The transition does not only apply to young people, as people of any age may pursue further education in order to advance existing skills, learn new skills or change career.
There are a wide range of learning options available to people living with epilepsy including further education and training, apprenticeships, traineeships and employment. Various support services are also available to assist in planning and navigating a successful learning journey, and can be customised to suit the unique situation and needs of a person with epilepsy.
For example, some people living with epilepsy and a cognitive disability may require additional assistance when studying at University, TAFE, or private training organisations. Assistance may be required in the areas of planning, education arrangements, accessibility, assistive technology or other supports.
Starting further education and training comes with movement to a new environment, new learning styles, new forms of assessment, and being surrounded by a wide range of different people. This transition can be particularly daunting for some people who live with epilepsy. Consequently, some people may require adjustments to accommodate their specific learning needs.
Support needs will vary for each person living with epilepsy and learning difficulties. For some, flexible deadlines might be enough to manage the impact of their epilepsy on their learning. For others, a broader range of supports might be necessary.
If you are experiencing problems with learning, your treating doctor may refer you for an assessment with a neuropsychologist.
All TAFEs and Universities have dedicated Disability Liaison Officers/Disability Support Officers to assist students with a disability studying in their institution. These staff can assist with:
- The provision of academic support workers (note takers, readers)
- Access to adaptive technology (voice activated software)
- Alternative arrangements for assessment (additional time, scribes)
- Alternative course materials
- Enrolment and campus orientation
- Liaison with lecturers and teachers
- Physical access to facilities
- Referral to other support services (counselling, health, housing, finance).
The Disability Standards for Education 2005 clarifies the obligations under the Disability Discrimination Act 1992 and provides students and prospective students with a disability the right to education and training opportunities on the same basis as students without a disability. The University of Canberra has developed an informative and practical video for individuals, families and communities which outlines the Disability Standards for Education, which can be accessed here. A good education is an important foundation for later employment. Information and resources about employment and epilepsy can be found here.