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?
Online screening is available for dyslexia and dyspraxia and is accessible to all students. If it indicates either condition, we fund diagnostic assessments. The university offer specialist 1:1 tuition, covering topics such as planning assignments, essay writing, revision and exam techniques which is one hour each.
Each session will be unique and is led by the student. It may involve going through an assignment brief and using mind-mapping software (if appropriate) to produce an essay plan. It could be developing time management strategies or managing the student’s workload at University level.
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, Disability and SPLD Advisers are available. Students can book appointments for 10-minute quick queries or 1-hour sessions.
Due to the Covid-19 pandemic and government guidelines, all advisers are working remotely, and appointments are offered via telephone and video calls up to January 2020. In person appointments will be offered from January 2021.
Students can book appointments to discuss and receive support from a Disability Adviser on areas such as how to register with the service, discussing support options, reasonable adjustments, Disabled Student Allowances (DSAs) and any other disability related queries that they may have.
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?
Each student is allocated a Personal Tutor once they have fully enrolled on their course. Students can speak to their personal tutor about choosing modules, matters affecting their studies and the PT’s can also direct students to other support services within the University. There are 4 disability tutors located across each college who work closely with the DLS service to support students who are disabled or experiencing any learning difficulties.
To access this support, students can email and book an appointment with their Personal Tutor. An adviser is also able to mediate this connection.
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?
Advisers answer student queries in a personalised manner via email or via appointment to address a student’s needs and their priority. Students are given the opportunity and choice to book an appointment with their adviser of choice. Continuity and follow-up are provided with the same adviser as much as possible. Specialist mentors have regular 1:1 sessions with the same student, and, in most cases, it is for the duration of their studies.
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?
We offer in-house specialist mentoring support service. The service is co-ordinated by a Specialist Mentoring coordinator who has the first line of contact with a student. The university offers a counselling service that consist of professionally trained counsellors. They offer 1:1 appointments, group sessions, email & video counselling. The university also has a Friends of Arriving New Students (FANS) support system who provide a personal welcome to new students at the University, helping them to settle in and acting as their first point of contact for their first few weeks. We also have a PAL scheme, where students are trained to support or run study, training and mentoring sessions to support the needs of first-year and disabled students.
One to one / group study skills
Does the institution provide support with arranging One to one/Group study skills sessions?
The university offers 1:1 tuition for students who are eligible for DSA, and if they are not eligible, we offer 3, 1-hour sessions to students per semester.
The Academic Liaison team is also available to help students get the best from their studies. Academic skills workshops are a great way to get expert guidance on time management, essay writing, critical thinking and more. One-to-one or group appointments are available to discuss academic writing and other study skills.
Social and Peer Support
Adapted accommodation in halls
Is adapted accommodation and specialist equipment available in halls of residence?
We have adapted en-suite accommodations available to students. The adapted washroom has a shower chair, adjustable shower and adapted WC. Access to the accommodation is wheelchair friendly with electronic block and flat entrances. Flexible furniture in bedrooms allows space for special furniture if required. Our communal kitchens had lower breakfast bars and space under the cooker.
Does the institution offer a standard level of assistive technology to disabled students?
The university has assistive technology networked across the University and space is provided within the libraries for this support. We offer assistive technology such as JAWS v.13 (Blind/partially sighted), Mind View v.6 (Mind-Mapping), TextHelp Read and Write 10 (reading/writing support inc text to speech), Windows Narrator, Microsoft Magnifier and Sensus Access (convert Word to audio files), Zoomtext v 9.1 (Screen Magnifier), Abbyy Fine Reader v.10 (Optical Character Recognition). The University also provides height adjustable tables and password protected pc’s with specific software. There is also an excellent guideline available for students on assistive technology.
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?
Due to Covid-19, we have had to adapt the way in which we provide our support to our students. Our appointments are all remote, with our advisers conducting sessions via telephone, Skype or Microsoft Teams depending on the student’s preference and need. Our service line is fully operational. Students can call us should they wish to discuss any disability related queries. We also have our DLS service e-mail which we monitor between 9am and 5pm from Monday to Friday. In addition, we also have an SPLD and a Disability Adviser on duty each day to answer any complex/sensitive queries that an applicant or student may have. Applicants can still book appointments to gain assistance in registering with us and to meet our advisers, as well as contact us via our service line and email. We also present at virtual open days to speak to applicants before they join and to provide more information about the service and support available to them.