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St George's warmly welcomes and supports students who are disabled or have a Specific Learning Difficulty (SpLD). Our advisors, based in the Student Life Centre, are here to support any student or potential student with a disability or specific needs.

The team includes a specialist tutor to support students with dyslexia and other SpLDs in developing their study skills.

*Students, please note that specialist study skills support sessions are still taking place and will by arranged via Skype appointment for the time being.  Please contact the Disability Advisor for more information.

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Who is entitled to support?

Students with long-term health conditions, mental health conditions, physical or sensory impairments, autistic spectrum conditions and SpLDs are all entitled to support and are encouraged to contact the disability team.

I think I may have a learning difficulty such as dyslexia, what should I do?

The university provides a screening service for students who are suspected of having a specific learning difficulty (SpLD) such as dyslexia.   You may be referred by a tutor or other member of staff, or you can contact the disability advisor yourself.

Following a positive screening, you will be advised if you will be required to pay for your assessment yourself or if you are eligible for funding.  We may need to ask you for more information to confirm your eligibility for any funding available.

Students doing a workforce development module of a few weeks will be restricted by time and as such there is a slightly different screening process for students enrolled on these modules.  Please contact the disability advisor for more details.

If you require an assessment you will be referred to Dyslexia Assessments & Consultancy (DAC) to make the necessary arrangements.  DAC may have their own waiting list and we cannot guarantee you will be able to be assessed immediately. 

If you are paying for your own assessment you can choose any provider you like but you should check that your assessor holds a current practising certificate from their relevant professional body:

  • practitioner psychologists registered with the HCPC,
  • specialist teacher assessors with a current SpLD Assessment Practising Certificate.

Alternatively, you can request a referral to DAC who will charge you the university’s agreed rate.

Once a diagnostic report has been received you can use this to access support such as additional time in exams and to apply for Disabled Students’ Allowances (DSA).

When should I inform the university of my disability or specific learning difficulty?

Applicants are advised to declare any disability, SpLD or additional needs on their application form so that we have the earliest opportunity to advise you of the support available and put any arrangements into place for you.

You are very welcome to contact the disability service before or during the application process to discuss your support needs.  You can, however, access support from the disability service at any point in your studies.  We do advise you to get in touch as early as possible so that we are able to ensure your support arrangements are in place when you need them. 

For exam arrangements, we need to have any evidence to support your arrangements at least 6 weeks in advance of the exam to give us plenty of time to make the necessary arrangements.
What will I need to provide?

In order to access support from the disability service, you’ll need to provide one of the following:

For a disability or long term health condition (including mental health difficulties)

A copy of a recent medical letter or document from GP, consultant, or other medical professional, which details the impact of your disability/health condition on your studies. You will also need this evidence to apply for DSA (see below). f you don't have any appropriate evidence, you can ask your doctor to fill out the Disabled Students' Allowances Disability Evidence Form(PDF), which we can also accept. You will also need the same type of medical evidence if you are applying for Disabled Students’ Allowances (DSA).

For SpLD such as dyslexia, dyspraxia and ADHD

A copy of your most recent Educational Psychologist report diagnosing your SpLD. 

Alternatively, students who do not have the above diagnostic report but who have a Form 8 dated within the last two years of their enrolment may submit this as evidence for eligibility for examination arrangements only. Please note that we are limited in what type of support we can offer where a Form 8 is the only type of evidence and cannot guarantee we will be able to provide the same exam arrangements you may have had at school or college.  You are therefore advised to have a full diagnostic assessment in order to access all of the support you may be entitled to.  The university offers a screening service and can refer you for a full diagnostic assessment if required.

For full support such as access to one to one studyskills and to apply for Disabled Students’ Allowances (DSA) you will need a full diagnostic assessment report from a qualified educational psychologist, or specialist teacher/assessor. 

From the 20/21 academic year, students will be required to pay for their assessments except in cases of financial hardship.  Please contact the disability advisor for more information.

If you are organising your own assessment, please check that your assessor holds a current practising certificate from their relevant professional body:

  • practitioner psychologists registered with the HCPC,

  • specialist teacher assessors with a current SpLD Assessment Practising Certificate

Will I be eligible for funding for my SpLD assessment?

In order to qualify for funding, you will need to be fully enrolled and fall into one of the following categories:

  1. Students in receipt of the St George’s Opportunity Fund Grant
  2. Students who are care leavers
  3. Any student who is in receipt of the Access to Learning Fund during the year in which they apply for an SpLD assessment
  4. Students in receipt of SFE dependant’s grant  or the Parent's Learning Allowance

In addition, you will need to show that you have applied for all available statutory funding from your funding body where appropriate.

If you are an international student whom none of the above applies to, you may still be eligible for funding.  The disability advisor will let you know what information you need to provide.

What sort of support is available?

Advice and guidance from a disability adviser on the support available to you is available for you from the first point of application throughout your university life. Support can include the following.

  • Reasonable adjustments to help you access the teaching, assessment and placement elements of your course.  Your individual reasonable adjustments will recorded on your Summary of Support Needs and shared with relevant departments once you have given your consent.

  • Examination arrangements such as additional time and rest breaks can be made for eligible students

  • We can provide support for your application for Disabled Student’s Allowances (DSA) process.

  • We will help you in setting up any one to one support such as tutoring, mentoring or other support workers.

  • If you need a post-16 diagnostic report, or if you would like to explore the possibility that you have a specific learning difficulty such as dyslexia then we have a screening process after which we will arrange for a diagnostic assessment if appropriate.

  • Various assistive technology is available to support you Sonocent Audio Notetaker, as well as having Panopto lecture capture facilities.

  • If you have any specific accommodation needs relating to your disability we can potentially reserve you an appropriately adapted room in our halls of residence. You are encouraged to declare your disability in your accommodation application and to contact the disability service at the earliest opportunity to ensure we are able to prioritise your needs.

Can I access any assistive technology through the university to support remote learning?

There are a number of productivity tools to help you in your studies which you can access from your home computer.

Apple accessibility guide: a written guide about the accessibility features built into Apple devices.

AT BAR: a free Browser toolbar which you can use to change the look and feel of web pages, read text aloud or check your spelling.

Microsoft Accessibility: a written guide about the accessibility features built into Microsoft devices.

We can also provide access to Sonocent Audio Notetaker to any student who needs it.  Sonocent can help you with lectures by capturing audio, text and slides in one place, and allowing you to highlight parts of  the lectures as they happen, so you can categorise and organise your notes more easily.  See the link above for more details.

Please contact the Disability Advisor for further details.

Disabled Students’ Allowances (DSA)

Disabled Students’ Allowances (DSA) is funding available to you through your funding body which provides support for you to enable you to access your course and to offset any disability related expenses.

Once your application has been accepted by your funding body you will be asked to attend a Needs Assessment. This is where you will have equipment and other support recommended for your individual needs.

Once you have had your needs assessment you will receive an entitlement letter stating who the providers of your support will be. You can then use these details to make the necessary arrangements. Support is available from the disability service at each stage of this process if required.

Examination arrangements

Students who have submitted appropriate supporting evidence (see above) may be entitled to additional arrangements in exams.

Additional arrangements are recommended on a case by case basis but can include the following:

  • additional writing time

  • ‘stop the clock’ rest breaks,

  • use of specialist equipment such as coloured overlays or ergonomic equipment

  • scribes and/or readers

  • large print exam papers

  • use of a computer

  • additional reading time for practical exams.

Watch this video for more information on how rest breaks work.

 

Further information can be found in the Additional Assessment and Examination Arrangements policy and procedures and the Frequently asked questions for additional arrangements in online exams (PDF)

Further information

For any further information please contact the disability adviser or by dropping into the Student Life Centre on the ground floor of Hunter wing.

Please note that due to Covid 19 restrictions the Disability Service is operating remotely.  You will still have access to the full range of support but any meetings will take place by prior arrangement either by phone or video call.  Please use email to contact the disability advisor, or if the query is particularly urgent you can call the Student Life Centre on 0203 897 2033 to request a call back.

The Disability Service receives a high volume of queries so your patience is appreciated whilst waiting for a response.

You can also read our student disability policy.

 

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