Accessing disability support | Accessing specific learning difference (SpLD) support | If you choose to have your diagnostic assessment at Roehampton | What to expect in a diagnostic assessment session
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 ADHD).
- 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).
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' Allowance (DSA) and other Disability related, educational funding.
- Arrange a 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 either by post or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you do not have any medical evidence, you will need to visit your GP or consultant. You may want to take this medical information request form.
You will also need to apply for Disabled Students Allowance (DSA) funding as soon as possible. You will need to send a copy of your evidence to Student Finance England with your application.
You can contact us before you start or at any time during your studies to arrange support. It's worth noting 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 quicker.
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.
You can book an appointment with a Disability Adviser here. Alternatively you can:
- Phone our office on 020 8392 3636.
- Send an email to email@example.com.
- Come in to see us in person to make an appointment - we are based in the Richardson building, Digby Stuart campus.
In order to get support for a specific learning difference (SpLD) such as dyslexia, dyspraxia, dyscalculia or ADHD, 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 either by post or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
You will also need to apply for Disabled Students Allowance (DSA) funding as soon as possible. You will need to send a copy of your diagnostic report to Student Finance England with your application.
If you don't have a suitable report, you have two options for getting a full diagnostic assessment done.
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.
Alternatively, you may want to contact either the Educational Psychologist who works with us, Dr Mohamedali, or Alpha Dyslexia Consultants, a team of specialist assessors.
Alpha Dyslexia Consultants
24 Leyborne Park, Kew, Surrey TW9 3HA
Phone: 07941 433602 / 07941 349927
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.
You will need to come to a Dyslexia drop in session – these run at the following times during term, in the Richardson Building, Digby Stuart campus:
- Tuesdays 4-6pm
- Wednesdays 1-3pm
- Thursdays 12-2pm
When you arrive, you will need to sign in at the front reception – it's a good idea to arrive as early as possible as the drop in sessions are first come, first served. It's useful for you to bring any diagnostic reports you may have with you, and any coursework you have done and had feedback on.
The specialist tutor who meets with you will ask you questions about your history, previous education and types of support you have had in the past.
At the end of your screening interview, the specialist tutor will advise you of next steps. If there is enough evidence to suggest that you may have a specific learning difference, they will advise you on the process for getting assessed - see below. In some cases they may ask you to come back again for further screening if they don't have enough 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.
On the day of your diagnostic assessment, you should report to reception in the Richardson building, Digby Stuart campus.
Please arrive in plenty of time - fifteen minutes before the start should be enough.
You should anticipate that the assessment could take up to three hours, so allow enough time.
If you can't attend, contact us at email@example.com as soon as possible.
Remember that the diagnostic assessment should help your progress academically, even though the thought of undergoing it may appear a little daunting.
Already, you will have attended a screening interview, where you were asked numerous questions and underwent some simple tests of memory, reading and left and right orientation. The full diagnostic assessment is similar, but just a little more detailed.
Our assessors, who are fully qualified professionals, are contracted by University of Roehampton specifically to carry out assessments for Specific Learning Differences (SpLDs). This term simply means that someone may have a difficulty in one specific area of learning, for example short-term memory, which means that they may find university study challenging.
What to bring:
- 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 your drop-in 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 tests 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 ask a tutor to do so at our regular drop-in sessions in the Richardson building.