The Disability Support and Inclusion Service provides a confidential, professional and accessible service for disabled students or those requiring adjustments for other reasons, e.g. pregnancy.
The objectives of the Disability Support and Inclusion Service are to:
- Provide advice and guidance for prospective and current disabled students.
- To ensure equal opportunity, access and attainment for disabled students within the university.
Who we support
We support individuals with any impairment, disability, medical condition or injury including those with:
- Specific learning difficulties
- Physical or mobility impairments and injuries
- Sensory impairments
- Mental health difficulties
- Long standing illnesses or health conditions
- Asperger’s syndrome and autism
- Temporary - We will assist students who have a temporary disability which lasts for a period longer than 3 weeks. Temporary disability can include injuries, e.g. broken arm, or viral infections, e.g. glandular fever
- Pregnancy - Pregnant students are able to register with our service and can receive reasonable adjustments throughout their pregnancy
- Trans* students in medical transition
*Trans is intended to be an inclusive umbrella term which may be used to describe a student whose gender identity differs in some way from that which they were assigned at birth included but not limited to; non-binary people, gender non-confirming people and those who partially or incompletely identify with their sex assigned at birth.
Please contact the Disability Support and Inclusion Service for further information, a confidential chat, or to arrange an appointment.
Email our team or call 01483 216657.
When choosing to study at one of our campuses you may wish to consider:
- Building accessibility
- Facilities for a service dog
For applicants with significant physical difficulties we can arrange a personal visit to your chosen campus so that you can experience our campuses and make an informed choice. If you would like to do so, please contact the Disability Support and Inclusion Service as early as possible in the application process to arrange a campus visit.
Choosing the right course
- Before you start your course, it is very important that you have all the information so that you can make an informed choice about what and where to study.
- We provide a set of programme demands documents for each programme of study, which identifies how the different modes of study are taught and information on the structure of the course and the assessment methods. You can download these from the section further down this page.
Disabled Students’ Allowance
What is Disabled Students’ Allowance?
- You can apply for Disabled Students’ Allowances (DSAs) if you live in the UK and have a disability that affects your ability to study on an undergraduate or postgraduate course in the UK.
- The DSA helps to pay for extra costs that you may have to pay, when attending your course, as a direct result of your disability. The allowance can help with costs of a non-medical helper, major items of specialist equipment, travel and other costs.
- More information about DSA can be found in Bridging the Gap on the Government website.
How to apply
Students should apply as soon as they can for DSA to make sure they have everything in place for starting their course, however students can apply during their course. The process can take up to 14 weeks, DSA is open for applications in the early Spring.
You do not need to wait until you have been offered a place at University, you only need to have applied. DSA is fully transferable between UK universities should you choose another university.
- Obtain medical evidence (e.g. doctor's letter or full diagnostic dyslexia report).
- You can check evidence eligibility with our Disability Support and Inclusion Service.
- Complete application form available from our Disability Support and Inclusion Service or from the DSA website.
- Your funding body (either Student Finance England or Wales) will respond to you in approximately 3-4 weeks stating your eligibility
- If your application has been accepted, the letter will ask you to arrange a Study Needs Assessment. The DSA Needs Assessment is not a test but an opportunity to evaluate a range of assistive technologies and study strategies. These will be considered in relation to the impact of your disability and the demands of your chosen course of study.
- Book a Study Needs Assessment with an accredited DSA Quality Assurance Group assessment centre.
Your chosen assessment centre will help you through the rest of the process. If your application has been declined speak to the Disability Support and Inclusion Service as soon as possible.
Disability Support and Inclusion Service and your DSA
The Disability Support and Inclusion Service can:
- Help with the DSA application
- Help with arranging a DSA Needs Assessment
- Explain aspects of the DSA Needs Assessment report
- Help co-ordinate a network of support
- Make recommendations to academic departments about such things as course adjustments
- Help to resolve any difficulties that may arise
You can send us your Disabled Student Allowance application (with required medical evidence) by email, and we will check that it is filled in correctly and post it for you. If it is not filled in correctly, we will let you know of any amendments that you need to make, and post the application once any omissions are rectified.
Other sources of funding
EU and international students are not covered by the UK Disabled Students' Allowance system.
Students who are not eligible for DSA funding are advised to contact the Disability Support and Inclusion Service as soon as possible. A Disability Support Officer can discuss any additional funding options that may be available to you.
Funding from charitable trusts
Trusts may help you for different reasons, depending on their criteria. For example, they may help because of:
- the subject or course you are studying
- your personal circumstances, such as your impairment or medical condition
- where you live or have been brought up
- your family, your parental circumstances or their occupation
- your current or past occupation
- or a combination of the above.
Please see the Disability Rights UK website for more information.
State benefit assistance
For further information about state benefit assistance please visit the UK government website. Please note not all benefits are compatible with Disabled Students’ allowance. Please check with DSA for an updated list.
Specific learning difficulties
Our Disability Support and Inclusion Service provides advice to our students on Specific Learning Difficulties (SpLD’s) such as Dyslexia.
You may have been referred to us via your tutor who suspects that you may have a specific learning difficulty. Alternatively, you may be concerned that you might have a specific learning difficulty and it is affecting your academic performance.
If you have previously been assessed and already have a report which outlines recommendations, this should be submitted to our Disability Support and Inclusion Service for review. In many cases a further assessment will not be necessary however please note that, due to the nature of some courses and/or the requirements of Professional Regulatory Bodies, a student with a Specific Learning Difficulty may be required to undertake a new SpLD assessment.
Please email us if you would like to discuss being assessed for a Specific Learning Difficulty. We refer students to the Educational Guidance Service for assessment.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I get assessed?
If you are based in the UK, we can arrange for you to have a SpLD assessment with the Educational Guidance Service where appropriate. For students outside the UK, we will investigate the options available to you in your country. The diagnostic assessor will meet with you and administer a series of tests. This appointment could take a few hours. The diagnostic assessor will then provide a report roughly within 20 working days of this meeting.
Are there any costs involved in getting assessed?
We will arrange for you to have a SpLD assessment with the Educational Guidance Service. There is a £75 student contribution fee. Please note, if you fail to attend your booked appointment with the Educational Guidance Service without giving at least 48 hours’ notice, the university is charged a cancellation fee and therefore we will not be able to fund any future SpLD assessment for you.
After the assessment
Once the assessment process has been completed and you have received a report from the diagnostic assessor, you will need to contact the Disability Support and Inclusion Service to discuss the findings of the report and its recommendations.
Exam access arrangements
If your report has recommended exam access arrangements such as the use of a computer or extra time, it is essential that you alert the Disability Support and Inclusion Service. It is important that this is done at the earliest opportunity, as we require 28 days’ notice prior to the first exam of the exam period to guarantee adjustments.
Where the deadline is missed students can choose to absent themselves from the examinations and enter a concession application for the absence, explaining the situation including the reason for late disclosure. Further details on concession application can be obtained from the course handbook, the assessment regulations and the campus assessment office staff.
Disabled students’ allowances (DSAS)
The report may recommend that you apply for the Disabled Students' Allowance. For further information about this, please do not hesitate to contact the Disability Support and Inclusion Service.
Disability Support Agreements
A Disability Support Agreement is a document, put together by our Disability Support and Inclusion Service, which specifies all the reasonable adjustments an individual student is entitled to whilst studying with us.
We require supporting medical evidence in order to put any reasonable adjustments in place. Once we have received the medical evidence, we will review the recommendations and draw up a Disability Support Agreement. Disability Support Agreements are valid for the length of the course, including any re-sits, unless agreed otherwise.
Where the Disability Support and Inclusion Service considers that an adjustment requested by a student is not reasonable or is not supported by sufficient evidence, the student will be advised accordingly. The student can subsequently liaise with the Disability Support and Inclusion Service and either submit further evidence to support their case or request a review through the Disability Review Process.
Non-Medical Helpers is the (non-medical) human support recommended in a students Disabled Students' Allowance Student Finance entitlement letter which may include the following:
- Specialist study skills tuition for students with specific learning difficulties (SpLDs), including dyslexia and dyspraxia.
- Specialist mentoring for students with mental health difficulties and chronic health conditions (including chronic fatigue syndrome/ ME).
- Specialist mentoring for students with autism spectrum disorders or Asperger’s syndrome.
- Note takers to assist students who are unable to take their own notes.
- General support workers for assistance, for example with carrying study materials between sites or accessing library resources.
- Orientation support on arrival for new students with visual impairments or who have difficulty route finding.
- Assistive software training.
Personal emergency evacuation plans (PEEPS)
PEEPs are advance plans for those who may need assistance or special arrangements during an emergency evacuation.
If you think that you may need assistance leaving the building in the event of an emergency please contact the Disability Support and Inclusion Service.
If you have any first aid requirements please contact the Disability Support and Inclusion Service.
Disclosure and Confidentiality Declaring your disability or needs
If you have a disability, medical or mental health condition, pregnancy, specific learning difficulty or if you are in the medical aspect of gender transition, please make sure that you let our team know at application stage and provide the appropriate supporting evidence as soon as possible.
This information will allow us to contact you prior to your course to ensure that we can work with you to make informed decisions about the support you may require.
We can then liaise with others who should know about the effects of your disability, such as teaching staff and the assessments office. It is important to understand the value of declaring your disability. If we do not know about it, we may not be able to provide the support you require.
It is advisable and beneficial to declare your disability when applying. However, you can let the Disability Support and Inclusion Service know at any stage of your course. Please note that support cannot be backdated; in some cases of late disclosure students may need to take a break from study in order that sufficient support can be put in place for them. We would therefore encourage you to disclose your disability to us as soon as possible, as failure to do so may affect our ability to put in place certain adjustments by the start of your course.
How your information will be used
The information that you provide will be used to enable us to liaise with those colleagues who need to know about the support that you require.
Your data will not be disclosed for other purposes without your consent, except where there is a legal obligation to do so or where exceptional issues of personal safety arise.
The information will be processed and held in the university administration systems and used for the administration of your academic related support and any other legitimate university purpose. In doing so, the university will observe at all times the data protection principles embodied in the General Data Protection Regulation.
Where a student discloses a disability for the first time to a member of university staff, the staff member is then deemed to have received the information on behalf of the university and has a duty of care to report the student’s declaration of a disability to the Disability Support and Inclusion Service.
For Needs Assessors
For Band 1 and 2 support we mainly use Clear Links as our support provider. If you require further information, or have specific recommendations not otherwise covered in this information, then please contact us on 01483 216657 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss the matter with one of our team.
Disabled Students Allowance - Help if you're a student with a learning difficulty, health problem or disability.
Royal Institute for the Blind - Help if you're a student with a learning difficulty, health problem or disability.
Dyslexia Association - The British Dyslexia Association (BDA) has been the voice of dyslexic people since 1972.
Dyspraxia Foundation - Offering help and advice to people with dyspraxia, parents, carers, and families about or on the subject of dyspraxia.
Action on Hearing Loss - We're the UK’s leading charity supporting people with hearing loss, deafness and tinnitus.
The Disabilities Trust - We are a leading national charity offering specialist community-based and residential support for adults with acquired brain injury, complex physical or learning disabilities and for people with autism, including those in education.
Access to Work - Get support in work if you have a disability or health condition (Access to Work).
SANE - Mental Health Awareness - We believe that no-one affected by mental illness should face crisis, distress or despair completely alone.
AbilityNet - AbilityNet supports people of any age, living with any disability or impairment to use technology to achieve their goals at home, at work and in education.
Educational Guidance Service - Our large team of Educational and Occupational Psychologists have a wealth of experience working with children, young people and adults who are experiencing specific learning difficulties and social and/or emotional problems.
Student Health Association - The Student Health Association serves as a forum for members to discuss matters relevant to the provision, quality and effective management of student health care.