This would not be discrimination in any kind of statutory sense. However, small handheld dictation machines can be purchased for about £25 on the Internet or from the likes of Argos and there is no reason why one of those could not be used in addition to your daughters existing piece of equipment and the tape simply given to whoever is doing the assessment.
There is no obligation on anyone doing an assessment to allow it to be recorded although there is nothing illegal about your daughter doing a covert recording and then simply referring to it if ever it is alleged that “we never said that”
Can I clarify anything else for you?
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Best wishes. FES.
It isn’t illegal. They may not like it but there is nothing illegal about it. These are simply their own guidelines. They are at liberty to stop the assessment if they wish. However if your daughter is entitled to benefit, they cannot refuse the benefit because she was recording the meeting. They would have to give her another meeting.
Your only alternative is to arrange to have the equipment to record the meeting and either buy it or hire it. I have already said that this is not discrimination in any statutory form. If you are to argue that, you would be arguing that they are only discriminating against her in not providing the recording equipment because she is disabled. However their policy quite clearly states that it’s the same for everyone so it cannot be discriminatory.
If you wanted to pursue this further with them because you feel it is discrimination, the legal cost of doing so are going to be far more than the cost of hiring recording equipment or simply having 2 cheap tape machines and the timescale for going to court is not going to be quick. I have just looked on the Argos website and a basic cassette player/recorder is under £20. The court fee alone is going to be £255 if you wanted to challenge the process.
There is something else that you can do and that is have a third party take a transcript of the meeting which you can keep for your own purposes and you don’t have to let them have a copy of.
I know you want to compel them to provide a recording of the meeting but they are not under any duty to do that and it’s most unlikely that a court action would succeed even if it did, it could be many many months before it got court I simply cannot give you the answer you want I’m afraid regardless of how much I would like to.
I feel your frustration. This is no less than bullying by the institution. However, if they will simply not bend the rules or provide recording equipment you have no option but to provide your own.
I have read the report when they investigated this as to whether they should provide recordings of all these assessments and whoever did the investigation completely lost the point. He was looking at it to see whether recorded assessments were any better or not, he wasn’t looking at it as to whether the assessments were completely accurate in respect of the outcome with regard to the content. I have had it reported where there were certain things mentioned in the assessment which were completely ignored in the outcome report.
I have also had questions from people who are dyslexic and are simply not capable of making comprehensive notes.
Unfortunately, the people that run these assessments will simply go along with the rules. It would certainly be worthwhile investing 40 quid in a couple of those cheap tape machine because although the outcome is not going to be changed, at least it’s guaranteed that you both have an accurate account of what was said in the meeting and it’s very difficult to deny anything was said (or not said) if there is a recording. It seems to me that the Department doesn’t want accurate recordings which is why they thought obstacles in the way. I may be wrong but I’m sure that’s how you feel.Before you go, please don’t forget to rate me. The thread does remain open and we can still exchange notes if you need to clarify anything.