How we support students
Many students' needs can be met through adjustments to teaching and exam arrangements. They can also be met through the use of on-campus assistive technology. In some cases, an application for Disabled Students Allowance (DSA) is required.
Departmental Disability Contacts and Exam Coordinators
Every department has at least one Departmental Disability Contact (DDC). These are staff members within your department who support disabled students. They act as the main liaison person for the advisers in the Disability & Wellbeing Service.
Exam Coordinators make provisions for exams if these are recommended by advisers. You can find out who your DDC or Exam Coordinator is by visiting our DDC and Exam Coordinators page.
A Disability Adviser will consider the impact of your condition on study-related tasks. They'll consider whether adjustments are made to the delivery of your course. Or to how you're assessed. For example, in exams.
The Assistive Technology Advisers will be able to assess your Assistive Technology requirements. They'll recommend appropriate technology and training.
There's a range of Assistive Technology available on Campus. It may be necessary for you to have individual software or equipment. In these circumstances, the Adviser will be able to help you access this equipment.
The Disability Service can arrange for one-to-one support when appropriate. The nature of this support will depend on your individual needs. This could be communication support, notetaking, study support, mentoring, or a personal assistant.
The Disabled Students Allowance (DSA) is a source of funding. It can meet the costs for support and/or equipment that are essential for you to access your course.
How to access support
If you're a new student and are applying through UCAS, we recommend you disclose your disability on your application form. If you disclose at this stage, the Disability Service will contact you to discuss your needs. If you don't wish to disclose your disability you can, at any time, self-refer. This will allow you to access support from our service.
- your full name
- applicant number (if known)
- date of birth
- email address
- telephone number
- home address postcode
Students can request support at any time throughout their studies.
If you're receiving support from the Disability & Wellbeing Service, contact us via telephone. Or email to request an appointment. We operate on a waiting list basis and our appointments are often booked in advance. Please provide your availability when requesting an appointment via e-mail.
For students who disclosed a disability at the application stage, we'll contact you before your course starts. We'll invite you to complete our referral questionnaire. Our advisers can start the process of identifying the most appropriate support requirements. It also allows us to engage with you.
If you have not used our services, we'd ask you to complete our referral questionnaire. Our advisers can start the process of identifying the most appropriate support requirements. It will also allow us to engage with you. If you'd like to make a disability referral, complete our request a disability referral form.
What happens next
Your information will be processed by a Disability Adviser. You'll be referred for the most appropriate type of meeting. You'll be sent information about this by email once it's been processed. The adviser may also give information about other services available on campus. Or start the process of recommending adjustments to your department. At your meeting with an Adviser, you can explore any impact that your condition may have on your studies. You can also explore your ability to access the University and its services.
Please provide written evidence if:
- you need adjustments to how your course is assessed
- if you need access to equipment or services which carry an additional cost
We gather evidence from a range of sources to help us determine what support you may need. This includes:
If you require adjustments to how the course is assessed (such as additional time in exams), or if you require access to additional equipment or services which carry additional expense, you must provide us with written evidence from an appropriately qualified person confirming your impairment or condition. This might consist of:
- a letter from a medical professional, such as a GP or Consultant
- a copy of a Certificate of Vision Impairment or a letter from an Audiologist
- if you have a specific learning difficulty (such as dyslexia), a diagnostic report, or a letter signed by an Educational Psychologist confirming the diagnosis
In addition to a written statement from an appropriately qualified person, we also gather evidence directly from you about how your impairment or condition impacts your learning. This evidence is gathered through a questionnaire and in person.
We consider information about how your needs have been met previously and, most importantly, what your needs may be in the context of your current course. While we cannot accept a letter from your school confirming previous support as diagnostic evidence it may be useful secondary evidence in our assessment of your needs.
At busy times of the year, you're likely to have to wait for an appointment.
The waiting list will be managed on a first-come-first-served basis. We do reserve the right to prioritise students with complex requirements. That is, those with immediate needs that cannot be met through general campus-based provision.
You'll be offered an informal meeting with a Disability Adviser and/or a Technology Adviser. They'll explore any impact that your condition or impairment may have on your studies. They'll also look at your ability to access the University and its services.
Complaints procedure and information
It's very important for us to know whether you are happy with the Needs Assessment process and conclusions.
The purpose of the needs assessment is to explore, with your help, any impact that your condition or impairment may have on your studies or your ability to access the University and its services. Where appropriate, and again with your help, we will identify suitable support and facilities which will enable you to fully access your course. The University of Strathclyde is a validated assessment centre, and you can get further information about the standards expected of needs assessments at The Scottish Government Website.
Our aim is to support disabled students as best we can to get equal access to their course of study. An assessment of needs entails a judgment about how a disability is likely to impact on study, and disabled students needs or course requirements may change over time. If the outcome of an original assessment seems no longer sufficient to enable you to access your course you should contact the Disability & Wellbeing Service and request a review.
If there was some aspect of the assessment process that you found unsatisfactory, and you wish to complain, then you should in the first instance make your complaint, in writing, to the Disability & Wellbeing Manager, Chris McKenzie (firstname.lastname@example.org). Hopefully that would not be necessary and any difficulties will be resolved by talking to the assessors. Possible grounds for complaint, however, could include:
- lack of prior information about the assessment process
- the range of evidence was not taken into account at the assessment
- recommendations or conclusions did not appear to follow from the recognised impact of the student's disability on their study
- lack of clarity or factual errors in the assessment report
The Disability & Wellbeing Manager will respond to your complaint as soon as possible. This may involve an invitation to the student to attend a meeting. It is then open to the Disability & Wellbeing Manager to ask the assessors to review their needs assessment, which may include reviewing the outcome.
If you feel that your complaint is still not satisfactorily resolved, then you may take your complaint to the Head of Disability & Wellbeing, who has responsibility for the Disability Team.