Loughborough University
Leicestershire, UK
LE11 3TU
+44 (0)1509 263171
Loughborough University

Counselling and Disability Service

Frequently Asked Questions

The Disability Office provides a wide range of support, advice and guidance for disabled students. Support is available for students with long term health conditions, physical and sensory impairments, autistic spectrum disorders and dyslexia. We work with students to agree any adjustments that might be required (including exam arrangements), to support students in accessing funding through the Disabled Students Allowance and with students’ academic departments to help ensure students’ needs are met during their studies. Click here for more information. 

If you experience mental health difficulties then please refer to the Mental Health Support Team for information, advice and support here

1 - How do I get advice from the Disability Support Team?

For initial or short enquiries you can come to a drop-in session in the Bridgman Building.  (Check in at the Indormation Desk upon arrival).    

Alternatively, you can make an appointment to see a disability advisor by emailing disability@lboro.ac.uk or calling 01509 222770. We will need to know the nature of your disability so you can be booked in with the appropriate Advisor. 

Please note we do not provide urgent medical assistance.  If you are in crisis and need urgent support you should contact your GP for medical advice.

2 - What support can I access?

  • Academic skills workshops are run by the library here

  • Support by the Maths Learning Support Centre here

  • On line study advice here.

  • The English Language Support Service also offer a range of support options to help you develop your language and study skills to help you succeed on your academic programme. 

  • The university has some specialist assistive software available across campus to download via the IT webpage here.

  • Your department may also be able to offer you additional support. 

3 - Am I eligible to register for support?

A disability under the law is defined as ‘A physical or mental impairment which has lasted or is likely to last for more than 12 months and which has a substantial and adverse effect on an individual’s ability to carry out day-to-day activities’. Educational activities would be classed as day to day activities, and long term means that it is likely to last more than a year.  (Please note that there are a number of exceptions to this rule, for instance some mental health difficulties, and cancer, HIV and MS from the point of diagnosis are covered by the Act.)

Some examples of disabilities that we support students with include dyslexia, autism, diabetes, chronic fatigue syndrome (ME), hearing loss, physical disabilities, kidney transplants, visual impairment, dyspraxia, ADHD, cerebral palsy, Tourette’s syndrome, epilepsy and irritable bowel syndrome. If you are not sure if we can support you then please contact us

4 - I think I might be dyslexic, what should I do?

If you have old evidence from school or college please email this to us at disability@lboro.ac.uk and we will advise on the next steps.

If you have no previous evidence but for whatever reason you feel you may have dyslexia, you can complete a ‘self check’ exercise here http://www.lboro.ac.uk/services/cds/dyslexia/am-i-dyslexic/ and advise us on the outcome of the exercise so we can support you further. 

5 - My assessment has identified dyslexia, AD(H)D, dyspraxia, what should I do?

This diagram here gives an overview of the issues associated with neurodiversity including dyslexia, dyspraxia, AD(H)D and Asperger’s Syndrome. If we have completed an Educational Psychology or other assessment for you, we will offer you a ‘follow up’ meeting to discuss your report and answer any questions about your learning difference. To book a follow up meeting with a specialist Adviser please contact us.

6 - My assessment found I am not dyslexic, what support can I get?

All students who have an assessment via the University are invited to attend a follow up interview to discuss the outcomes.  There is a range of support open to all students which we would be happy to discuss with you at a follow up interview.  This includes:

Academic skills workshops run by the library here

  • Support provided by the Maths Learning Support Centre here
  • On line study advice here
  • The English Language Support Service also offer a range of support options to help you develop your language and study skills to help you succeed on your academic programme.
  • The university has some specialist assistive software available across campus to download via the IT webpage here.
  • Your department may also be able to offer you additional support.  

7 - Injuries and sickness

The remit of the Disability Office is to support disabled students as defined under the Equality Act 2010: ‘A physical or mental impairment which has lasted or is likely to last for more than 12 months and which has a substantial and adverse effect on an individual’s ability to carry out day-to-day activities’. Please note that there are a number of exceptions to this rule, for instance some mental health difficulties, and cancer, HIV and MS from the point of diagnosis are covered by the Act. Further information about definitions of disability can be found in the Government guidance.

If your injury or condition means that the above definition is likely to apply then you should contact the Disability Office or Mental Health Support Team (as appropriate) to discuss it further.

If your injury or condition does not fit into the above definition you need to contact your department administrator and/or personal tutor.  It is expected departments will provide advice on completing an Impaired Performance claim if appropriate. The Disability Support Team can not provide evidence of injuries or sickness where this does not constitute a disability.

8 - Disability evidence

  • What evidence do I need?

Different conditions need different types of evidence. Here is a link to our evidence policy, at the end there is a table where you can see the evidence we need for your particular condition.

  • Are copies of hospital appointment letters ok for evidence?

No, as these do not include a diagnosis or prognosis. Please see our evidence policy for details on what we can accept.

  • Will I have to pay to get the evidence?

Please contct us to find out whether dyslexia assessments are being offered by the University at this time. If you have indicators of dyslexia from a previous assessment or a screening, we may be able to add you to the Educational Psychology waiting list. We can’t guarantee the outcome of your assessment, or that you will be able to access your assessment in time for your exams.

You may therefore prefer to arrange and pay for a private assessment. This link http://www.lboro.ac.uk/services/cds/dyslexia/assessment/ has information about arranging a private assessment. Please email disability@lboro.ac.uk with a copy of your private assessment report as soon as you receive it.

For students with disabilities or long term health conditions you may have something in your paperwork at home that will suffice, if you are not sure email it to disability@lboro.ac.uk and we will check it for you. Some GP surgeries do charge for writing letters so do remember to ask this if you need to make the request. The University is unable to reimburse for any form of diagnostic assessment or evidence provision. 

9 - DSA

  • Which DSA form do I need to fill in?

Student Finance England , Student Finance Scotland , Student Finance Northern Ireland  and Student Finance Wales  each have their own forms you need to complete depending on where your home address is. If your form needs stamping by the Disability Office please come to a drop in session (every day 12.30 – 1.30, Wednesday 12.30 – 2.30) and an advisor can do this for you. 

  • When is the deadline to fill the form in?

There is no set deadline when applying since you can apply for DSA at any time. You can apply from April onwards for September entry; but once the academic year has started you have 9 months from the start of your course to apply for DSA for the current academic year.

It is advisable to apply as soon as possible and you do not have to wait until you have a confirmed place at University or College.  If you apply near the start of your course then any support recommended may not be in place ready for the start of your course.

https://www.gov.uk/disabled-students-allowances-dsas/how-to-claim

http://www.yourdsa.com/dsa/application/form/

  • What will I receive through DSA?

Each student eligible for DSA should be assessed individually via a Needs Assessment, a meeting which determines what support they may need during their time at university in relation to their disability. To give you some examples, DSA can help pay for specialist equipment you may need for studying (e.g. assistive software, large monitor or ergonomic keyboard), a non-medical helper (such as a study support tutor).

  • Where do I book a Needs Assessment?

You can use the link on your request letter to find an Assessment Centre or by viewing either of the following web sites:

http://www.nnac.org/students/findcentre.php

http://www.dsa-qag.org.uk/

  • I’ve got my DSA 2 entitlement letter, what do I do next?

Your letter will include contact details and instructions on how to contact suppliers and/or set up support. Alternatively come along to a drop in session every day 12.30 – 1.30, Wednesday 12.30 – 2.30 during term time and an Advisor can go through it with you.

  • I am recommended a Specialist Eye Test, what does this mean? 

Some people find that the glare from reading on white paper causes them visual stress. This can be helped by coloured paper over-lays, or by tinted glasses, which can reduce the glare and therefore make text easier to read. You can pay for a private test at an optometrist test, details of which can be found here

  • How do I claim for my DSA general allowance?

Download the appropriate form from your funding body and send it off with your receipts. Claims have to be for at least £10 and you can claim as many times as you need to up to your limit.  We advise that you keep a copy of all claim forms and receipts you send off. 

Student Finance England (called Costs Claim form in Section 4: How To Apply)

Student Finance Scotland

Student Finance Northern Ireland

Student Finance Wales  (called DSA Claim form at the bottom of the page)

  • How do I claim for my accommodation costs?

Find and complete the appropriate form from the ‘how do I claim my general allowance’ section above. Attach a receipt proving you have now paid your accommodation costs in full. Attach the document from accommodation services website which details what a standard room costs (you will need to highlight the appropriate comparable room to yours). DSA will then use this to work out the difference in cost to reimburse you.

Please note accommodation costs do not automatically continue each year. If you decide to stay in halls for disability related reasons after your first year then you will need to contact your Needs Assessor and ask them to make another recommendation for costs to be considered for a further year. 

  • Is there any support from the University towards the £200 computer contribution?

Unfortunately, the University does not reimburse the £200 computer contribution. If you are struggling financially you should contact Student Advice and Support Service who will be able to advise you further on financial issues.

  • Can I upgrade my IT equipment?
  1. Email a copy of your DSA 2 entitlement letter to the equipment         supplier.
  2. Contact them and tell them you want to upgrade to a higher    specification computer, printer or to an Apple Mac.
    1. Ask them to email you a quote to upgrade, which includes insurance, warranty and software so that it meets your disability related needs. If upgrading to the Apple platform recommended assistive software versions will need to Apple compatible.
  3. You will need to pay the difference in cost of you wish to go ahead.
    1. NOTE: if you do upgrade to a different system to that recommended in your Needs Assessment Report it is your responsibility to ensure it meets you disability and academic related needs.
    2. Email SFE (or other funding body if not SFE) and advise them you have upgraded so they have the correct information on file should anything go wrong with it.
  • My equipment is broken, how do I get it repaired?

Your DSA provided equipment should be covered by warranty for the length of your course including placements. Contact the original equipment supplier (who you ordered from it from) to see if your equipment is still within its warranty. If it is, the supplier will repair the equipment as long as it is repairable and parts available.  Repairs made by any other supplier/person will invalid the warranty. The Disability Office has a limited number of laptops and voice recorders for short term loans should you need one whilst your equipment is being repaired. Please contact us if you need to borrow equipment.  

  • Do I need to reapply for DSA for my post-graduate course?

Yes, but you may not need to provide evidence and have an Assessment of Needs again unless you condition has changed or have had another diagnosis of a different disability. If your course is significantly different from your undergraduate course, then you may be eligible for a re-assessment if requested with your application. Applications for post-grad taught course are made to SFE, SFW, SFS or SFNI. Applications for DSA from students on post-graduate research courses funded by the Research Council need to be made via a Disability Advisor.  Please contact us to arrange an appointment.

  • My support needs have changed, how do I access more/different support?

Contact us in the first instance who will discuss it with you and advise on the procedure for changing your support.

  • Will I get DSA on my placement year?

DSA is not provided during placement years; however any equipment/software etc. issued is of course yours to use. If you are reapplying for tuition fee loans when you return to study you will also need to send a new DSA application form in (though not supply evidence again or have another needs assessment). 

  • Can I get any support now before DSA is processed?

Some support can be provided by the University rather than via DSA. Please contact us to arrange a meeting with an Advisor who can discuss your support needs with you.

  • How do I contact Student Finance England/Wales/Scotland/Northern Ireland?

Student Finance England

Student Finance Scotland

Student Finance Northern Ireland

Student Finance Wales

  • How do I arrange my IT training?

There will be contact details on your DSA2 entitlement letter of the company chosen to deliver your training.  Contact them direct to arrange a convenient time and date.   

  • How do I arrange delivery of my equipment?

There will be contact details on your DSA2 entitlement letter of the company chosen to supply your equipment. Contact them direct to arrange a convenient date and time for delivery.  If your equipment will affect the fixed furniture in your room, e.g. a new desk, you must liaise with Student Accommodation Services for the delivery date to make sure they can schedule in the work to remove any existing furniture.

  • What is study support?

Information about specialist study support can be found here

Specialist maths support is also available which disabled students can access here 

  • How do I arrange study support?

If this has been approved in your DSA2 entitlement letter, contact Sarah Wortley, Study Support Administrator, on 01509 222670 or email s.a.wortley@lboro.ac.uk during term time only. 

  • How do I arrange note-taking?

If this has been approved in your DSA2 entitlement letter contact Hazel Thompson, note-taking manager, on 01509 222773 or email H.J.Thompson@lboro.ac.uk  during term times only.  Alternatively go to the note taking room (BRI.0.16) in the Bridgeman Building with a copy of your timetable and liaise with Hazel in person. 

  • My support costs exceed my allowance, what do I do?

There is a limit on the amount of DSA awarded to students. If you are advised that your support costs are going to be significantly higher you should seek advice on financial options from the Student Advice and Support Centre on campus. You could apply to the Snowdon Trust for a grant to help with the shortfall, or to the Student Health Association for smaller contributions, and contact us to arrange an appointment to discuss your situation further. 

I haven’t had a response from my funding provider following my application for DSA, what should I do? 

We advise you to phone your funding provider in the first instance to check they have received your application.

Student Finance England Student Finance Scotland

Student Finance Northern Ireland

Student Finance Wales 

There is a free phone you can access on Level 1 of the Bridgeman Building (outside room 1.24 in the Student Advice Centre) to make calls to funding providers free of charge. If you need further advice after calling your provider, please contact us. 

  • DSA have rejected my application, what can I do?

Contact us and we will support you to look in to it. It may be something as simple as needing more detailed evidence of your condition. 

  • DSA have rejected my Needs Assessment recommendations, what can I do?

Contact your assessor who may be able to look into this for you, or contact us and we will support you to look in to it further. 

10 - Coursework

  • How do I get a coursework extension? 

Your course handbook should include advice about extensions. Coursework extensions are not automatically given to students registered with the Disability Office. If you need an extension please contact your lecturer as soon as you can outlining the reason for the request. Extensions are given by your department on a ‘case by case’ basis and the Disability Office has no influence on whether or not they are granted. 

  • How do I get help with my academic writing?

Initially see your lecturer or personal tutor about help with your academic writing. If you have DSA in place and have been recommended 1:1 study skills support, contact the Study Support Service to arrange some sessions with a specialist teacher here. You may also find library workshops based on academic writing skills here

  • I have a lot of reading to do for my course how can I get support with this?

Initially see your lecturer or personal tutor about help with your academic reading. If you have DSA in place and have been recommended 1:1 study skills support, contact the study support service to arrange some sessions with a specialist teacher to work on reading strategies  http://www.lboro.ac.uk/services/cds/dyslexia/study-support-service/  

You may also find library workshops based on academic reading skills here

Assistive software such as Text help Read and Write is available on campus http://www.lboro.ac.uk/services/it/labs/labsoft/. We also have loan copies of this software you can borrow. Please contact us if you would like to discuss this. 

  • I need help with Maths and statistics – where can I access support?

The Maths Learning Support Centre on campus offers support to all students with maths work. If you are dyslexic and would like 1-1 support with maths you should contact Clare Trott C.Trott@lboro.ac.uk in the MLSC. 

  • Can I get my work proof-read?

The Study Support Service do not provide proofreading support. They aim to help you to develop independent proofreading strategies. If you have DSA in place you can book some study support to work on proofreading here

You can use assistive software such as Texthelp Read and Write available on campus http://www.lboro.ac.uk/services/it/labs/labsoft/ to help you to proofread.

If you wish to arrange a proof-reader then you need to locate and pay for this privately.  Some PhD students are able to access proofreading support through their DSA award. Please contact us to discuss this further. 

11 - Exams

  • I had extra time/other adjustments in school, how can I get them at University?

For dyslexia and other SpLDs you will need to provide us with an Educational Psychologist or specialist teachers assessment report completed after you were over 16 years of age. We will then use this report to make any adjustments you may need to examinations. 

If you have a disability or long term health condition you will need to meet with a Disability Advisor to discuss with you options available at University. You will need to provide the Disability Office with suitable evidence of your condition before any adjustments can be approved. Please contact us to make an appointment. 

  • Can I use a computer in my exams?

If your SpLD assessment recommends the use of a computer then you can. Please contact us to make the request. If your report has not recommended it then it is not usually permitted but cases are dealt with on an individual basis so if you wish to pursue this then contact us to discuss your options. 

If you need to use a computer due to medical/health reasons you will need to make an appointment to see a Disability Advisor to discuss this further, please contact us. 

  • Where do I go for my exams if I have extra time?

Your Learn timetable should show this information, or your departmental administrator will be in touch with you when exam timetables are released to let you know where the extra time venue will be. 

  • I thought I had extra time in place for an exam or class test but it’s not in place, what should I do? 

First of all, check with your department to see what has been recommended for you. If this is not what you were expecting, please contact us so that we can check your record. 

  • I am feeling stressed and anxious about my exams, what can I do?

There are some self-help materials available in the library and also some workshops on various topics to do with studying and exams. There is also information on the Counselling website you can find here and Counselling also run workshops periodically for exam anxiety, which you can find out about on their website here 

If you feel these are not enough for you can appointment to see someone in the Mental Health Support Team

  • I missed my exam because of my disability, what should I do?

You need to submit an Impaired Performance claim to the University, within the stated deadline. 

12 - Car parking and campus transport

  • How do I apply for a disabled parking pass on campus?

Email your request to disability@lboro.ac.uk outlining the reasons a permit is necessary in line with your disability. An Advisor will then review your case file and contact you accordingly. 

  • Can I have a temporary car park permit?

Temporary car parking permits can be issued at the discretion of security, depending on the reason for the request. Contact Security here for more information. 

  • How frequently does the free campus shuttle bus run?

Click here for more information about the Kinchbus which has bus stops all around campus and is free on campus with your student card. 

13 - Accommodation

  • Click here to be taken to the Frequently Asked Questions on the Student Accommodation Centre website. 
  • Can I stay in Halls after my Fresher’s year?

As a returning student you will need to make an application in accordance with the  Accommodation Services procedures. Under the ‘do you want a particular room’ section you need to outline the disability-related reason on which you are basing your request to return. 

Unlike in Fresher’s year, Accommodation Services and the Disability Office / Mental Health Support Team do not get involved in room allocation to students. The hall wardens make the decision on room allocation for returning students so you may also wish to contact them as well http://www.lboro.ac.uk/services/student-services/wardens-service/ . Wardens may check you are registered with the Disability Office / Mental Health Support Team if they are not aware of your disability in order to ensure they are allocating rooms appropriately. 

Only if your current room is an adapted wheelchair accessible one should also email your request to disability@lboro.ac.uk

  • How do I get a fridge/sharps bin/equipment for my room?

Contact us so you can discuss your requirements with a Disability Advisor. We will need medical evidence of your condition before any adjustments/equipment can be provided. Click here for the type of evidence you will need to provide us with. 

  • Is an adapted room more expensive than other rooms?

Adapted en-suite rooms are charged at the same rate as non-adapted en-suite rooms. 

  • I have a professional carer – how does accommodation support this?

Please contact the Disability Support Team manager as soon aspossible to discuss your circumstances.

14 - I have a question about my Educational Psychologist assessment…

  • How much does it cost?

Private assessments vary in their pricing, and please do be aware that you will need to cover the costs even if your assessment finds you not to have a SpLD. You should contact assessors and ask for a quote directly http://www.lboro.ac.uk/services/cds/dyslexia/assessment/

  • Why won’t the University accept my school tests?

Your test needs to be completed when you are over 16 years old so that it can be done using adult tests rather than child tests. It also needs to make recommendations for university level study rather than school or college.  The University only accepts reports written by an Educational Psychologist or a specialist teacher with a practicing certificate as evidence of a SpLD e.g. dyslexia or dyspraxia.

A post-16 report also allows you to apply for Disabled Students Allowance (see FAQs) and for examination adjustments to be put in place, e.g. extra time in exams, if recommended in the report. 

  • What is the benefit of having a report done when I already know I’m dyslexic?

The University only accepts reports written by an Educational Psychologist or specialist teacher as evidence of a SpLD e.g. dyslexia or dyspraxia. A post-16 EP report allows you to apply for Disabled Students Allowance and for examination adjustments to be put in place at University e.g. extra time if recommended in the report. 

An up to date assessment will also give you a more accurate picture of your strengths and learning preferences which you can build up on to develop your academic ability and fulfil your potential. 

  • Will I need another assessment when I start work or continue onto post graduate studies?

If your assessment was done by an Educational Psychologist or specialist teacher when you were over 16 years of age then you will not need another reassessment as an adult.

  • The report says I need a specialist eye test – what does this mean? 

Some people find that the glare from reading on white paper causes them visual stress. This can be helped by coloured paper over-lays, or by tinted glasses, which can reduce the glare and therefore make text easier to read.  You can pay for a private test at an optometrist test, details of which can be found here

15 - Dyslexia / Educational Psychologist assessments

  • Will the Disability Office help me complete the form?

For independent advice on making an IP claim it is recommended you contact Student Voice in the first instance. If, after then, you still need support from the Disability Office with your claim then please contact us. Information on support available from the Disability Office with IP claims can be found here

  • I am a final year student only recently identified as having dyslexia. Can I make a claim for previous academic years?

Impaired Performance can only usually be considered within current the academic year. Please see the guidelines here . Contact your department to ask whether they will consider a claim for previous academic years. Student Voice may also be able to advise you. 

All information about IP claims can be found on the main University webpage here

16 - What support is there available to me for using the library?

Your academic librarian has expertise in the subject area of your School and can assist you to use information resources effectively.  If you are needing further support in accessing and using the library please contact us.

17 - Will future employers find out if I tell the university about my disability?

We will not share information about your disability, support received or DSA information with any employer unless you request us to do so.

18 - Should I tell future employers about my disability? Is it illegal if I don’t answer ‘yes’ to the ‘are you disabled’ question?

In order to fulfil their duty to you as a disabled person your employer needs know about your disability, they are not legally obliged to put reasonable adjustments in place if they don't know they are needed. However, there is no legal obligation on you to disclose your disability and the decision as to whether to do so when applying for a graduate position, placement or internship is an individual one and will depend on a number of factors. Here are some resources to help you make an informed decision: Disability Rights UK – telling people you are disabled  , Loughborough University – Open Doors Guide To EmploymentCDS Open Doors event 2013 . If you would like to discuss this further please contact us.

19 - I am thinking of leaving my course, what should I do?

You should discuss your concerns with your department and/or personal tutor. You can also make an appointment and see a Disability Advisor. We can discuss your reasons for wanting to leave the course and offer support, advice and if necessary signposting to other services within the university.

20 - I’m not happy with the support I’m receiving at the university…what can I do?

If this is due to your DSA award, please make an appointment to see a Disability Advisor who will discuss the options available to you.

If you have a complaint about a service provided by the University, you should normally raise this in the first instance with the member of staff, department or section responsible. For further information, please consult the Student Handbook. If you would like the disability office to support you with this please contact us and we can explore it further with you. If you are considering making a complaint or an Academic Appeal, please seek help and support from Student Voice who provide a confidential and non-judgmental service for students.

Any concerns or complaints regarding the Disability Office should be made in the first instance by letter, email or telephone to the Disability Office Manager; Disability Office, Bridgeman Building, Loughborough University, Loughborough, LE11 3TU. 01509 222770 disability@lboro.ac.uk

If we are unable to resolve your concern or complaint it will be forwarded to the Head of Counselling & Disability Service.

 

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Contact Us

Disability Office

01509 222770 

Disability Office Query Form

Term-time drop-in

    • Mon 1230-1330
    • Tue  1230-1330 and 3.30-4.30
    • Wed 1230-1430
    • Thu  1230-1330
    • Fri    1230-1330

Building Location

‌Bridgeman Building (No 53 on Campus Map.  The number of blue badge parking bays is shown in the box next to the wheelchair symbol)

Epinal Way

Loughborough, LE11 3TU