Five minutes with… Trainer Katie Pickett

  • NAME: Katie Pickett
  • JOB: e-Quality Learning Trainer
  • LOCATION: Bristol
  • FAVOURITE BOOK: Harry Potter
  • INTERESTING FACT: Used to be a holiday rep abroad

Best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?

“To not procrastinate – to get on and do it! Don’t let it pile up until you are left feeling like you can’t cope.”

What piece of advice do you give learners?

“I often hear from my learners: ‘I want to give up‘ – my biggest piece of advice that I give to them, and could give to anyone who is at uni, is that it’s going to be hard – if it wasn’t, everyone would be doing it! Also the equipment that the DSA provides is ground-breaking and it cuts the hard work down and enables learners to get by like everyone else.”

Favourite learning software?

“Audio Notetaker – because everything is there in one place and you can have it on your phone so you don’t always need to take your laptop with you everywhere.”

What inspired you to become an AT trainer?

“When I was given my equipment at uni I didn’t use it at first because my trainer talked so fast I couldn’t understand. It was not until I bumped into another student with the same equipment and they were able to explain it to me.

“I went for the job as a graduate because I wanted to make sure people with difficulties would get the right training, bespoke to their needs. I have taken a lot of training courses and worked with people with all sorts of learning differences because I want to be the best trainer I can be.”

If you could make one change in education for DSA students, what would it be?

“One big change is to take away the £200 levy on laptops.

“Another very important and wider ranging one is that universities should not only focus on the written word to measure intelligence and knowledge, as people think and learn so differently.

“I wanted to use this subject as a PHD research project but was turned down as I think it was too controversial. It’s a dated approach and it should be more inclusive of all sorts of disabilities as all people learn differently. For instance, for my law exam I had to complete a 4-hour written exam which I only got 54% on, I also did an oral presentation for which I got 85%!”


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