Information for users

Users with disabilities

disabled users
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Registering with Wellbeing

We advise that all users with disabilities register with Disability Support in the Student welfare team. As a part of the support provided, you will be given an Individual Support Plan (ISP). This may provide you with extra access to certain resources in the University, including the Library.


  • Each of our sites has stairs and lifts to all floors. There are additional disability lifts in the Paul Hamlyn Library.
  • Accessible toilets are available on each floor of the Paul Hamlyn Library.
  • Our publications are available in large print upon request.
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Assistive technology

The University has recently completed a project to update and implement a range of Assistive Technology on campus. The assistive technology is specifically aimed at disabled users to improve accessibility.

At each campus, the following assistive technology is available at dedicated AT workstations:

  • JAWS - screen-reading software that can read out any text on-screen for visually impaired users
  • MindManager - mind mapping software which can help plan and organise ideas. Mind mapping is a good technique to use to develop and structure assignments.  A ‘mind map’ can also be exported to Microsoft Word or PowerPoint.
  • ClaroRead – this software can support students with reading and writing. It can read out text and has spell check, dictionary, highlight and scanning features. It is very useful to read back typed work to help with proof reading.
  • SuperNova - screen magnification software that magnifiers the screen and retains the clarity even at the highest level of magnification. It can also change the contrast and cursor settings on the screen
  • Dragon NaturallySpeaking – speech recognition software which turns spoken words into text
  • Enlarged screens with ergonomic keyboards and mice
  • Ergonomic chairs and adjustable tables
  • A desktop video magnifier is available on our West London campus for visually impaired users to magnify books

A dedicated AT workstation is located on each floor of the Paul Hamlyn Library at Ealing, the Student Study Space on Floor 2 at Paragon House and in the Library on Floor 9 at the Berkshire Institute of Health in Reading.

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Users with disabilities may have the right to longer borrowing periods if stated in their ISP. These allow an additional week to be added to our regular loan periods, as follows:

  • 3 week loan is extended to 4 weeks
  • 1 week loan is extended to 2 weeks
  • Next-day loan is extended to 2 days

Students with this additional loan entitlement are still required to renew or return their books by the revised due date or overdue charges will apply.

Where additional Library support is recommended, the university will promptly update its database where possible to ensure the Library support is implemented.

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Laptop Loans

The Paul Hamlyn Library also has 12 laptops with additional technology, matching that of the Assistive Technology workstations as listed above. These laptops can be borrowed by students with agreed extended loan rights. They can be found in bay 'AC' of the lockers on the first floor of the library.  

These laptops are loaned for a maximum of 5 hours with an overdue charge of £0.50 an hour, up to a maximum of £10.00.

They are subject to a minimum replacement charge of £650 if they are lost, damaged or cannot be returned immediately. If you fail to return the laptop by the next day a replacement charge of £650 will be added to your library account.

To access these laptops, you will first need to be registered with the Wellbeing Team.

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Alternative formats

Users with disabilities may request essential-reading books in alternative formats. This service is available to students with a visual impairment, specific learning difficulty or any other condition that makes accessing printed material difficult. This should be agreed with your Wellbeing Adviser and will be indicated on your ISP.

You can request an alternative format for any essential reading book on your reading lists and we will normally be able to supply you with an e-copy of the book.

Please use the Alternative formats form to place a request or contact Disability Support for more information.

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Customer Service Excellence logoGet in touch

Email us:

Call us: 020 8231 2405 (Ealing) or 020 8209 4434 (Reading, Mon-Fri 9am-5pm)