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

Counselling and Disability Service

CDS Evidence Policy

Student discussion


Loughborough University provides a range of well-established services to address the specific issues that disabled students or those with mental health difficulties may encounter during their time at the University (including learning, teaching and the social environments).

CDS assess for appropriate arrangements and organise support to meet individual needs, including those arising from physical or sensory impairments, long term health conditions, Specific Learning Differences (SpLDs), Autistic Spectrum Conditions (ASC) or mental health difficulties like depression, anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder, etc.

In order to ensure the University provides an appropriately assessed support package  which meets your specific needs it is important that we are informed of the nature of your disability, long-term health condition, SpLD, ASC or mental health difficulty. We will need you to provide evidence of your disability or condition as soon as possible so that appropriate support can be put in place.

Providing evidence will also help us maintain professional standards within CDS, academic departments and professional services across the University, by ensuring consistency of approach to different students with comparable levels of needs. It will further ensure that we make specific arrangements that continue to maintain academic standards, and assess appropriate levels of support that enable individual students to reach their potential.

What is classed as a disability?

The University supports 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’.

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. Further information about definitions of disability can be found in the Government guidance via this link

Why obtain evidence?

It can help you disclose the range of issues associated with your disability or mental health condition to those you wish to inform. You can use it to start a conversation either with your school/department or CDS about what the issues in the Higher Education context are for you. This will help to ensure CDS is better informed about the actual issues, and can provide you with specific information or discuss appropriate arrangements with you.

It can help establish your rights within the Higher Education context and for CDS to consider a wider range of support or “reasonable adjustments”.

It can help establish your eligibility for funding from the Disabled Students Allowance (DSA), which is a government grant that can provide additional equipment and support for you during your studies. Providing evidence to CDS will mean we can also assist you with your application.


Loughborough University works in accordance with the Data Protection Act and confidential information will only be shared within the University with the aim of ensuring disabled students are fully supported, and is done so on a ‘need to know’ basis. Please see our on-line guidance here on how information is shared

For prospective students, information provided to CDS has no bearing on the decision of academic departments to offer students a place to study; however, if you wish to restrict the sharing of information please advise us in writing. 

Please be advised that non-disclosure of relevant information to relevant parties within the University might affect the level of support the University and CDS can provide. Likewise, not providing evidence of a disability in a timely way is likely to limit the availability of arrangements or delay provision of services.

Applying for the Disabled Students Allowance (DSA)

DSA is a government grant which can pay for additional support and equipment recommended in your Needs Assessment Report in to order to maximise your potential. The evidence you provide to CDS may also be used to apply for DSA. Further information about DSA can be found via this link.

Obtaining suitable evidence

Responsibility for obtaining initial evidence rests with the student in the first instance and CDS is not able to cover the cost of obtaining evidence. If acquiring evidence is going to leave you in financial hardship please refer to the Student Advice and Support Service for financial advice. If you have insufficient evidence, or have not yet had your condition identified, CDS can advise on the steps to take to be able to access support so again please contact us.

If you have more than one disability which you will need support for we will need evidence of each of them and multiple conditions can, of course, be outlined by the same professional where appropriate. Evidence should be written in English, and where possible on headed paper, stamped and signed. Evidence should be scanned and emailed rather than posted in. If you do need to post it, please make sure you retain a copy of your evidence for your records and do not send in any original documentation as paperwork will be shredded after being saved electronically.

Student Finance England provides a form to be completed by a medical professional in order to apply for Disabled Students Allowance.  This form can be used by students to evidence a sensory or physical disability, long term health condition, mental health condition, and autistic spectrum condition (although further evidence may also have to be provided as outlined below). The University will also accept this DSA form as evidence of your disability in order to assess your needs accordingly.

Guidance on suitable evidence is provided below. 


Evidence required

Evidence to include

Other notes


Autistic Spectrum Conditions


(UCAS code B)

Letter or report from medical professional e.g. doctor, paediatrician, consultant, clinical psychologist




SFE evidence form




Evidence from school or college of your educational needs, for example a statement of SEN or an IIP


Confirmation of condition.
Outline of symptoms.
Date of identification.
Impact on day-to-day activities.
Potential effects on study and social interactions. 
Explanation of how you have previously been supported in an educational environment or how your capacity to learn is affected by your autism.


Visual Impairment

Deaf/Hard of hearing

Physical disability


(UCAS code C, D, H)

Letter from GP, consultant or other medical professional




SFE evidence form

Confirmation of diagnosis. Date of diagnosis.
Outline of symptoms.
Impact on day to day activities.
Potential effects on study.


Must be on headed paper, preferably dated within 12 months, and signed

Long term medical condition


(UCAS code E,I)


Letter from GP, consultant or other medical professional




SFE evidence form

Confirmation of diagnosis. Outline of symptoms.

Date of diagnosis.

Impact on day to day activities.

Potential effects on study.



Must be on headed paper, preferably dated within 12 months, and signed

Mental health difficulties

(UCAS code F)

Letter from GP, consultant, specialist therapist or social worker.




SFE evidence form


Confirmation of a working diagnosis.

Where possible: An outline of symptoms and likely impact on day to day activities at University.

Must be on headed paper, preferably dated within last 12 months, and signed.


Specific Learning Differences:

(UCAS code G)





Dyslexia, dysgraphia, dyscalculia 


Assessment by either a Chartered Educational Psychologist (EP) or a Specialist Teacher with a valid Assessment Practising Certificate and registered with PATOSSBDA or the Dyslexia Guild.


Must be done post-16 years of age and written up into a full assessment report to the SpLD Working Group 2005/DfES guidelines

See guidance on ADSHE web site.



Assessment by a medical or educational professional e.g. physiotherapist, occupational therapist, consultant paediatrician.





Diagnosis by either a Chartered Clinical Psychologist or a Psychiatrist. However Chartered Educational Psychologists and specialist teachers with the relevant training may identify patterns of behaviour that would strongly suggest ADHD for the purpose of HE support.




Temporary illness or injury (less than 12 months)

(UCAS code A)



Support may be provided via academic department.



Search CDS

Contact us

‌Disability Office

01509 222770

Counselling Service

01509 222148

Mental Health Team

01509 228338

Assessment Centre

02476 426146


A confidential support, advice and information service for any student experiencing harassment and /or bullying or discriminatory treatment.

T: 01509 222769

Email  Confide.Student@lboro.ac.uk



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