocking to hear about the college and students who require help due to disability. That being said, The book scanning service that you’re thinking of doing is a brilliant one Simon. I can’t see any issues with it as long as the original is owned or the publishers are paid respectively. Otherwise you might end up in with a court order.

    That being said, they “should” see the gap in the market and fill the needs of those like yourself!

    I hope you manage to get this one sorted! I hate it how people are stopping others from working. My mum works at a disabled school for children between 4 and 18 years old. Im sure that they would benafit from having something similar. Afterall most kids love computers! 🙂

  3. I have spoken to the respective publishers for the books I need to scan and they gave me the OK.

    If I was to offer it as a service then that would be a different matter, something I will research!

  4. For full disclosure I am actually in talks with the college about funding for resources. As I sent a complaint email which resulted in them calling me in to discuss it. I will do a new blog post once there is a resolution.

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