Disabled Student Guidelines for University Accommodation – 2023-24
Accommodation Services (AS) are available to support students living in University accommodation including physical and hidden disabilities. AS works closely with Disability and Dyslexia Student Support (DDSS) regarding students’ requirements, however, all students need to contact DDSS regarding academic studies. AS will work with the student directly about accommodation requirements.
When applying for University accommodation you will be asked during the application process if you require any alteration to the room to support your disability. At this point, your applications will be held until you are contacted directly to discuss any additional needs and source accommodation depending on availability that is suitable for you. The following will provide you with further information regarding the accommodation and is to be used as a guide to support you in applying for accommodation. Please read in full before applying for accommodation.
Support animals are not always permitted to live in University accommodation and before applying please contact the Accommodation Office in advance to discuss options. If you are being supported by a dog then please read the University Assistance Dog’s Policy.
Any support animal that is permitted to live in the accommodation will be the responsibility of the student. It is the owner’s responsibility to ensure the animal is well cared for and all the welfare needs are considered at all times and does not come to any harm.
AS, via the application for accommodation, must be advised prior to applying and agreement must be given before any animal can move into the accommodation.
2. Room Adaptations
AS has experience of providing the most suitable accommodation for disabled students and will consider the student’s individual needs and advise of the most suitable location, room type and access.
While AS can support students, they are not always able to provide all the adaptations required in all accommodation. They will try to provide a variety of options depending on needs.
All discussions regarding possible adaptations should take place before applying for accommodation. The majority of our rooms suitable for physical disability are single en-suite, providing low access to wardrobes and desks. Each room has its own en-suite/ wet room with shower, toilet and wash hand basin. Kitchens, in the majority of cases, are provided with low worktops and appliances for ease of use.
In addition, medical fridges can be installed in the bedroom for the storage of medical items and prescription drugs only. They are not provided for the storage of food or frozen food items. For any student that is deaf, a DeafGard is provided in rooms and are installed for detection of fire alarms.
Rooms are fitted with a standard mattress. If any special mattresses are required due to disability requirements, these need to be supplied by the student. This is because of the various types being available and the need to match mattress to suitability for the individual, which a student is best placed to arrange themselves. All mattresses that are independently installed must be approved by AS and fit the original bed size in the room. The student must advise prior to arrival and obtain approval from the Accommodation Office before installing.
Desk chairs, if those currently in rooms are not suitable to support the disability, can be replaced by AS or alternatively the student can get permission to bring their own by prior arrangement. If this does happen, full details of the desk chair must be approved by AS to ensure the chair is suitable to fit into the size of room.
All adaptations are subject to the suitability of the accommodation, and AS will carry out adaptations in conjunction with the students and consider all reasonable requests. Should adaptations be required, these will be agreed in advance with the student and where possible fitted ready for arrival. Depending on the requirements or move-in date, it may not always be possible to have all adaptations completed prior to moving in. This will be communicated to the student prior to the agreed move-in date. Any furniture items that AS approve for installation must meet Ignition Source 5 as per UK Fire Regulations 1988 or they will not be permitted.
3. Carer Support
While Residence Life offers support, they do not offer specialist carer support. This would need to be arranged by the student or through their local support network if a UK student. If required, additional rooms can be made available for cover if 24-hour care is required. This care needs to be provided by the student and discussed in full with the Social Services Department which needs to be the local authority where the student ordinarily is a resident (such as parent or guardian’s home) and the additional room paid for by the student.
If additional rooms are required for carer support then this will need to be funded from their personal care budget and will not be funded by the university. For International students, access to funding will not be possible and therefore students will need to have sufficient personal funds to cover the cost of any care for the duration of their time at university and arrange this themselves. If this additional accommodation were required, then this would also need to be funded by the student.
For information on financial support that may be available from the University’s Financial Support Team visit the website www.sheffield.ac.uk/ssid/finance/application. There is no guaranteed funding will be available so please consider other options of support that may be available to you.
4. Car Parking
Blue Badge holder car parking is available and passes need to be displayed. Application is via EFM Parking Permit; www.sheffield.ac.uk/parkingservices
5. Fire evacuation and PEEPS
A bespoke Personal Emergency Evacuation Plan (PEEP) is offered to all residents who indicate a need for one via e-induction. PEEPs are required if assistance is needed when evacuating the accommodation in the event of an emergency or require any equipment to alert them to an alarm activation (such as a DeafGard). Students should indicate they require a PEEP when applying for accommodation or when completing the e-Induction prior to arrival. Students will be contacted directly prior to moving in to discuss the PEEP. AS staff will then contact the student once they have moved in to assess the PEEP and do any amends that may be required. Should at a later date a student due to mobility require a PEEP then they should inform Customer Services so a PEEP can be put in place.
6. Early arrival/settling in period
Early arrivals due to disability can be agreed in advance but will depend on availability and are not guaranteed; early arrivals are primarily in place to assist with travel arrangements and to meet a disability related need. If students have any questions or concerns about settling in prior to arrival, they can contact the Residence Life team via email@example.com for advice and support.
All students living in the accommodation are allocated a Residence Life Mentor who will support them throughout their time in the accommodation. Residence Life Mentors will introduce themselves at the start of the year, help new residents to settle in, regularly check in with their mentees’ wellbeing, and offer to help resolve any concerns residents may have. Residence Life Mentors ask their mentees at the start of the year if they have any specific communication preferences (e.g. email over telephone communication).
7. Late applications and arrivals
If you apply for accommodation later after the middle of August, the availability of rooms may be limited. The Accommodation team will work with you to assist you in being allocated a room that is the most suitable depending on availability.
8. Choice of study bedrooms to meet needs
When study bedrooms are allocated this is done to be able to meet students requirements. Students who may require a room that is not a standard room type (shared kitchen and bathroom); can contact Student Support Services (specifically DDSS) to enquire about partial funding that may be available due to disability. The University will consider the application and then, if agreed, pay the cost difference between a standard room and the alternative room type, which a disabled student requires to support their disability. Due to limited availability, it is not possible to offer this rent adjustment in all accommodation. The Student Customer Team will apply adjustments to the rental before the first payment date is due which is usually early October. If the funding request is submitted and agreed after (or too late) for the first payment date it will be applied and refunded as applicable.
Please note the above is subject to review and amendments and should be used as a guide only. For full support and details regarding the above and accommodation, options please contact the Accommodation Office via email in the first instance firstname.lastname@example.org.