Disability
& Dyslexia

If a disability affects your ability to participate in your chosen course or in campus life, please tell us about it as soon as possible, so that we can discuss your support needs with you.

Please contact the Disability Coordinator to discuss your needs and arrange support.

Specific learning difficulties

Specific Learning Difficulties (SpLDs) include such conditions as dyslexia, dyspraxia, dyscalculia and ADD/ADHD. All SpLDs are on a spectrum and range from mild to moderate through to severe. They are independent of intellectual ability, socio-economic or language background and do not predict academic success. About half the students who register with us have an SPlD such as Dyslexia.

Staff and students who feel they may have an SpLD should contact the Disability Coordinator to arrange a Screening. Screenings last about 1 hour and will indicate whether it is worthwhile seeking a full diagnostic assessment. It does not give a diagnosis and will not entitle you to extra time for examinations.

To access support you will need to provide evidence. This should be a full diagnostic assessment carried out at age 16 +, by a suitably qualified professional. This needs to be in English or translated by an official translator. 

We do not carry out full diagnostic assessments but the Disability Coordinator can provide details of specialist assessors.

Disabilities

Visual impairment

The term visual impairment covers a wide range of conditions that affect vision and are not correctable by glasses. We can support students with varying degrees of visual impairment from sight impaired (partially sighted) to severely sight impaired (blind) and are accustomed to working with Guide Dogs.

To access support your sight loss needs to have lasted, or be likely to last, for at least 12 months and impact on your studies. You will need to provide medical evidence from your Doctor or other health professional about the extent of your visual difficulties. This needs to be in English or translated by an official translator.

Hearing impairment

The term hearing impairment covers a range of conditions affecting one or both ears. We can support students with varying degrees of hearing impairment from mild to profound deafness.

To access support your hearing impairment needs to have lasted, or be likely to last, for at least 12 months and impact upon your studies. You will need to provide medical evidence from your Doctor or other health professional about the extent of your hearing difficulties. This needs to be in English or translated by an official translator.

Physical and mobility difficulties 

Mobility difficulties can range from those who are able to walk but experience pain or become easily exhausted to wheelchair users and those with severe motor impairments.

To access support your mobility difficulties need to have lasted, or be likely to last, for at least 12 months and impact on your studies. You will need to provide medical evidence from your Doctor or other health professional about the extent of your mobility difficulties. This needs to be in English or translated by an official translator.

More information about access

Mental health difficulties

Mental Health problems affect about 1 in 4 people in the UK and affect how people think, feel and behave. We can offer support and advice to students with commonly diagnosed problems such as, Depression and Anxiety to more rare problems such as, Bipolar Disorder and Schizophrenia.

To access support you will need to provide evidence. This should be from a suitably qualified professional (e.g. doctor, Psychologist, Psychiatrist) carried out at age 16+.
This needs to be in English or translated by an official translator.

If you do not have medical evidence, but you do have a diagnosis, please contact the Disability Coordinator who can give you a letter to give your doctor.

Long-term health conditions

Long-term health conditions are those which have lasted, or are likely to last, for more than one year and are considered to be a disability under the Equality Act 2010. https://www.gov.uk/definition-of-disability-under-equality-act-2010 These include Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Epilepsy, Chron’s Disease, Cancer, Diabetes and Arthritis. This list is not exhaustive. If you are in any doubt please contact us.

If you have a long-term health condition you may be entitled to support. To access support you will need to provide evidence. This should be from a suitably qualified professional (e.g. doctor, Consultant) carried out at age 16 +. This needs to be in English or translated by an official translator.

If you do not have medical evidence, but you do have a diagnosis, please contact the Disability Coordinator who can give you a letter to give your Doctor.

Autistic spectrum conditions

Autism and Asperger Syndrome are conditions on the autism spectrum. This spectrum refers to a range of similar conditions but we understand that no two individuals with autism will possess the same strengths or face the same challenges.

If you have an Autistic Spectrum Condition you may be entitled to support. To access support you will need to provide evidence. This should be from a suitably qualified professional (e.g. doctor, Psychologist) carried out at age 16 +
If your diagnostic assessment was carried out several years ago, e.g. whilst you were at Primary School, it is unlikely to include relevant information regarding studying at university. In this situation, please contact the Disability Coordinator who can give you a letter for your doctor to confirm your diagnosis and provide up to date information regarding support.

Temporary disabilities or ill health

We know that accidents and temporary medical conditions can occur which may affect a student’s ability to participate fully in class or exams. These may include broken limbs, short-term impairments resulting from injuries or extended illnesses.

We will make every effort to accommodate your needs but will need to see written evidence from a medical professional.

Exams

  • If you have an injury that makes taking an exam difficult but you do not wish to apply for extenuating circumstances, inform the Disability Coordinator as soon as possible about your injury.
  • You need to provide written evidence from a medical professional confirming your temporary disability and any recommendations in order to receive exam concessions e.g. using a computer or a scribe. This needs to be in English or translated by an official translator
  • A Temporary Measures for Health/Medical Reasons form will need to be completed.
  • If you then take the exam you are deeming yourself fit to do so.

In class

  • If you have an injury that affects your ability to participate in class, please inform the Disability Coordinator as soon as possible.
  • You need to provide written evidence from a medical professional confirming your temporary disability. This needs to be in English or translated by an official translator.
  • We will assess each case individually and make every effort to support your needs.

General resources

SpLD

  • My Study Bar helps with studying, organisation, reading and writing. Although MyStudyBar is designed to support learners with literacy-related difficulties such as dyslexia, the toolbar can offer potential benefits to all learners. Please note, MyStudyBar is designed to run on a Windows PC. There is no Apple Mac version.
  • Adobe Acrobat's 'Read Out Loud' for pdfs: This software that can read PDF files out loud.
  • Natural Reader is a professional text to speech program that converts any written text into spoken words. There are paid versions of Natural Reader which have more features.
  • PowerTalk automatically speaks any presentation or slide show running in Microsoft PowerPoint for Windows. The advantage over other generic 'Text To Speech' programs is that PowerTalk is able to speak text as it appears and can also speak hidden text attached to images.
  • 'Speak it' Text to Speech software for emails, Word documents and pdfs: You can purchase 'Speak it' text to Speech app to use on iphones or ipads.
  • Grammarly.com makes sure everything you type is easy to read, effective, and mistake-free. It is free on Chrome, Safari, and Firefox browsers.
  • Brain.He: revision tips for students with SpLDs
  • Beatingdyslexia.com: learning, memory and concentration tip
  • ATbarallows you to change the look and feel of webpages, font sizes, have text read aloud, use coloured overlays, readability and a dictionary to aid reading. Spell check forms and try word prediction when writing. It is a simple tool which is available for most popular browsers.  
  • WindowShade lets you apply a custom colour on your desktop as a layer. The layer is placed above all other running programs, desktop icons, Start menu, and taskbar; actually on everything that is displayed on your screen. 

Visual Impairment

  • RNIB Helpline 
  • RNIB Transcription services 
  • RSBC: Vision impaired children and young people are our number one priority
  • Blind in Business: A charity helping blind and partially-sighted people into employment 
  • Sense: a national charity that supports people who are deafblind, have sensory impairments or complex needs, to enjoy more independent lives. 

Hearing Impairment

Long-term health conditions

Mental health

  • Catch it - to help monitor feelings and challenge negative thoughts 
  • 7 cups of tea - gives anonymous emotional support & counselling from trained active listeners via text, available 24/7 
  • Mindshift - to help change how you feel about anxiety and develop coping strategies.  
  • Stress & Anxiety Companion - to help you manage anxious feelings and identify their triggers so they won’t trip you up in the future.  
  • Pacifica - based on Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, mindfulness, relaxation, and health 
  • Rise up & recover - an app for Eating Disorder Monitoring and Management to track meals, emotions and positive aspirations  
  • Recovery Record - based on CBT, designed to help support recovery from eating disorders 
  • Calm Harm - to help you resist or manage the urge to self-harm 
  • The Mix - Advice & Guidance for under 25's 
  • MIND: for better mental health – advice, information and support 
  • Rethink Mental Illness -expert, accredited advice and information to everyone affected by mental health problems 
  • Student Minds: The UK’s Student Mental Health Charity 
  • SANE: Emotional Support Services 
  • The Samaritans - offering a safe place for you to talk, any time you like, about whatever’s getting to you. You don’t have to be suicidal. 

Autistic spectrum conditions

  • Resources for Autism: providing practical services for children and adults with an autistic spectrum condition and their carers https://resourcesforautism.org.uk/
  • The National Autistic Society are the leading UK charity for autistic people (including those with Asperger syndrome) and their families.
  • My Study Bar helps with studying, organisation, reading and writing. Although MyStudyBar is designed to support learners with literacy-related difficulties such as dyslexia, the toolbar can offer potential benefits to all learners. Please note, MyStudyBar is designed to run on a Windows PC. There is no Apple Mac version. 

We understand that the decision to disclose a disability can be a tough one. You may be independent and want to tackle University on your own. You may not consider yourself disabled. You may be worried about confidentiality or discrimination.

Our advice would be to disclose as early as possible so that the support is ready for you in case you need it.

Why should I disclose?

  • So we can understand any difficulties and arrange appropriate support e.g. exam concessions, liaising with tutors, extended coursework deadlines, practical help and alternative assessments. We cannot do this if you don’t disclose.
  • So we can help with any financial support you may be entitled to.
  • In general, having support in place early on can lead to greater independence in the long run.
  • So we can monitor the University’s support and inclusion of students with disabilities in order to improve our service.

When should I disclose?

  • On application. This will not affect your application as these are assessed purely on academic merit and potential, against the published entry requirements for the course. It is illegal for universities to discriminate against students for disability related reasons.
  • At any time during your studies but the sooner we know, the sooner we can have your support in place. Even if you don’t need support at the time of disclosure, letting us know means the support is ready in case you do need it.
  • If a Student Support Agreement is made too late, it may not be possible to put in place special exam arrangements. See the Deadlines section below.

How do I disclose?

  • On the application form.
  • To the Disability Coordinator: in person (Acland Building, Room A004), by phone (020 7487 7863) or email (disability@regents.ac.uk)

Who will know if I disclose?

  • Information about a Student’s disability is all held confidentially. We will ask for written consent to share any disability information with relevant members of staff on a need to know basis such as, your tutor or the exams team. If a student does not want their support needs disclosed outside of the Disability & Dyslexia service this will be respected but it may restrict the support available.
  • Disability disclosure and support information is not added to degree certificates and would not be given to future employers. It’s all confidential.
  • We need a student’s written permission before we can discuss their disclosure and/or support with parents.

Will disclosing affect my application?
No. These are assessed purely on academic merit and potential, against the published entry requirements for the course. It is illegal for universities to discriminate against students for disability related reason.

Deadlines

If you need special exam arrangements due to a disability these must be confirmed on a Student Support Agreement (SSA).

Important deadlines for:

  • Mid-term tests: SSAs must be confirmed by the end of week 3
  • End of term exams: SSAs must be confirmed by the beginning of week 5 

If you miss these deadlines it will be too late to make special exam arrangements.

  • Mid-term tests: if you have extra time (but no other exam support needs) and want to be in the main exam room ask your tutor if this is possible by the end of week 2. If this is not possible, follow the instructions below.
  • Mid-term tests: if you have exam concessions such as extra time, a reader or use of a computer you need to complete a Special Exam Arrangements form. These are available in the Student Hub and need to be submitted at least 2 weeks before your test.

Disabled Students Allowance (DSA) is only available to UK nationals or those with settled status so the information here is not applicable to EU and International Students.

Depending on your needs, DSA could help with the cost of:

  • Computer equipment although you will need to pay £200 towards this. And no, you cannot have a Mac.
  • Specialist assistive software to help with reading, writing, planning and organising work.
  • One-to-one support with a specialist Mentor.
  • One to one support from a study skills tutor.

What is Disabled Students Allowance (DSA)?

DSA is a grant to help with the extra costs a student may face as the direct result of a disability, health condition, mental health difficulty or specific learning difficulty. It is designed to help disabled people study on an equal basis with other students. The amount you can get isn't affected by your household income, and does not have to be repaid.



Am I eligible for DSA? 

DSA is available to undergraduate or postgraduate students who qualify for student finance from Student Finance England (UK nationals or those with settled status) and who have a condition that affects their ability to study. The course must last at least 1 year. You can check course eligibility with Student Finance England.


How do I apply for DSA?

Application forms for 2017/18 

Please contact the Disability Coordinator for advice or help with applying. Remember! There is a section of your DSA form I will need to complete for you.

What happens next?

Once you have submitted your DSA application you will receive a letter from Student Finance England (hopefully) confirming your eligibility and authorising you to have a Study Needs Assessment. This takes about 2 hours and is an informal meeting to help decide the kind of support that will meet your particular needs.

Study Needs Assessment: what happens next?

  • After the Study Needs Assessment the funding body will review the report and they will send you a DSA2 letter by post, confirming the support they’ve approved. 
  • Read your DSA2 letter very carefully. It will explain who to contact in order to secure delivery of your specialist equipment and to arrange your recommended human support.
  • It is your responsibility to arrange the agreed support and / or equipment with the recommended suppliers.
  • Suppliers will want to see a copy of your DSA2 letter before they supply the equipment or services.
  • It is important to keep your Disability Coordinator informed of your situation so they can advise and support you.

Is there any other funding?

Some charities, such as The Snowdon Trust, provide grants to physically disabled and sensory impaired students studying in the UK.

Contacts

Disability & mental Health Coordinator: Becky Collins
Room Acland 004 (opposite Student Registry)
Tel: 0207 487 7863. Email: disability@regents.ac.uk

SpLD specialist: Caroline Kirrane

We can:

  • Give information, advice and guidance for disability related concerns
  • Set up Student Support Agreements
  • Organise exam concessions such as, extra time
  • Assist with applications for Disabled Students’ Allowance (DSA)
  • Arrange screenings for SpLDs such as, dyslexia and dyspraxia
  • Advise staff on reasonable adjustments so disabled students are not disadvantaged
  • Arrange 1:1 sessions with the SpLD specialist
  • Book counselling appointments
  • Arrange in class support (Non-Medical Helpers) such as note takers

But we cannot:

  • Give information about individual degree courses
  • Provide subject-specific support
  • Send out exam timetables
  • Assist with course finance enquiries
  • Provide or fund support with daily living tasks e.g. assistance with shopping, cooking, or personal care

Disability Services Committee

The Disability Services Committee was launched in October 2008 and meets twice a year to discuss disability related issues at Regent’s. The Committee subscribes to the social model of disability. Terms of Reference, membership and Agendas and minutes of meetings are available to staff and students (Regent's login required)

Disability Policy

Read our Disability Policy to learn about the University's commitment to embedding a culture of inclusion for students with disabilities, specific learning difficulties, mental health conditions or long term health conditions.