Access support

Accessing disability support | Accessing Specific Learning Difference (SpLD) support | If you choose to have your Diagnostic Assessment at Roehampton or require a SpLD Screening | What to expect in a Diagnostic Assessment

In order for the University to arrange support you will need to provide us with evidence of your disability. The Equality Act (2010) provides guidance on what can be considered to be a disability:

  • Problems with mobility, seeing or hearing
  • Specific Learning Differences (e.g. dyslexia, dyspraxia, dyscalculia and AD(H)D)
  • Social / communication difficulties (such as Asperger's syndrome and Autism)
  • Mental illness or mental health difficulties
  • Severe disfigurements
  • Unseen, long-term medical conditions such as cancer, HIV/Aids, epilepsy, diabetes
  • Progressive conditions, conditions characterised by a number of cumulative effects such as pain or fatigue and a past history of disability

If you are not sure if you are covered by this definition of disability please do contact us for advice.

On this page you will find information about the types of evidence of your disability that are required and how to obtain the correct evidence if you do not have any.

You can also find out how to obtain a full diagnostic assessment report (for Specific Learning Differences such as dyslexia and dyspraxia).

If you cannot find the information you require here please check our FAQs page or contact us.

Accessing disability support

The support we provide depends on the nature of your course and whether you are a UK, EU or international student. The types of services we offer depend on your individual needs and must be related to your disability and how this affects you in an educational setting.  We can support you to:

  • Liaise with University staff about your needs
  • Apply for Disabled Students' Allowances (DSA) and other Disability related, educational funding
  • Arrange a Study Needs Assessment
  • Set up support with one of our mentors
  • Access support provided by note takers, library assistants, BSL interpreters etc
  • Discuss reasonable adjustments you may need on your course and in exams

We will require medical evidence in order to provide you with these services - if you have a suitable report it is useful for you to send a copy to us by email to disabilities@roehampton.ac.uk.

If you do not have any medical evidence, you will need to contact your GP or consultant. You may want to give them this medical information request form.

You will also need to apply for Disabled Students' Allowances (DSA) funding as soon as possible. You will need to send a copy of your evidence to your relevant student funding body with your application.

Depending on where you live you need to send your evidence to one of the following:

  • Student Finance England (SFE)
  • Student Finance Wales (SFW)
  • Student Award Agency Scotland (SAAS)
  • Student Finance Northern Ireland (SFNI)

You can contact us before you start or at any time during your studies to arrange support. It can sometimes take up to three months from beginning the application process with the DSA so it can be a real time saver to contact us in advance of arriving – it just means we can get things put in place for you earlier.

The services we provide are confidential. If you would like to arrange an appointment to see or talk to someone prior to starting University, please contact us.

To book an appointment with us please:

  • Send an email to disabilities@roehampton.ac.uk
  • Phone our office on 020 8392 3636
  • Come to one of our Drop-In sessions
    (1 – 2 pm Monday – Friday in term time)

Accessing Specific Learning Difference (SpLD) support

In order to get support for a Specific Learning Difference (SpLD) such as dyslexia, dyspraxia, dyscalculia or AD(H)D, you need to have evidence of your diagnosis.  This is usually a report that is:

  • Written by an Educational Psychologist or Specialist Assessor.

If you have a suitable report, it is useful for you to send a copy to us by email to disabilities@roehampton.ac.uk.

You will also need to apply for Disabled Students’ Allowances (DSA) funding as soon as possible. You will need to send a copy of your evidence to your relevant student funding body with your application.

Depending on where you live you need to send your evidence to one of the following:

  • Student Finance England (SFE)
  • Student Finance Wales (SFW)
  • Student Award Agency Scotland (SAAS)
  • Student Finance Northern Ireland (SFNI)

If you do not have a suitable report, you have two options for getting a full diagnostic assessment.

1. You can arrange to get an assessment done independently.  If you choose this option it will mean that you will be able to access support on your course much sooner, however you will need to pay for the assessment yourself. Visit the British Dyslexia Association website to find an assessor. Please be aware that the process of applying for funding and accessing support is very lengthy, so it is best to get the process started as soon as you can.

OR:

2. You can wait until the start of the academic year (towards the end of September) and have your diagnostic assessment arranged through Roehampton.  If you choose this option, you may be able to apply for funding to pay for some of the assessment cost (you will still be asked to contribute £100 towards the cost). Please note: you will not be able to apply for University funds if you seek an independent assessment prior to starting your course.  However, please be aware that if you do choose this option, it is unlikely that you will have any support in place before Christmas due to the length of time it takes to go through the whole process.

If you have any questions about this process, please contact us to ask for further advice.

If you choose to have your Diagnostic Assessment at Roehampton or require a SpLD Screening

You will need to book a SpLD Screening appointment prior to any formal diagnostic assessment. This can be booked via phone, email or one of our daily lunchtime Drop-ins.

On the day of your SpLD Screening appointment, please bring any previous diagnostic reports/paperwork (including any Form 8 Access Arrangement paperwork from school or college). Prior to the appointment, you will also be asked to complete a Pre-Screening Questionnaire.

The Specialist Tutor who meets with you will review your paperwork and ask questions about your history, previous education and types of previous support. You may also be asked to do additional screening tasks to help clarity your specific challenges.

If there is enough evidence to suggest you may have a Specific Learning Difference, you will be advised to get a formal diagnostic assessment - see below. In some cases you may be asked to come back again to complete further screening tasks if there is insufficient evidence. Please make sure that you attend any further appointments or provide any further information as quickly as possible to avoid delay in getting the best possible advice.

What to expect in a Diagnostic Assessment

Your diagnostic assessment will take place in the Richardson building on the Digby Stuart campus. Please arrive at the Disability Reception 15 minutes prior to the start of your appointment and be aware that your assessment could take up to three hours.

If you are running late or need to cancel the appointment, please contact us via phone 020 8392 3636 or email disabilities@roehampton.ac.uk as soon as possible. There is a cancellation procedure, which you will be notified of at the time of booking your assessment.

Our assessors are fully qualified professionals and are contracted by University of Roehampton specifically to carry out assessments for Specific Learning Differences (SpLD). This term simply means that someone may have a difficulty in one specific area of learning, for example reading, writing, organisation, concentration, short-term memory etc., which means that they may find University study challenging.

What to bring:

  • Pen.
  • Bottle of water.
  • A sample of marked course work would also be useful.

In the assessment itself, your Assessor will ask you similar questions to the ones you were asked in the Screening. For example, about how you learned as a child and whether you remember any particular difficulties with reading, writing, spelling, maths or with organising your time.

Most of the assessment is comprised of simple tasks of reading (both single words and text), spelling, free writing, phonological awareness (how we process the sounds we hear) and underlying ability.

Afterwards, the Assessor will write up a comprehensive report, a copy of which will be sent to you electronically by the University. If you would like the details contained in the report explained to you, you can book a follow-up appointment with the Dyslexia Co-ordinator.