The Disability Service provides advice, information and practical study-related support to prospective and current students who have sensory and physical impairments, mental health conditions, long-term health conditions, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)/Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD), Dyslexia and other specific learning differences (SpLD) and students who have an Autism Spectrum Condition (ASC). They are available to assist undergraduate, postgraduate, full time, part time and online distance learners.
In line with the current guidance, the Student Advice & Support Office has changed how we offer our service.
If you require support or wish to speak with an Adviser please email email@example.com. If you require an appointment we can offer you a ‘remote meeting’ by telephone or Microsoft Teams.
Our 01224 273935 phone line will not be answered during this period and we cannot accept incoming calls, however we can arrange a call back to UK numbers, this will appear as a ‘Private Number’. If you are not currently in the UK we can offer a Microsoft Teams meeting as we are currently unable to call overseas.
- What Disabilities We Support
Under the Equality Act 2010, the definition of a disability is “a physical or mental impairment that has a ‘substantial’ and ‘long-term’ negative effect on a person’s ability to do normal daily activities”.
This includes but is not limited to the following:
- Dyslexia and other Specific Learning Differences
- Visual Impairments
- Hearing Impairments
- Long-Term Illnesses
- Mental Health Conditions
- Physical Impairments
- Autism Spectrum Conditions
If you have a disability we strongly encourage you to make an appointment with us to discuss, agree and implement any support you may require.
If you are applying through UCAS (Universities and Colleges Admissions Service) you will be able to indicate your disability on your application.
Please get in touch if you are unsure whether you are eligible for support.
- How to Arrange Support
If you feel that you would benefit from disability-related support while you study with us, please provide us information about your support needs. You can do this by completing our online contact form. Please make sure you provide us with evidence of your disability, so we can put the right support in place as quickly as possible; we won't be able to put some support arrangements, such as extra time, in place until we receive your evidence.
If you have previously contacted the Team and would like to discuss support for your studies, please make an appointment to speak with us.
The Disabled Student Pathway document provides an overview of how disabled students can access support at the University and details the steps and people involved in implementing support.
We advise that you contact us as soon as possible to ensure that your support can be implemented in a timely manner.
- Support We Can Implement
After discussing your needs with you, we can put together a list of the adjustments agreed to support you in your studies. We call these your provisions and, with your permission, we will communicate this information to the relevant staff at the University. Some examples of adjustments are:
- Lecture outlines and PowerPoint slides for lectures in advance and in alternative formats
- Prioritised reading lists
- Extra time in exams
- Use of a computer and assistive software in exams
- Reader/scribe in exams
- A smaller exam venue with fewer other candidates
- No penalties for poor spelling or grammar for exams and coursework assignments
- Agreed extensions to deadlines for coursework assignments
- Non-Medical Support workers, such as note-takers, to ensure that you have an accurate record of what is covered in lectures or to assist in practical sessions such as labs to support the completion of tasks.
- The provision of Assistive Technology (AT) such as digital recorders to audio record lecture sessions
For further details, please see our guide to how provisions work at the University.
If you require adjustments in exams, please make sure you have spoken with us prior to the relevant semester’s advertised exam provisions deadline.
In academic year 2020/21, the University will be delivering programmes via blended learning; further information including how this may affect the provision of adjustments, can be found here.
Some of our students require personal care and assistance with daily living, like assistance with cooking, shopping, bathing and dressing. This support is not available through the University; if you require this support, we advise that you get in touch with your local Social Services department to discuss your support requirements.
If you require medical equipment such as the provision of a wheelchair, this isn’t something that the University can provide. If you require this provision, we advise that you contact your GP/medical practitioner to discuss your requirements.
- School Disability Coordinators
Schools and Departments have identified members of staff as Disability Coordinators who the Disability Team work closely with to ensure that your reasonable adjustments are implemented.
We will only discuss disability-related information with other members of staff once we have your permission, or if we need to do this for reasons of health and safety, emergency, or public policy. Before we put support in place, we ask for your consent to pass on information to colleagues who will provide your support. Our Disclosure Form explains how we treat and store your confidential information.
All evidence must be provided in English. If translation is required, it is your responsibility to arrange this with an accredited professional translation service.
If you are disabled or have a long-term health condition you will need to provide evidence from a qualified medical professional, such as:
- Specialist or Psychiatric Nurse
- Occupational Therapist
- Hospital Consultants
The evidence should identify:
- The name of the impairment or health conditions
- When the impairment or health condition was diagnosed/identified
- How long the impairment/health condition is likely to last
- The main effects of the condition, e.g. mobility impairment, short term concentration ability
- Any side effects of medication or treatment
- The impact that the impairment or health condition has on your ability to engage in study activities
If you have a specific learning difference (SpLD), e.g. dyslexia, dyscalculia, dyspraxia, we will accept pre- or post-16 evidence in the form of a report that confirms you have a SpLD from one of the following:
- Educational Psychologist
- Educational Professional or Specialist Teacher, or equivalent, e.g. an Occupational Therapist who holds a current practicing certificate in assessing SpLD issued by the relevant professional association, such as the Professional Association of Teachers of Students with Specific Learning Differences (PATOSS)
- Educational Professional or Specialist Teacher who holds a current qualification that allows Associated Membership of the British Dyslexia Association (AMBDA)
If you need advice about obtaining evidence of your dyslexia or SpLD, please contact us as we may be able to assist you to obtain an evaluation.
- Disabled Students' Allowance (DSA)
Disabled Students’ Allowance (DSA) is designed to cover disability-related costs that you may incur in your studies. It is not means tested and is available from UK funding bodies if you ordinarily reside in the UK. DSA is available if you study on full-time undergraduate and some part-time, distance learning and postgraduate programmes. DSA is in addition to the standard student finance package that you may receive.
DSA can provide funding towards:
- Specialist Equipment like assistive software, hardware and ergonomic equipment
- Non-medical Personal Help like specialist study skills support and mentoring
- General disability-related expenses like funding towards additional printing and photocopy costs
- Funding towards additional disability-related support
You can apply for DSA before or after you have started studying with us. We suggest that you apply as early as possible so that your support can be in place for the start of the academic year. The application process differs depending on the funding body. We can provide information, advice and support with the DSA application process. Please contact us to discuss this.
If you are a full-time student, please ensure you have already applied to your funding body for your main student funding, such as student loan and/or tuition fees, before beginning your application for DSA.
- Screening for Specific Learning Differences including Dyslexia
If you think that you may have a specific learning difference (SpLD) such as dyslexia, dysgraphia, dyspraxia and/or dyscalculia, we can offer you a SpLD screening appointment. During the appointment, you will be asked some questions about your experience of areas such as reading, writing and memory. Your answers will give us an indication of whether you are exhibiting indicators of specific learning differences and, if you do, you will be given the opportunity of a referral to an Educational Psychologist for a full assessment. To arrange a screening appointment, please visit or contact us at the Student Advice & Support Office.
- Assistive Technology Team
The Assistive Technology team are here to supports students with a disability, specific learning difference, mental health or any other medical issue using technology.
They offer a one to one service providing demonstrations on specific tools that can help with study. To find out more information visit:
- Assistive Technology Booths (ATBs)
The Assistive Technology Booths (ATBs) are accessible, single occupancy PC rooms available for use by students with disabilities, specific learning difficulties or medical condition. They provide a selection of assistive software and hardware that couldn’t practically be provided on the regular Classroom Computers.
Access to booths is available via referral from either the Disability Team within Student Support Services, or the Dyslexia tutor within the Student Learning Service. Students who have been granted access can then book a booth online.
- Support with Accessing the Campus
If you require assistance to access the campus and University buildings, we can help with:
- Arranging non-medical support worker assistance
- Liaising with University Departments to arrange accessible teaching and exam venues
- Referral for University disabled parking permits for non-Blue badge holders
- Development of a Personal Emergency Evacuation Plan if you will need assistance with evacuation in the event of an emergency
- SafeZone is a free app for students which connects you to the University security team if you ever need urgent help, first aid or if you have an emergency whilst on campus.
- AccessAble provides detailed information on the accessibility for University buildings on the Kings College Campus, the Foresterhill Campus, and the Halls of Residence.
- Other Sources of Support
The Disabled Students Forum is a safe social space and campaigning platform for all disabled students. The purpose of the Forum is to ensure that disabled students are treated fairly and equally and have their needs met at the University of Aberdeen. Further information please visit the Disabled Students Forum.
For a quick guide to support services available to you, download our Support Services guide.