At the University, disability and mental health support is provided by Disability and Mental Health Advisers within the Wellbeing Service. The team offers a confidential advice and guidance service to all UWL students and prospective students with a range of disabilities including specific learning difficulties, mental health difficulties, long term medical conditions, Autistic Spectrum Conditions, sensory impairments and physical impairments.
Support that can be offered to disabled students may include:
- advice and information on disability support and reasonable adjustments at University of West London
- advice and information on extra funding that may be available to disabled students, such as Disabled Students’ Allowances (DSAs)
- Individual Support Plans
- Reasonable adjustments for examinations
- loan equipment (usually FE and international students)
- liaison with School staff
- assistance in arranging support workers e.g. study skills tutors, communication support workers, mentors
- assistance in arranging a diagnostic assessment with an Educational Psychologist, for students who think they have a specific learning difficulty
- a service to provide books in alternative formats to disabled students who cannot access printed materials
- extra library support
Registering with the Disability & Mental Health team and evidence required
Students approaching the service for support for the first time must make an appointment with a Disability Adviser in order to register. In order to access support or reasonable adjustments, evidence of a student’s disability must be confirmed in writing by an appropriately qualified professional.
- Students with a disability or mental health difficulty must provide a recent letter from a GP, consultant or another suitably qualified medical specialist, such as a mental health practitioner or specialist nurse.
- Students with a specific learning difficulty (such as dyslexia or dyspraxia) must provide a formal diagnostic assessment report carried out by either a registered Educational Psychologist or Specialist Teacher with a clear diagnosis.
If you do not have evidence of your disability, we can provide advice and guidance on how to obtain it.
If you think you may have a specific learning difficulty, the team can assist you in arranging an assessment with an Educational Psychologist. We can also advise you on any additional funding which may be available to contribute towards the cost of a diagnostic assessment. You must be a fully registered student to benefit from any additional funding.
Disclosure and Confidentiality
The University is committed to ensuring that disabled students are provided with equal access to their course, facilities and services and to develop a fully inclusive learning and teaching environment for all students.
The Disability & Mental Health team provides advice and information for disabled students, and aims to enable disabled students to achieve their full potential at University. The University wants to promote an environment where students are able to disclose a disability.
The team may need to disclose information to other staff to in order to help support you. This information will only be shared where necessary on a ‘need to know’ basis. We define ‘need to know’ as sharing sufficient information to help set up support and only with people involved in that process.
When you first meet with a Disability Adviser to discuss your support requirements, you will have the opportunity to discuss confidentiality and disclosure options.
Disabled Students’ Allowances
If you are a student in higher education and have a disability, you may be eligible for Disabled Students’ Allowances (DSA). DSAs are government grants designed to contribute towards any additional costs a student may incur whilst studying due to their disability, long term medical condition, specific learning difficulty or mental health difficulty. They are not means tested, and you do not generally have to pay them back.
DSAs can help fund:
- specialist equipment and assistive technology
- non-medical helpers
- other general disability-related costs of studying
- extra travel costs because of your disability
Once you have been assessed as ‘eligible’ to receive DSAs, you will need to arrange a Needs Assessment. This is an informal meeting between you and an assessor to decide what support you need. You will then finally receive a letter of entitlement detailing exactly what support you are entitled to and how to order your equipment.
Students should make a DSA application to the appropriate funding body. Please visit the relevant website for more information on DSA and to download an application form.
For students living in:
- England: gov.uk/disabled-students-allowances-dsas/overview
- Wales: studentfinancewales.co.uk
- Northern Ireland: studentfinanceni.co.uk
- Scotland: saas.gov.uk
- Students enrolled on a Nursing or Midwifery undergraduate course that started before 01/08/2017 should apply for DSA with NHS Bursaries through their NHS BOSS account.
The whole DSA application process can take up to 14 weeks, therefore we advise you to apply as early as possible so that support is in place for the start of your course. The team can advise and guide you through any point of the DSA application process.
You can contact the team in the following ways:
Telephone: 020 8231 2739
Wellbeing Team (Disability & Mental Health)
William Brake Student Services
University Of West London
St. Mary’s Road