Help Sarah Return to Medical School

by Sarah

Help Sarah Return to Medical School

by Sarah
Sarah
Case Owner
I am Sarah. I have autism and consequently I am currently being unfairly excluded from returning to my final fifth year of study by my University. I have not been accused of wrong- doing but only that
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Sarah
Case Owner
I am Sarah. I have autism and consequently I am currently being unfairly excluded from returning to my final fifth year of study by my University. I have not been accused of wrong- doing but only that
Pledge now

This case is raising funds for its stretch target. Your pledge will be collected within the next 24-48 hours (and it only takes two minutes to pledge!)

Latest: Feb. 4, 2021

I still need help to raise funds

Hello.

Thank you for your continued support, things are slowly progressing.

Despite numerous requests to do so, my university has refused to engage in mediation.

I have been working as a healthcare assi…

Read more

Who am I?

My name is Sarah. I have autism and consequently I am currently being unfairly excluded from returning to my final fifth year of study by my University. I have not been accused of wrong- doing but only that because of my autism and emotional needs I might not be well enough to return. There is no current evidence to support my ongoing exclusion.

Why I'm taking legal action?

I believe I am being discriminated against because of my autism. The University has failed to offer reasonable adjustments to enable my return, failed to obtain medical evidence to support its ongoing exclusion of me, and has failed to comply with its promises to afford my return in 2020/21. All of my difficulties arise in consequence of my autism disability and I seek funding support to enable me to take a stand against the University for its unfair treatment toward me.

I am bringing a legal case against my university so I they are held accountable for its failings toward me and indeed toward all others who may have autism.

Why should you help? 

I know that medicine is a challenging degree, and doctors are held to a high standard. I was meeting all those standards. I had a traumatic experience, and after that I needed reasonable adjustments. My university failed to accommodate me, and they continue to exclude me.

I would like to hold my university accountable for discrimination I faced. My claim is based on the Equality Act.

This case could set a precedent for how universities handle students on the autistic spectrum. Since sharing my experience, many students have reached out to me, to tell me that they have experienced similar things. I do not think that people with autism should be treated in this way.

My story

I was a medical student. Throughout my life I worked hard to pursue my passion for medicine, a career I aspired to follow from an early age. After working hard to manage my difficulties I secured my A Levels and enrolled at medical school and thereafter diligently made my way successfully into my fourth year.

Tragically in my 4th year I suffered an acutely serious and traumatic incident which caused me serious emotional distress. No person should have had to experience an event of this kind, and I suffered a bit of an emotional breakdown of the kind that anyone experiencing this would. For the first time during my medical degree I really needed help and support from my University. This was in order to assist me through the final phases of my studies. Despite my requests the University failed to deliver the support that its own expert advice called for to be made for me

Consequently I suffered further by having to take a suspension from my studies in September 2018 even though medical evidence supported my return to studies at the time. However despite acknowledging that medical evidence was calling for my return to my studies the University has delayed in making a decision to allow my return without seeking ,within any reasonable time ,the evidence from an expert in autism to address my need for reasonable adjustments upon my return.

The University decided however in March 2020 that subject to medical evidence confirming my fitness to return it would permit my return to my final year of study in September 2020. I believe it was possible had the University acted more quickly by obtaining evidence sooner, to have accommodated my return with identified reasonable adjustments in September 2019.

I made a complaint to the OIA in August 2019 (the higher education adjudicator) over the failings of the University. The adjudicator reached a decision on my complaint in July 2020 criticising the University for its failings to obtain medical advice before my being excluded and explained it was critical of the University not following its own occupational health recommendations. Furthermore it found that the University had acted unfairly when it came to review its decision to exclude by including personnel on the decision making panel who had been involved in my original exclusion.

Despite its promises to arrange a committee to approve my return, the University have unreasonably delayed even to the extent of arranging a panel in September 2019 but then calling it off. It has failed to arrange an equality act compliant process and panel to decide my case ever since. Accordingly my return even scheduled for September 2020 has been delayed without any good reason.

Why am I raising fund?

Due to the complexity of my case, and the amount of paper work my university has generated I have had to engage lawyers to assist me. I need to raise funds to meet their legal costs and in particular the costs of issuing proceedings and seeking a barrister to draft my claim.

This is a David and Goliath fight, for me at present. The University has resources whereas I do not. I am and individual challenging a well-resourced Russel Group University, this is very difficult for me, due to being on the Autistic Spectrum.

This campaign is very important to me. If I am unable to raise the funds I need, I may not be able to continue to get my case to court and my career will be ruined.

To have the opportunity of being heard by an independent court is very important to me, and my case could set a precedent for the future management of cases like mine.

How can you help?

I need your help to raise the necessary funds. If you are unable to donate at this time and please consider sharing the link.

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Update 2

Sarah

Feb. 4, 2021

I still need help to raise funds

Hello.

Thank you for your continued support, things are slowly progressing.

Despite numerous requests to do so, my university has refused to engage in mediation.

I have been working as a healthcare assistant in an Intensive Care Unit dealing with Covid-19 cases. It is exhausting, and as a result I have been unable to work on my crowdjustice campaign as much as I would like to.

My solicitors fee's are adding up, so I need to raise a bit more money. Please donate if you can, or share my page if you can not donate.

I still need your help to raise funds, you can help by doing any of the following

  • Post a link to Facebook asking your friends to pledge
  • Tweeting the link to my crowdjustice page
Update 1

Sarah

Sept. 18, 2020

Things are moving along

Thank you for all messages of support and donations.

On 28 August 2020, my lawyer sent a letter before action to my university. We offered them the chance to attend mediation, in the hopes that we could avoid going to court.My university then had 14 days to reply.

As of yesterday they were still refusing to engage with mediation.A barrister is now being instructed to finalise the pleadings and a claim will be issued in the court soon.

I still need your help to raise funds, you can help by doing any of the following

  • Post a link to Facebook asking their friends to pledge
  • Tweet in support.

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