TextHelp version 10 now available across the University network

Texthelp Read and Write version 10 is now available to all students and staff at the University of Nottingham via the universities IT network.

Dr. Barbara Taylor, head of the Academic Support team that works with students with a range of specific learning difficulties for whom the software is particularly useful described the news as “a major triumph” and comes as a result of a long period of working closely with the Universities Information Services (IS) division.

The software can be accessed by anyone logged on to a networked PC via the Start menu, “UON software”, “tools”, “Misc Software” and then click on “Texthelp read and write”.


Channel 4 Talent boutique

Please read on for news of another exciting opportunity to find out more about working in the media in particular Channel 4…

‘Talent Magnet?

The media landscape is changing at such a pace and therefore so are the critical skills and experiences needed for emerging leaders. The success of our business and yours relies upon us attracting, developing and retaining people from the widest possible backgrounds.

As emerging leaders and future talent, Channel 4 would like to invite you to our Talent Boutique on Thursday 7th July 2011 at Channel 4 from 6:30pm.

The Boutique will be held at our main Building:
Channel 4
124 Horseferry Road,

If you would like to attend please RSVP to wrl@channel4.co.uk by Tuesday 5th of July.

If you require this information in an alternative format, please contact Simon Devereux at sdevereux@channel4.co.uk ‘

Channel 4 searches for talented disabled production staff

Disabled people are being given the chance to sample life in the television industry with Paralympic broadcaster Channel 4.

Six salaried placements of up to a year are being offered in sport, drama, factual and factual entertainment programming.
As part of the legacy of London 2012 Olympic Games and Paralympic Games, the government’s Office for Disability Issues(ODI) are working with media companies to positively raise the profile of disabled people’s talents.

The Games’ legacy offers an opportunity to make a lasting difference for over 10 million disabled people in the UK as well to the disabled people visiting in 2012.

The closing date for applicants is Monday 6 June 2011.

Would you like to get paid for sharing your experiences?

Would you like an evening of paid work sharing your experiences of dyslexia, dyspraxia or autism?

Omega events are run in collaboration between the University of Nottingham, Nottingham Trent University, New College Nottingham and Aimhigher, designed to raise awareness of college and university life to students aged 13-19 with any disability.

We are looking for a student to come and chat with local pupils about their experiences, help with the logistics of the event, and give a short presentation about their experiences of support available to them at university on the evening of Wednesday 6th April in Nottingham City Centre.

Please get in touch with Rachael Ellwood if you would like to work:
T: 0115 84 68115
E: rachael.ellwood@nottingham.ac.uk
W: http://www.nottingham.ac.uk/wideningparticipation

Body, mind and mood – how Yoga has helped my mental health

Ahead of our Any-Body Club yoga session, starting on Thursday 3rd February, one of the University’s students has written a blog about how yoga has helped her to manage and improve her own mental health…. handing you over to Vicky Powers….

Hi, my name is Vicky Powers, I’m studying part time for an MA in Social Policy and Administration and I am the Mental Health Officer for the University of Nottingham Disabled Student’s Network. To tie in with the Any-Body Club’s Yoga for Managing Mood and Mind, I’m going to write a little about my experiences of living with mental health issues and the positive differences yoga has had on my mental health.

I was diagnosed with depression in 2007 and I’ve been up and down with it since. Sometimes it is just there in the background; I’m getting on, I’m flourishing, I’m achieving. At its worse, it is hugely disabling, every day is hard work and the very basic tasks of looking after myself are too much for me. This time last year, my depression worsened. Most days I felt unable to leave the house. I went on long term sick from work, and ended up losing my job, although with support, I managed to stay on my MA course.

It was my dad who prompted me to start practising yoga, basically saying that I needed to get out and do something. Yoga attracted me because I knew I found it hard to relax. I had started to have panic attacks, and was scared that they would get worse. My doctor had told me a bit about breathing techniques to help control panic, and I felt that the focus on breathing in yoga would help me. I found a teacher in Nottingham who had experience of working with people with mental health issues, who reassured me that, even though I felt I couldn’t take on anything new, practicing yoga might be able to help and that it was worth a try.

I found the first sessions quite difficult. I felt uncoordinated; I was convinced I was breathing “wrong” and focusing on my breathing actually made me more anxious. Then after a few weeks, something “clicked” during the relaxation at the end of the session. I felt an incredible sense of wellbeing and safety. For someone who had for a long time felt an intense sense of despair that I would never feel better, that half hour was such a relief and I left with a much needed optimism that I could feel better.

One of the ways in which yoga works on your nervous system was explained really simply to me. The nervous system has two responses: one is the way your body reacts under stress- the “fight or flight” response. Panic attacks happen when your body is reacting to stress that isn’t necessarily there. The other response is the “relax and digest” response; this is the way you feel after eating a big Sunday dinner and everything slows down. One response cannot work whilst the other is responding. One of the things yoga teaches the body is how to move from one state to the other. The yoga asanas place the body under stress- a safe, manageable stress- that quickly gives way to relaxation whilst resting after each move and at the end of the session.

It didn’t take very long for me to feel the benefits of learning how to turn on the “relaxed” state. It meant that I could get into bed, check my breathing and acknowledge that I was anxious and panicky. The feeling would either give way to relaxation by itself, or I knew I had the tools to help myself to relax. No more did I spend nights angry and anxious that I couldn’t get to sleep. The reduction of anxiety and the increase in sleep meant my mood improved. I felt I could think clearer and find ways to make changes in my life to begin to feel better.

Practicing yoga allowed me to explore the link between body and mind, and this made a big difference to how I see myself. In the past, I’ve viewed my body almost as a traitor. It lets down the team; it has panic attacks and it won’t let me sleep. It makes me feel sick when I know I need to eat. It hurts; it is awkward and has no grace. It seems silly talking this way, but that was how divorced I felt from my body. That first yoga class, as I lay and put my hands on my stomach and felt my breathing, I was really uncomfortable being with my body. It felt too intimate.

I can see now- even more importantly, I can feel- the connections between body and mind. How relaxing areas of my physical body can slow down the thoughts going through my mind. How my mind and my body can work together to help all of me feel better. From the outside looking in, I’m still not very good at yoga, my balance is poor and I’m always trying to take shortcuts in postures because I can’t hold them for long. But from the inside, I can tune into that feeling of wellbeing and hope and connection with myself and the world around me.

I know that depression is likely to feature in my future, I know it isn’t something that is just going to vanish; but I feel more equipped to cope with it. Practicing yoga has been part of that- not all of it and it might not work for everybody- but it has helped me.

If you’ve been inspired by what Vicky has written and feel that yoga could benefit you, then why not get yourself booked on the ABC yoga course? Details below;


Any-Body Club Yoga – Managing the Mind and Mood


Dates: Thurs 3rd February – 31st March (excluding 3rd March)
Times: 12.30 – 2pm
Venue: University Park Sports Centre
Cost: £16 for 8 sessions
Booking: University Park Sports Centre reception: 9515516

For more information: hannah.webber@nottingham.ac.uk

Exciting new scholarship opportunities

EmployAbility, a not for profit organisation providing a free service to students and graduates with all disabilities, including dyslexia or long term health conditions are currently recruiting for paid opportunities for disabled students/ graduates of all disciplines.

 There are 2 programmes however with more immediate deadlines looking for those studying Computer Science, Information Technology, Maths, Physics, Engineering, Business/Finance/Marketing.  These opportunities are open to students and graduates who have dyslexia, any other disability or long term health condition only:

A 7,000 euros scholarship for 2011/2012 academic year for students in Computer Science or related field. In June 2011, all scholarship recipients will be invited to visit Google’s Engineering Centre in Zurich for a 3-day networking retreat.

Application deadline  Thursday 27th January 2011

  • Cisco EmployAbility Graduate Programmes 2011 (links below)


Highly sought after and competitively paid trainee programmes, starting August 2011. Location (post training): UK, France, Germany, Netherlands.

  1. Associate Sales Representative
  2. Associate Systems Engineer
  3. Associate Network Consulting Engineer


Application deadline  Sunday 30th January 2011

More information about other EmployAbility programmes

Students and graduates testimonials can be found on the Employability website.

For more details on either the schemes please contact:

Claire Martese

Tel: +44 (0)7825 288 119
Email: claire.martese@employ-ability.org.uk

New ASD Transitions course starts soon…

The University of Nottingham ASD Transitions programme has been specifically designed to enable students to explore and discuss issues around Asperger’s  and ASD and the  transition from education into employment. The course is delivered on the principal that any job is open to any student and the presenters will work with you to ensure you understood exactly what your preferred employment might mean for you and what reasonable adjustments would enable you to have a successful fulfilling career.

The course is delivered in a small group setting which encourages discussion and learning. The course is delivered by Malcolm Johnson author of ”managing with Asperger Syndrome”  and Peter Kay from the University of Nottingham’s Centre for Career Development.

A former participant of the course said the following –

“I found the ASD transition project very helpful not only because it helped me to learn more about asperger’s and myself, but also some of the potential issues facing people with asperger’s within the workplace. It was good to be able to discuss these things not only with peers who also had asperger’s but  also with someone with asperger’s who had practical firsthand experience of the workplace, but also with a careers advisor. The structure of the course makes it easy to follow and there is plenty of time for discussion. The structure of the course also means that it is not particularly time consuming and easy to fit around your studies”.

The ASD Transitions programmes will commence on the 6th December at 1.30pm (room to be confirmed). If you would like to participate then please contact peter.kay@nottingham.ac.uk

UoN Disability Tweets

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