Advice and Support
Funding for an SpLD assessment
Can a student be referred for a Specific Learning Differences (SpLD) support with a Specialist teacher through the University?
Yes we screen student for SpLD and refer them for a full diagnostic assessment. We are also a Non-medical Helper (NMH) provider so a student awarded SpLD study skills support via Disabled Student Allowances (DSA) can be set up with this support at St Mary’s.
Disability Adviser available
Are there specialist staff available to talk to within the service? Is there a disability officer or a disability adviser for students to talk to?
Yes, we have 2 disability advisors and 2 mental health advisors at St Mary’s, providing specialist advice and guidance to all disabled students. They are responsible for setting up reasonable adjustments within the university and provide ongoing case work support.
Support from academic staff
Is advice and support available from academic staff within the faculties of the University? How do students access this advice and support?
All Students are assigned a personal tutor, in addition students can speak to their module convenor, course lead or lecturing staff. The wellbeing team work closely with academic staff across the university to advise and guide them and discuss suitable reasonable adjustments. Reasonable adjustments are communicated to academic staff via the Learning Support Form (LSF). Students requiring additional non-specialist support can also access further pastoral and general study skills support from Learning Development Tutors.
Staff continuity and understanding individual needs
Are the specialist disability staff in the team able to offer a personalised, bespoke response to a student’s needs? Where possible, is continuity provided for the student in meeting the same Disability Adviser and/or mentor so the student can get to know them over time?
We recognise that continuity and building a relationship with relevant staff is invaluable. Students are allocated a disability or mental health advisor and provide ongoing case work support as required. Students may also be awarded specialist mentoring or tutoring support so they will then be allocated the same staff member throughout, timetable and availability dependant.
One to one mentoring support
Are there any additional services available such as mentoring, counselling services or a buddy scheme to help a new student to settle in if needed?
The wellbeing service offer DSA funded support including mentoring for students with mental health conditions and those who are autistic. There is also a counselling service available to all students who refer. In addition, we run weekly mindfulness sessions. We also collaborate with other groups in the university to run soul walks, these are walks in nature on campus and have meditation aspects to them.
One to one / group study skills
Does the institution provide support with arranging One to one/Group study skills sessions?
Yes, we are also a Non-medical Helper (NMH) provider so a student awarded SpLD study skills support via Disabled Student Allowances (DSA) can be set up with this support at St Mary’s.
Social and Peer Support
Adapted accommodation in halls
Is adapted accommodation and specialist equipment available in halls of residence?
Yes we have a number of adapted rooms such as wheelchair accessible rooms. We also have some permanent and portable equipment set up/ can be set up for students with sensory impairments and medical conditions, we have a range of accommodation to suit a variety of requirements.
Does the institution offer a standard level of assistive technology to disabled students?
We have an assistive technology suite which students who declare a disability have access to. We also have an in-house assistive technology trainer and site licenses for assistive technology such as mind mapping software and screen reading. We can also provide individual students other assistive technology depending on their requirements
How has your Disability Support offer changed in light of the Coronavirus pandemic? Are in person appointments currently suspended? If prospective applicants would like to register with the Disability Service, how do they go about doing this currently?
During the coronavirus pandemic all appointments were delivered online, or via the phone initially until we were able to open the centre again in August 2020. We also corresponded with applicants and students via email which is usual protocol. Currently disability and mental health advisor appointments, mentoring and tutoring, Specific Learning Difference (SpLD) assessments and Needs assessments delivered via our outreach centre are all offered either face to face or online, depending on student preference. If an applicant or student would like to register with the Disability and Dyslexia service they can do this online and then they will be offered an appointment. Register with the Wellbeing Disability and Dyslexia service by completing our online referral form here and by sending evidence to [email protected]