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This content is taken from the University of York's online course, Next Steps to University: From Choosing A Course to Your First Assessment. Join the course to learn more.

Skip to 0 minutes and 7 secondsAt university a disability means any health condition which has lasted, or is likely to last, twelve months or more which may have a negative impact on your studies even if it is fluctuating. This includes, but is not limited to, long term health conditions, sensory impairments, mobility difficulties, mental health difficulties (such as anxiety and depression) and autistic spectrum condition. It also includes specific learning difficulties such as ADHD and dyslexia. If you have, or think you might have any of these, please do get in touch.

Skip to 0 minutes and 49 secondsThat is a difficult question as it really depends on your needs and what might help you on your course. But we are very proud of the level of support we provide so the best thing to do is to contact Disability Services so that your case can be assigned to the relevant practitioner. They will then discuss your needs with you one-to-one and explore what support is available.

Skip to 1 minute and 12 secondsTypically, support falls into two camps: The first are academic adjustments on your course. These are adjustments to the way the university deliver your education and assess your abilities for example accessible course materials or special examination arrangements. The second camp is one-to-one academic support such as study skills tuition for students with dyslexia or specialist mentoring sessions for students with mental health difficulties or autistic spectrum conditions. These regular one-to-ones outside of your academic department are really valuable for many students staying focused and managing their studies around their difficulties.

Skip to 2 minutes and 0 secondsIf you are a UK student you may be eligible for Disabled Students Allowances. These are government grants which can contribute towards the extra costs of studying at university with a disability. They may be able to fund specialist equipment, software, travel expenses or even human support. We strongly advise all students and applicants with disabilities to apply and we are happy to help you do so.

Skip to 2 minutes and 30 secondsThere are many people around the university offering support ranging from pastoral support, mental health support, financial assistance and advocacy. Check out the universitys health and wellbeing webpages for links to all sorts of support for students both with and without disabilities.

What if I have additional needs or a disability?

If you have a disability or long-term health condition, your university has a duty to make reasonable adjustments under the UK Equality Act 2010. These adjustments are to ensure that you are not disadvantaged in your studies because of your disabilities.

Disclosing a disability will never adversely affect your application or education in any way and you may be surprised at how much support is available. You can disclose a disability at any point, but it is always best to do so as early as possible, such as on your application, so that support can be prepared for the start of your course.

Most universities will have what’s called an ‘access’ or ‘accessibility’ statement, which sets out its policy and intentions in terms of ensuring a proactive approach to access.

York’s statement says:

The University of York is committed to a policy of equality, inclusion and accessibility in the delivery of its services to staff, students, and members of the public alike and in enhancing both the student experience and that of all visitors to Campus. It fully recognizes the individual abilities of all, and is active in ensuring that potential disadvantage is addressed in the physical attributes of the buildings it develops and uses and the management practices and procedures it adopts.

Disability Services

If you have additional needs, make sure the universities you are applying to have a Disability Service, offering advice to staff, students and visitors.

Disability Services at the University of York are responsible for arranging academic support and adjustments if you have a disability or long-term health condition that has an impact on your ability to study. This may include:

  • autistic spectrum condition
  • visual impairment
  • hearing impairment
  • a long-standing illness or health condition
  • mental health difficulties
  • Specific learning difficulties (SpLD) such as dyslexia, dyspraxia or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
  • physical/mobility difficulties
  • on-going recovery from illness or surgery

Here at York, support is flexible and based on your needs, so please get in touch as soon as possible to discuss your case with one of our Disability Practitioners. They will help to determine reasonable adjustment for your course and explore what other support options may be available to you. For example, you might benefit from having a support worker in your lectures, help meeting deadlines, or examination adjustments.

You may also be eligible for Disabled Students’ Allowances (DSAs). DSAs can contribute towards the cost of useful technologies and other aids to help with your studies. We can help you apply for DSAs and assist with putting the approved support in place.

If you have a general query or want to find out more, you may find the information you need on our webpages - our FAQs are especially useful!

Mental health support at York

Disability Services work closely with the University’s Open Door Team. Open Door is a team of Mental Health Practitioners providing support to all registered students experiencing psychological or mental health difficulties. This service is available to students both with and without long-term conditions.

It’s important for everybody to look after their physical and mental health and we encourage everybody in the university community to familiarise themselves with their university’s support pages.

For those of you who are coming to York, you can view our Health & Wellbeing resources.

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Next Steps to University: From Choosing A Course to Your First Assessment

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