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College and University
Thinking about what you want to do after finishing school can be a difficult decision for anyone. If you are thinking about studying further, such as going to college, sixth form or University, choose subjects that interest you and that you enjoy doing.
It is important that your college, university or sixth form know about your condition, so that they can provide the necessary support to help facilitate your learning and studying. Your SENCO from school may be able to help you to find the right person or department to speak to. All higher-education facilities should have a Disability Adviser who can provide advice and support.
Funding is available to help support you to attend University or College. This is called a Disabled Students’ Allowance (DSA). https://www.gov.uk/disabled-students-allowance-dsa
UCAS and The Complete University Guide have detailed information on supporting students with disabilities at University. https://www.ucas.com/undergraduate/applying-university/individual-needs/disabled-students
The Snowdon Trust provides grants to students with disabilities studying in the UK https://www.snowdontrust.org/
Disability Rights UK have a helpline available for advice and questions related to further education: https://www.disabilityrightsuk.org/how-we-can-help/helplines/disabled-students-helpline
You may choose to start working straight after school instead. Finding a job that you enjoy and suits your ability can be daunting. There is a lot of information available about finding the right job and getting the appropriate support at work.
As a permanent employee, you are protected by the Equality Act (2010) and Disability Discrimination Act to ensure that you are not disadvantaged in the workplace because of your disability.
Muscular Dystrophy UK have a work-experience scheme for young people in London. Their website also has further information about working with a Neuromuscular Condition https://www.musculardystrophyuk.org/get-support/everyday-living/work
The Government website has specific advice to help support people living with long-term conditions to get a job https://www.gov.uk/looking-for-work-if-disabled
The Access to Work scheme can help ensure you have the appropriate reasonable adjustments in place when starting work. https://www.gov.uk/access-to-work
Learning to drive
Many young people are excited at the prospects of learning to drive. For most people, you can start learning to drive when you are 17 years old. If you receive the “enhanced rate” for mobility for Personal Independence Payment (PIP), you are able to apply for your provisional licence from the age of 16.
Having a neuromuscular condition may not impact on your ability to drive, however, some people may require some adaptations to the car to help them with driving.
The Queen Elizabeth Foundation offers driving assessments and training for people with a range of abilities. They are a very useful resource to see what adaptations are available to help support driving https://qef.org.uk/our-services/qef-mobility-services
The Motability scheme (https://www.motability.co.uk/) allows you to lease a car in exchange for the enhanced rate of the mobility component of your Personal Independence Payment. A Blue Badge (https://www.gov.uk/apply-blue-badge) is also available to allow you to park in Disabled Bays.
MDUK have further information available on their website: https://www.musculardystrophyuk.org/get-support/everyday-living/transport
Mental health support for young people
Finding support near you https://hubofhope.co.uk/