Should I Tell The University About My Disability?

If you believe that your disability impacts in some way on your learning it is a good idea to let the University know about this. We will then be able to provide you with support to ensure that you are able to perform academically to the best of your abilities and get the most from your time here.

The Equality Act 2010 requires universities to make ‘reasonable adjustments’ to their environments, policies and practices in order to ensure that these do not place disabled students at a substantial disadvantage. These adjustments can take many forms, from making changes to the university’s physical environment (e.g. building a ramp to enable students with mobility impairments to get into a particular building) to making alterations to how teaching, learning or assessment takes place (e.g. by permitting a student with a specific learning difficulty 25% extra time in an exam).

We make adjustments and put in place individually-tailored support for students based on discussions with them about their requirements; you will have a lot of control over the support that you receive.

How do I tell the University?

You can disclose a disability on your University application form or by making contact with the Disability and Dyslexia Support Service (DDSS) at any point during either the application process or your time studying here.

Will disclosing a disability affect my University application?

Any information you disclose about your disability on your application will not be considered by the University as part of the selection process. Your application will be assessed on its academic merits alone.

If I disclose a disability at the point that I apply to University what will happen next?

The DDSS will write to you to introduce our service and explain the next steps you need to take to set up your disability support at the University. We can then start to discuss what support you think you will need.

What will the DDSS do with information about my disability?

If you disclose a disability to the DDSS no information about this will be shared with anyone else either within or outside of the University without your consent. There is one exception to this rule; if a member of DDSS staff believes that a student is at risk of causing harm to his or herself or others, confidentiality may need to be broken so that responsible authorities can be informed.

The vast majority of students are happy for information relating to their disabilities and support requirements to be shared with staff within the University and staff at external agencies on a ‘need to know basis’. If you give this kind of consent, following discussion with you we might pass on specific information relating to your disability and/or support requirements to:

Your academic department

Generally we would give information on the impact which your disability is likely to have on your learning and the steps which can be taken to ensure that you are supported. This information is usually in the form of a Learning Support Plan. This will be sent to the Disability Liaison Officer in your department, who will generally then pass it on to tutors/members of departmental staff (and in some cases placement providers) who will be working with you.

Internal University services

  • The Exams Team arrange additional exam support for students (extra time, etc), and will need information from us about any support you will require.
  • The Library (to ensure that you are given extended book loans)

External agencies

• We may need to liaise with your GP/Educational Psychologist to ensure that we have sufficient evidence of your disability to put in place support.

• If you are applying for or in receipt of Disabled Students’ Allowances (DSA) we may need to liaise with:

  • Your funding body (e.g. Student Finance England or NHS Bursaries) to ensure that you are provided with all of the support you require
  • The Assessment Centre where you have your needs assessed to determine the DSA support you are to be provided with.

• In some cases we may need to liaise with other parties as well, but we would only do so having obtained your prior consent for us to undertake a specific action.

Can I restrict the information about me which the DDSS shares, or who it is shared with?

Yes you can, and we will still provide you with disability support. However, it is important to bear in mind that if you restrict the information that we can pass on this may mean that you are unable to access the full range of support that would otherwise be available to you.

Additional information

University data protection guidance