Information for DSA needs assessors
Information for DSA needs assessors on how we support disabled students at the University of Sheffield, to help you to advise students on what support is available and ensure that your recommendations are appropriate to our institution.
Our Support Worker Service provides specialist mentor support for disabled University of Sheffield students (including autistic students).
Our English Language Teaching Centre provides 1:1 SpLD study skills support.
For information on the rates for this support, see the ‘University of Sheffield NMH Rates’ document in the 'Downloads' box at the bottom of our ‘Support Worker Service’ page.
We don’t provide autism-specific 1:1 study skills support. Spectrum First Education support autistic University of Sheffield students. Please include Spectrum First as one of the two quotes for this NMH provision in your DSA needs assessment report.
We don’t refer students who do not have DSA funding directly for weekly 1:1 mentoring sessions on an ongoing basis. Students will generally be referred for drop-in sessions or group sessions.
The University has a range of residential accommodation which has been adapted for disabled students. Additional adaptations can be made on a case-by-case basis (subject to resources). For information on some of the adaptations that can be made and how to access these, visit:
Disabled applicants should contact the Accommodation Services team as soon as possible to discuss their requirements: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Students who require a non-standard room type for reasons specifically linked to their impairment, and who are incurring an additional accommodation cost as a result, may be eligible for funding to cover this cost difference. Students can contact DDSS directly to discuss this: email@example.com.
For more information on the University's accommodation, visit the Accommodation Services' webpages.
City Taxis are generally the provider recommended by Needs Assessors for students travelling around Sheffield.
The University campus covers a variety of postcodes. If only one postcode is used for the entire University, students may not be able to use their account for all journeys they’ll need taxi assistance for across campus.
Please advise the student to share their timetable with you as soon as they have it so that you can establish which buildings (and postcodes) the student will need funding to travel between.
Students who are required to contribute £200 towards the cost of specialist equipment can apply for reimbursement for this from the University.
Once they’re fully registered on a course of study they can claim reimbursement by accessing the ‘DSA Personal Contribution Reimbursement’ application form on the page below:
Financial support for disabled students (student login required).
The Library's Inclusive Learning Team has at least one staff member in each of the University's Libraries, and they can support students to access library material and support for their studies - including providing materials in alternative formats.
Visit the page below for information on the kinds of support and specific types of assistive software students can access through the Library.
DDSS can also refer disabled students for specific additional library support (e.g. access to study spaces, provision of free coloured paper to use in University printers).
For information on all of the courses offered at the University visit our courses page.
Please be aware that the core competencies of a course cannot be adjusted, and that many of our professional programmes have fitness to practise requirements built into them. Any course that is not specifically a distance-learning programme is also likely to have an in-person attendance requirement.
To discuss whether a specific adjustment/type of support can be implemented on a particular programme, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
At the University we use a lecture capture system known as 'Encore'. Encore is not available in all teaching spaces, but in rooms where it is installed all taught sessions will automatically be recorded, unless the department/staff have opted out.
If a lecture isn’t being recorded via Encore, disabled students are entitled to make their own audio recording of it on the understanding that this is for personal study use only.
Students are only permitted to record lectures and individual supervision sessions (with a tutor's permission). They're not permitted to record 'small-group' teaching (eg tutorials, seminars) or any student-led learning activities (like presentations or group work).
Lectures recorded using Encore are also captioned. The digital learning tools we use for creating content have in-built captioning capability. Disabled students can also access Google Chrome captioning and Caption.Ed (via referral from DDSS) to generate captions for any audio or video played in web browsers, including live or pre-recorded content.
If a disabled student's impairment can affect aspects of their written communication, DDSS can provide them with stickers to attach to their coursework or exams (whether these are electronic or paper submissions).
The presence of a yellow sticker will not change how marks are awarded for a piece of work. The sticker is intended to:
- Tell the person marking the work that it was produced by a disabled student with an impairment that can affect aspects of their written communication
- Encourage the person marking the work to give clear, targeted and constructive feedback that is based on the assignment's marking criteria
How and when we contact prospective students
Applicants who disclose that they’re disabled on their UCAS application will be emailed by DDSS with information about how to access the service. We send two mail-outs tied-in with the standard undergraduate admissions cycle:
- One in May/June, which is sent to any offer-holders who have chosen the University of Sheffield as their 'firm' and/or 'insurance' place
- One in August, which is directed at all offer-holders who have opted for Sheffield and met their offer
Further information will be sent out by email about summer transition events, including the transition day for autistic applicants which takes place in July.
We also send mail-outs to applicants who disclose that they’re disabled as part of a direct application to study at the University at other points in the year (eg students on postgraduate courses).
Please encourage any student who hasn’t disclosed that they’re disabled on their University application - or who has not yet accessed DDSS - to do so by taking the step outlined in the next section.
How students access DDSS and disability support
Disabled students need to provide DDSS with written evidence confirming their disability - our evidence webpage provides more information about the specific evidence we require based on impairment types.
The sooner we receive this information, the better: applicants can send us their evidence at any stage during the admissions cycle.
It’s helpful for us to have diagnostic evidence, but we can accept a student's DSA assessment of need (AON) report as evidence provided that the AON report:
- specifically relates to the impairment(s) the student is seeking to access support for; and
- confirms that the assessor had sight of appropriate evidence of disability to undertake the assessment
Please email evidence to us at email@example.com.
After they’ve provided evidence
All students who provide appropriate evidence are invited for an appointment with a disability adviser to discuss support.
Each disabled student is offered a Learning Support Plan, a document shared with all staff who will work with them on their course which gives specific details of the support and adjustments they should be provided with.
Students are asked to comment on/approve the draft of their LSP before it’s shared with staff in the departments they’ll be studying in.
If you’re an assessor and you have specific questions about/recommendations for support you can contact our Disability and Dyslexia Support Service (DDSS) directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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