Support queries

Will my lecturers know about my support requirements?

Disability Services work closely with our colleagues across the academic schools and other services so we can let them know about your requirements. This also allows you to have a choice of staff to contact across the University.

How do staff know about my requirements?

When your requirements have been identified, your Disability Adviser will produce a Personal Learning Support Plan (PLSP). The PLSP is a document that outlines very clearly what your support requirements are in the different academic settings. The PLSP is made available to you and the people in the University who will be providing your support. This includes your module leaders, your personal tutor,  your disability co-ordinator and the Library Disability Support Officer.

The PLSP is a flexible document and the recommendations made can change depending on your circumstances and the demands of your course. Some of the areas covered by a PLSP are adjustments for  teaching and learning situations, exams and assessments, field trips, practical or performance sessions and placements. The document also outlines your support worker recommendations.

Who can I approach for assistance?

In addition to your Disability Adviser who is based in Disability Services, you can also contact the following people about your support requirements. Click on the link for contact details:

– are staff based within your school who will ensure that teaching staff are made aware of your PLSP and who can be a first point of contact for you and any queries you may have. 

Library Disability Support Officer – is a member of staff based in the Computing and Library Services who can offer disability specific guidance about access to the library and the resources.


How can I get assessed for dyslexia/Specific Learning Difficulty (SpLD)?

We offer lots of support for students with a SpLD, and can arrange for you to have an Educational Psycholgoist Assesment.

1. Firstly, you will need to arrange an appointment with a Disability Adviser through iPoint. At this appointment, the Adivser will talk through the process of getting a full Educational Psychologist Assessment and the support available to you. You will be given a questionnaire that covers the difficulties you are experiencing, and you will have the opption to proceed to a full assessment.

2. Prior to completing the assessment, you will be required to pay a £60 contribution. This is paid online.

3. The assessment will be carried out by an independent, qualified psychologist or an indiividual with an Assessment Practicing Certificate.

4. You will be asked to complete various tasks which will provide a proile of the wya you may affected by a SpLD.

5. You will be given an Initial Recommendations sheet which will confirm whether or not you have a SpLD.

6. If you do, your recommended support will be details in a Personal Learning Support Plan (PLSP) available to relevant staff at the University. The full assessment report will be sent to your student email address and may include details of further support options and how to access them.

Each student with a SpLD will receive support that is individual to them. This may involve making accommodations in lectures, seminars or exams, or when using University facilities.


Can I get support whilst on placement?

Disabled students have the same opportunities as non-disabled students when undertaking work based learning or placements. If you require some additional support or adjustments before and during the placement or you are not sure about whether you will need support, please contact Disability Services, your Placement Unit/tutor or Careers and Employability Services to discuss this further.

Examples of support include: 

  • Support to write the application letter or to produce a CV.
  • Arranging a placement close to your home or with good links to accessible public transport.
  • Ensuring that you can access the work placement using ramps, height adjustable desks, push pads on doors, accessible toilets etc.
  • Making specialist equipment and software available - e.g. screen reading software, speech to text software, magnification software, adapted mouse or keyboard, use of a digital recorder etc.
  • Making changes to working hours such as working less days each week to complete the placement over a longer time period or altering start or finish times.
  • Providing a support worker such as a British Sign Language Interpreter. 

We strongly encourage you to disclose your disability to your placement provider. This will ensure that you can fully demonstrate your skills and abilities. We will not pass information about your disability to the placement provider without your permission and there may be options to partially disclose your disability.

For more information about this, please see the Disabled students' guide to placement support


What are support workers?

You may be recommended a support worker (sometimes referred to as a non-medical helper) either through the Disabled Students' Allowance or through your Disability Adviser. If so, Disability Services have a range of different support workers. These include:

  • Specialist support tutor.
  • Study mentors.
  • Notetakers.
  • Campus support - assistance in getting around the campus and using facilities.
  • Library support.
  • Research assistance.
  • Study buddy - assistance to settle in to University and student life.
  • British Sign Language Interpreters.
  • Teacher of the Deaf/Language Support.

We also arrange exam support workers such as amanuensis (scribe), readers and prompters. We co-ordinate this support with your academic school.


I'm an international student - can I still receive support?

As a disabled international student, you are entitled to the same level of support as a disabled UK student.  Your Disability Adviser will work with you to identify the evidence we need of your disability or condition, the impact your disability has on your studies and the support you need. The adviser will also co-ordinate this support and inform the staff of your requirements.  The support provided by the University’s Disability Services focuses on your academic studies and is intended to enable you to access your course as fully as possible.

It is recommended that you disclose your disability to us as soon as possible.  Early disclosure is advisable for a number of reasons:

  • There may be differences in the type of support you have previously received compared to the support on offer at the University.  If we recognise this at an early stage, we can check that the support you are offered in the UK meets your needs.
  • There may be differences in the terminology and the definition of disability between countries.  It is important that we share an understanding of what the terminology means, what your disability is and what impact it has on you and your studies.
  • It may be difficult if you are studying in unfamiliar surroundings and dealing with the impact of your disability unassisted.
  • You will be in a better position to achieve your full potential if you have the academic support that you require.

 The 'What information or evidence do you need to provide?' section above outlines what information or evidence we require from you to put support in place. 


What if I need personal care?

If you would like to live away from home whilst studying for your degree but require support with your daily living activities, the University may be able to help.  We link with an organisation called Volunteering Matters (formally known as CSV) who provide volunteers to live alongside you and to support you with all aspects of your personal care.  They are funded by your Local Authority and are supervised by a dedicated member of staff at the University.
If you would like to discuss this to see whether it would be suitable for you please contact us.