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Subject:

Re: Computer suppliers

From:

Claire Wickham <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Discussion list for disabled students and their support staff.

Date:

Mon, 26 Mar 2007 09:16:36 +0100

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (452 lines)

Hi,

I tried the link to the paper recommended by Nasser but the link had
expired: could you circulate a link please EA?

With thanks,

Claire 


Claire Wickham
Senior Disability Officer
Disability Resource Centre
University of the West of England
Frenchay Campus
Coldharbour Lane
Bristol BS16 1QY
 
Tel: 0117 328 3737
Textphone: 0117 32 83644
Fax: 0117 32 82935
 
Please note that this e-mail was written using speech input and may
contain some small voice recognition errors.

-----Original Message-----
From: Discussion list for disabled students and their support staff.
[mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of E.A. Draffan
Sent: 25 March 2007 17:35
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: Computer suppliers

What you say John is backed by comments from many students in the survey
we
completed.   We have also been trying to hold focus groups with students
to
discuss the issues.  Where they have taken place I have fed back the
information to the student services department that held the focus
group.  

There is a split as to how students receive support - in their homes
from outside trainers sometimes linked to suppliers or specialist
training companies or training on the campus in an AT suite or at an
assessment centre.  

Those who take up the training, often say they benefit from the
experience but would like additional support in the way of handouts,
audio files, video, FAQs, Just in time or drop in time for queries that
arise.  Most importantly many wanted to be trained using their own work
materials so that it all connects to their day to day study skills
rather than just being shown the devices or software. Some were also
grateful to be able to train on their own computers, so that these can
be set up in a way that suits their learning preferences. 


Best Wishes E.A.

Mrs E.A. Draffan
Assistive Technologist
Mobile: 07976 289103
http://www.emptech.info/

-----Original Message-----
From: Discussion list for disabled students and their support staff.
[mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of John Conway
Sent: Sunday, March 25, 2007 4:48 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: Computer suppliers

Can anyone comment on the training side?   Assessors recommend training,
but
how is it provided?  Does the student have to chase up once the
equipment arrives?  Is the trainer alerted by assessor or supplier?  Is
the supplier also the training provider??? Does the assessor follow up
to see if equipment and training has been provided?

I am surveying some 150 DSA holders at present but they've just gone
home for Easter - all replies so far have implicated issues with
training on the software

John


Dr John S Conway
Principal Lecturer /Disability Officer / Chair, Research Committee Royal
Agricultural college, Cirencester, Glos GL7 6JS
01285 652531 fax 01285 650219
http://www.rac.ac.uk/?_id=590



-----Original Message-----
From: Discussion list for disabled students and their support staff. on
behalf of Nasser
Sent: Sun 3/25/2007 11:06
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: Computer suppliers
 
Alex

I am glad to hear everything you have said is exactly what I would like
to hear from every Do/Assessor/Trainer which is to engage with the
suppliers to improve their services. You have demonstrated that by
actively helping and training you have managed to turned them into an
excellent company and therefore more of the same would help others
achieve the same goals as those of Avantek. 

I would also expect that other suppliers have had a similar relationship
with their Assessment centres/Trainers to develop such a quality system
otherwise it would be unthinkable that these suppliers would be getting
any referrals from these centres and thus would find it hard to survive
in the industry.

I would expect by you gathering of the information and feeding it back
would greatly help the suppliers who may have failed to fulfil parts of
their responsibility for the good of the students. Maybe in your own way
you will help to accelerate the process of raising the standards within
this industry. 

I have no doubt QAG and Suppliers and all stake holders will support and
applaud you in this mission.

If you feel there are areas of improvement in my operation I would be
grateful for your feedback.

Best wishes
 
Nasser Siabi
Managing Director
Microlink PC (UK) Ltd
Direct: 02380 240 316
Mobile: 07870603128

This email and any files transmitted with it are confidential and
intended solely for the use of the individual or entity to whom they are
addressed.
If you receive this e-mail by mistake, please advise the sender
immediately by using the reply facility in your e-mail software. Also
destroy and delete the message from your computer. Please note that any
views or opinions presented in this email are solely those of the author
and do not necessarily represent those of Microlink. Finally, the
recipient should check this email and any attachments for the presence
of viruses. Microlink accepts no liability for any damage caused by any
virus transmitted by this email. Any modification of the contents of
this e-mail is strictly prohibited unless expressly authorised by the
sender. 
Microlink House, Brickfield Lane, Chandlers Ford, Southampton  SO53 4DP
(Company number: 3325643)


-----Original Message-----
From: Discussion list for disabled students and their support staff.
[mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of alex larg
Sent: 24 March 2007 23:13
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: Computer suppliers

Nasser,


As an independent freelance professional I have a  policy of trying to
be
completely open and above board about my Business. I intend to, and try
very
hard to, maintain my integrity so that when I work with (student or
other)
clients, AT suppliers, LEAs, Assessment Centres and Universities, they
know
that they can trust my professional, independent  and uninfluenced
opinion.
I buy my own equipment with nothing supplied by companies which may make
me
feel obliged to use them as a supplier. I have my own professional
insurance
and I want to maintain my freelance status with the Inland Revenue.

"...Much sooner than this..." I have only been an independent
stakeholder
for about two and a half years and now I am in a much stronger position
to
campaign for students' rights since I don't have ties or line
management. I
answer to myself and my clients. (and if I didn't like their feedback I
could put it in the bin I guess - but I don't - I listen and try and
improve.)

I have worked with and advised a number of suppliers over the 10 years
that
I have been in the business of advocating the rights of disabled
students. I
have worked with Tony Lees at Avantek and helped his company develop
feedback forms, helped him to train professional trainers and also
provided
disability awareness training for him and his company employees.

I personally feel that Avantek are an excellent supplier, who answer the
phone when you ring, who provide goods within a  reasonable timescale
and
who provide excellent follow up support if something goes wrong with a
machine supplied by them. I have seen from experience that their support
is
prompt, sympathetic but not patronizing, fast, and on-site, which for a
disabled student is essential in my opinion.  I am not saying Avantek is
perfect and we all have room for improvement, but I have provided a lot
of
training for students who have been supplied with Avantek computers and
this
is how I have this knowledge of Avantek's service provision. I am also
sure
that some other companies out there do the same good work, again from
experience and client feedback.

However it is not my view but the students' views here that count
surely. I
don't want to make assumptions and that is why I am seeking to gather
evidence which is relevant to disabled students' experiences in HE of
DSA
and specifically in this case computer equipment supplied to them. Of
course
this does and should extend to training.  But as an independent trainer
working across the board with different suppliers machines, I feel well
placed to gather this evidence. People are writing to me off list, I
have my
own personal experiences with numerous students over the years and I
have
numerous friends and colleagues out there who are  disability officers
(overworked and under-resourced) who often have to help pick up the
pieces
with D/disabled students.  (Again dis-forum members and associates
please
let me know of your experiences and your students' experiences and
support
me if you feel it is appropriate off or preferably on list.  A - me too
-
will do.) 

I may be reinventing the wheel (my version is round by the way) but I am
doing this free of  charge. I am trying to be open and above board and I
am
willing to listen to what is said and to keep an open mind.

The Walt Disney philosophy is that:-

Rule 1 - the customer is always right.
Rule 2 - if the customer is wrong then see Rule 1.

That doesn't seem like a Mickey Mouse idea to me - it seems like forward
thinking and the best possible approach, especially when (disabled -
social
model) customers are virtually forced to use this premium service in a
"cartel" type set up.

Yours sincerely,

Alex 

Alex Larg 

[log in to unmask]
07931 561 877 or 07916 175 077
Freelance Assistive Technology Trainer
Freelance study needs assessor
Former Disability Officer


On 24/3/07 11:42, "Nasser Siabi" <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> Tony
> 
> Don't panic mate, he is saying you are one of the good guys, I say
this
> because I know Alex is one old timers of this industry and he knows
all
> the play makers and if he had any issues with your company or mine or
> Ian's he would have proactively contacted us to inform and resolve the
> problems much sooner than this. He does not strike me as being a type
of
> person to want to wait for things to sort themselves out and he would
> rather make sure the student welfare came first and naturally he would
> kick some rear ends to make sure this happens immediately.
> 
> So, I think if you have not heard or spoken to Alex before on major
> issues then you are not the type of supplier he is talking about.
Would
> that be a good assumption Alex?
> 
> best wishes
> 
> Nasser
> 
> Tony Lees wrote:
> 
>> Whilst I am grateful to Alex for mentioning Avantek alongside such
>> illustrious company I am sure he did not mean to suggest that Avantek
are
the
>> sort of supplier that would provide our student clients with less
than
>> adequate machines, support, training or service. We are justifiably
proud
of
>> and continually strive to maintain our consistent record of excellent
service
>> - see www.avantek.co.uk/dsa.
>> (rant over).
>> 
>> Regards, Tony
>> 
>> Avantek are the First DSA-QAG Quality Assured, Accredited Supplier.
>> 
>> Tony Lees
>> Avantek Computer Limited
>> Computer Systems and Solutions; hand crafted by artisans for the
discerning
>> client.     
>> St Peter's Road 
>> Arnesby, Leics, LE8 5WJ
>> tel: 0116 247 8515
>> fax: 0116 247 8843
>> 
>> http://www.avantek.co.uk
>> 
>> e-mail disclaimer: http://www.avantek.co.uk/e_disc.htm
>> 
>>  
>> 
>>> -----Original Message-----
>>> From: Discussion list for disabled students and their support
>>> staff. [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of alex larg
>>> Sent: 22 March 2007 14:12
>>> To: [log in to unmask]
>>> Subject: Computer suppliers
>>> 
>>> Dear Colleagues
>>> 
>>> I have worked as an AT Trainer, assessor and Disability
>>> Officer for around 10 years now. Over that time I have worked
>>> with hundreds of students and some of them seem to have been
>>> supplied with unsuitable computer hardware.
>>> This may be due to assessors not recommending appropriate
>>> kit: we all make mistakes - I have made and learnt from many
>>> myself, but this is not my concern here.
>>> 
>>> It may, however, be due to the suppliers not providing
>>> adequate machines and/or not providing good and accessible
>>> follow up support to their clients.
>>> 
>>> DSA-QAG has been set up, at virtually no cost I believe,
>>> to... Well I'm not sure what for, but the point is they have
>>> introduced a service level agreement (SLA) for suppliers who
>>> also have to pay for the privilege of supplying equipment as
>>> a percentage of their turnover. (I'm sure I will be kindly
>>> corrected for my incorrect facts within this paragraph by
>>> colleagues.)
>>> 
>>> My point, when I eventually get there, is that DSA-QAG SLA,
>>> is dentally challenged, i.e. there is/are no teeth, or at
>>> least none that I am able to find. (see above.)
>>> 
>>> What I would ask of you is to ask your colleagues and
>>> students for their feedback of experiences with suppliers
>>> such as Microlink, Iansyst, Avantek and other DSA suppliers
>>> as I wish to collate some information for evidence to take to
>>> DSA- QAG / DfES, as I fear from my experience some students
>>> may be receiving a less that satisfactory service.
>>> 
>>> Of course positive feedback is welcome, but I have to be more
>>> concerned with the less satisfactory side of the service too.
>>> 
>>> I am sending this message cross-forum, and so apologies for
>>> those receiving this a number of times.
>>> 
>>> I also ask Nasser at Microlink, in his position as
>>> representative for suppliers and tier discussion group, to
>>> circulate this message on their list.
>>> 
>>> Please pass this onto any other appropriate lists so we can
>>> obtain as wide feedback as possible. I am in the process of
>>> rejoining NADP (if they will have me) and so this has not
>>> gone to that list. Maybe someone at NADP could pass it on if
>>> that is deemed appropriate.
>>> 
>>> I know that suppliers generally ask clients for feedback, but
>>> I feel that system may be slightly compromised and I don't
>>> know whether that information is published anywhere.
>>> 
>>> 
>>> Please contact me off-list with your replies.
>>> 
>>> Thanks for you time.
>>> Best wishes,
>>> 
>>> Alex 
>>> 
>>> Alex Larg
>>> Freelance Assistive Technology Trainer
>>> Freelance study needs assessor
>>> Former Disability Officer
>>> 
>>> 
>>> 
>>> 
>>> 
>>> 
>>> Sent using the Microsoft Entourage 2004 for Mac Test Drive.
>>> 
>>>    
>>> 
> 

Sent using the Microsoft Entourage 2004 for Mac Test Drive.
This e-mail is confidential to the intended recipients. Access to this
e-mail by anyone else is unauthorised. If you are not the intended
recipient, any disclosure, copying, distribution or any action taken or
omitted to be taken in reliance on it, is prohibited and unlawful. The
recipient acknowledges that the Royal Agricultural College cannot
control
the content of information received in transmissions made via the
Internet.


Royal Agricultural College (Registered in England No: 99168) & Royal
Agricultural College Enterprises Ltd (Registered in England No: 2752048)
are
the trading names of the Royal Agricultural College

Registered Office: Royal Agricultural College, Cirencester,
Gloucestershire,
GL7 6JS

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25/03/2007
11:07
 

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