Academic and learning support for disabled students
Academic and learning support services and arrangements are listed on the links below.
Some of these are only available once your eligibility for Disabled Students' Allowance (DSA)
has been confirmed and you have received your Study Needs Assessment. Where this is the case,
it's noted against the provision described.
The Government has reviewed Disabled Students' Allowances and
some changes are being put in place
Learning and study skills support
Software and equipment are
available in the open
access labs. This includes assistive technologies if you have a visual
impairment, dyslexia, or physical impairment.
Contact us for details of
access to departmental labs, eg. Biological Sciences, CES or Psychology.
Each department has a Departmental
Disability Liaison Officer (DDLO). Their role is to assist you with any
Digital recordings of lectures at the Colchester Campus are available from
the Listen Again service.
You will be registered with the Albert Sloman Library at the Colchester
Campus as a
user with individual
needs for extensions to short term loans and options for renewal.
Study support is available online via the
Online Resource Bank (ORB). The Talent Development Centre
provides assessment, credit modules, training and one-to-one support for all
students at the University on a range of key academic and employment skills,
including academic literacy; numeracy; English language; modern languages;
library researching; computer skills; internet researching; preparing for work;
and learning through work.
Study strategies tuition
One-to-one study strategies tuition can help you to develop a range of skills
- note making and referencing
- essay planning and time management
- identifying and correcting patterns in spelling errors
- clarity of expression
- making full use of library and other resources such as e-journals
- improving learning and revision
This one-to-one tuition may be available if you are in receipt of
Disabled Students Allowance (DSA). If you are interested in study skills
tuition please contact us and
send your timetable and confirmation of your funding.
If you have a diagnosed health or mental health condition, or you are on the
austistic spectrum, then you may be entitled to receive one-to-one mentoring
funded by your Disabled Students' Allowance. A
mentor can meet with you for regular appointments to offer:
- help to manage your difficulties alongside your studies
- practical and emotional support through listening and problem solving
- assistance with independent learning and development of study skills
- help with liaising with your department to make sure you have the support
you need on your course
- practical help in the library and help with organising your study space and
- accompaniment to appointments and support liaising with doctors/GPs and
other health and support professionals
How to apply for mentoring
In order to apply for on-going mentoring, you will need to have received a
diagnosis of a long-term mental health difficulty and apply for
Disabled Students' Allowance as this can fund
mentoring support for the duration of your studies. You will also need to
provide evidence your diagnosis (ie. a doctor/GP letter when completing the
If you're not eligible to apply for DSA but have a formal diagnosis and would
like to discuss mentoring please arrange to meet with a specialist disability
adviser during our opening hours or contact us.
Coversheets for assignments
If you have a diagnosis of Specific Learning
Difficulties such as dyslexia or an autistic spectrum disorder, you may wish
to use coversheets for your assignments to alert the marker to difficulties you
encounter when writing.
You will not receive extra marks as a result of using this; however, it
should prompt the marker to respect your difficulties and, if learning outcomes
are not compromised, it may be that you are less likely to be penalised on
simple issues with style.
If you have registered your disability and provided evidence of your
condition to student support you will automatically be able to access your
coversheet online via FASer. This coversheet is individual to you, you can
download a copy onto your computer for printing out should you need to submit a
hard copy and you can upload it directly when submitting work via FASer.
How to download your coversheet
- Log on to FASer
with your username and password
- Click the 'Help and Support' tab on the left-hand panel
- Click on 'Student Support' on the drop down menu
- Download your coversheet
- Submit this either by uploading it alongside your coursework, or printing it
out if you need to hand in a physical copy
If you have any problems with the system or any queries about support for
your studies, please contact us.
Student support Workers
If you have previously used support workers to assist with key academic tasks
or think this provision might be useful, please contact your
Student Services Hub for further advice about how these needs may be met.
Arrangements for exams and assessment
If you have a disability, temporary medical condition or injury that will
affect your performance in examinations, you can apply for individual exam
arrangements by completing our
application form (.pdf).
Arrangements vary depending on your requirements and supporting evidence but
- extra time for writing or rest breaks
- advising the marker of your specific learning difficulties or autistic spectrum condition
- a computer
- someone to write/read for you
- exam papers in suitable format (eg braille, large print)
- a separate room
- special furniture
Applying for arrangements
Apply before 31 January to ensure your arrangements are in
place. After this deadline, there is no guarantee that arrangements can be put
in place. Priority will, during this time, be given to applications where the
disability is temporary in duration and could not have been notified previously
(such as recent physical injury).
The intention is that arrangements should enable you to meet the expected
learning outcomes and to compensate for the restriction imposed by any
disability without affecting the validity of the examination.
There is no need to reapply each year if you are on an existing course. If
you have started a new course eg. a postgraduate course or have transferred to a
different scheme, please contact
us so we can check if arrangements are in place.
Methods of assessment vary, although most courses are assessed on written
course work such as essays as well as examinations. Some subjects also require
practical, fieldwork or study abroad. If you wish to discuss access to
assessment, please contact us.
Ordering equipment and arranging support
When you received your Study Needs Assessment report it will include details
of the assessor's recommendations and recommended suppliers. Your funding body
will confirm what you are entitled to. If your application is successful then
you may be entitled to one or more of the following:
The letter will confirm which Approved Supplier you must contact to order your specialist equipment.
Their contact details should be in the letter. If not, these can be found in the Study Needs Assessment
report. Please contact the supplier direct, quoting the reference number on the letter to arrange delivery.
Is insurance included in the letter? If so, arrange insurance and submit the receipts to your funding body (for
Student Finance England, download the
claim for costs form from the Government website).
Non-medical helper’s allowance
If IT training has been recommended, please contact the supplier to arrange training for after the delivery
of your equipment.
If tuition, mentoring or other human support has been recommended please contact the supplier directly
or contact your Student Services Hub and we can help arrange this.
Send your receipts for general allowance items agreed by your funding body (for Student Finance England, download
the claim for costs form from the
Government website). We recommend you keep copies of these receipts. Claims should be sent before the start of the
next academic year.
Travel and Accommodation
Please follow the instructions on the letter from your funder or contact us
if you have any questions.
Student Services Hub
Our team of advisers are based within your Student Services Hub and can provide information, advice and guidance on a range of topics from accommodation and funding to exam stress and
wellbeing. Drop us a line or pay us a visit.
Groups and workshops
Our groups and workshops are designed to support you through the demands of academic life. Our students
often say they find it beneficial to be part of a group where other people are experiencing similar difficulties.
You may be eligible to apply for funding to help cover the costs incurred for additional support and resources as a result of your diagnosed disability or mental health
condition. Find out what financial support could be available to you.
Managing exam anxiety
It is natural to feel nervous before an exam. However, if your nerves are causing anxiety and affecting your ability to concentrate or perform then speak to our advisers
who can provide techniques on how to manage your exam anxiety.