Frequently asked questions

General

Q: I already know I have a disability. Do I need to provide evidence?

A: We do need evidence of your disability. This could be a General Practitioner (GP) letter for a disability or a medical condition and/or a psychologist or a qualified practitioner report for specific learning difficulties e.g. dyslexia.

Your evidence must echo the Equality Act 2010 and state your diagnosis, that your disability is:

  • substantial
  • long-term in terms of the impact on your normal daily life.

Q: I don’t want my lecturers to know that I am dyslexic or that I have another disability. Do I have to tell them?

A: No. You may choose not to disclose your disability to anyone. However, if you would like support arrangements, such as extra time in examinations and in-class tests, you must disclose your disability to us and we will have to tell some people. If you agree to disclose your disability, we only tell people on a need to know basis and we can discuss this with you first. Students sometimes feel that they are able to cope on their own without assistance, but being away from your usual support mechanisms or studying at university level abroad can cause additional strains. In our opinion, it is best to disclose a disability.

Q: I chose not to tell anybody about my disability but I have now changed my mind. Is it too late?

A: Although we would encourage you to disclose your disability as early as possible, you can do this at any time throughout your course. You must give us adequate warning, however, if examination provisions need to be put into place for you. I want to disclose my disability now.

Q: I had extra time (or other arrangements) for my exams when I was at my previous school/college/university. Will these arrangements be carried over automatically?

A: No. You must register your support needs with Disability Services

Disability Services can liaise with the examinations office and the head of faculty administration on your behalf to arrange Modified Assessment Provisions (MAPs), but it's essential to make contact as early as possible to organise provision.

In accordance with Plymouth University Regulations students requiring MAPs must be assessed by Disability Services prior to any provisions being put in place by meeting with a Disability Advisor.

Autistic Spectrum Disorder

Q: I have a diagnosis of autism; is there any support available for me?

A: Students with a diagnosis of autism may find the NAS Plymouth Adult Aspergers Branch helpful. The group meet on the second Thursday of every month.

Venue: The Quaker House, 74 Mutley Plain, Plymouth, PL4 6LF

Time: 16:45 to 18:45

The Quaker House security policy is that unknown people are not to be let in.  This means it is important for new members and infrequent attendees to confirm if they wish to attend by emailing paab@nas.org.uk.

Dyslexia

Q: I've been told that dyslexia is a disability. Is this right?

A: Yes. Dyslexia and other specific learning difficulties, such as dyspraxia and dyscalculia, are considered as disabilities. This is because they can affect the way people learn, making some aspects of learning harder. Even students with very a high intellectual ability may need support to cope with their dyslexia at university.

Q: What do I do if I think I might be dyslexic?

A: Come and see us. We can arrange a screening and, if appropriate, a diagnostic assessment for you. If you're diagnosed as dyslexic, we'll then arrange some individual support for you. We'll also put in place any reasonable adjustments, e.g. extra time in examinations.

Q: English is not my first language. Can I still be assessed for dyslexia?

A: Yes. You can still be assessed but if you're not sufficiently proficient in English some of the results may not be a true reflection of your ability. If possible, it's preferable that you obtain an appropriate report from your home country.

Q: I am not dyslexic but still need support, where can I go?

A: Support is available from the Learning Development team for all students at Plymouth University. 

Study skills

Q: What are study skills?

A: If appropriate, you can receive specialist one-to-one study skills tuition. The aim of the session is to help you develop strategies to build on your strengths and find ways of reducing the effect of any weaknesses.

Q: Will I have to pay for my study skills?

A: The cost of this tuition is usually met through the Disabled Students’ Allowances (DSA). If you have a disability but aren't eligible for the DSA, for example international and fee supported EU students, you may still be supported but will need to discuss your needs with a Disability Advisor.

Q: What kind of areas might study skills include?

  • optimising memory and revision techniques
  • planning and structuring written work such as essays
  • interactive reading techniques
  • researching and referencing
  • time management and organisational skills.

Q: What areas are not covered by study skills?

  • specific subject tuition
  • proofreading
  • doing the work for you.

DSA

Q: As I am an international student I do not qualify for Disabled Students’ Allowances. Can I still access support through Disability Services?

A: Yes. You're welcome to come in and discuss your support requirements for study. The University has specialist software available in our open access computing and library areas as well as study skills provision. Although international students are not usually eligible for the same sources of funding as UK students it's worth exploring possibilities of funding assistance within your home country.

Non-medical helper support

Q: Where can I find out more about the different non-medical helper roles?

A: Student Finance England have put together this guide to help you find out more. 

Admissions

Q: When should I let the University know about my disability?

A: It's important to let the University know when you first apply or as early as you can. This ensures that you're given the right advice on the support, equipment and facilities available in the University and helps us to meet your needs. If you are not sure whether your condition is considered to be a disability, it's best to still let the University know. Disclosure about a disability will not prejudice your application.