Frequently asked questions: help for staff

Q: Does my student have to tell me that they have a specific learning difficulty (SpLD) or they have another disability?

A: Students are encouraged to disclose any disability to Disability Services and we will then complete a Student Support Document (SSD) which outlines their disability and any modified assessment provisions (MAP’s) that they may require. SSD’s are sent to your faculty for them to disseminate to relevant University staff. Students do not have to disclose their disability to the University, however, students are not able to cite lack of disability support in the event they have failed to make academic progress if they have not disclosed.

Q: How do I find out if a student has a disability or SpLD?

A: Some faculties will use S3 which will have limited information about student disability and identify MAP’s only. It is important to look at the SSD which we send to each student’s faculty, please ask your faculty administrator or programme lead.

Autistic Spectrum Disorder

Q: I have a student with autism; what support is there available within the University?

A: University of Plymouth Autism Social Group (PAS)

A social group for students by students who have an autism spectrum diagnosis. The group is run by students with ASD diagnosis alongside Sarah and Dan (Disability Advisors). Describing the group students say "it’s a social group for those with autism spectrum disorders, where we can meet up weekly with like-minded people, giving us the opportunity to be ourselves and gain confidence with other people in a social environment". The group aims to be a fun environment and give members a chance to try new activities. If you have a student thinking about joining we are very happy to meet them individually beforehand. 

When – 4 - 6pm, term time
Where – First floor, 3 Portland Mews
Free refreshments

New members welcome at any time.

For further information about the group contact Sarah Anderson – sarah.anderson@plymouth.ac.uk, or Dan Collings – daniel.collings@plymouth.ac.uk (Disability Advisors).


Dyslexia and other Specific Learning Difficulties

Q: Where does a student go if they think that they may have dyslexia?

A: The Learning Gateway is a good place to go if you or your student’s have any queries at all about dyslexia. The reception team can advise you or your student’s about the free screenings we offer to see how likely it is that they are dyslexic, or book them in with a Disability Advisor to discuss any difficulties they may be experiencing in relation to a possible SpLD, and give details of local private diagnostic assessors.

Q: What support is available to my students if they have a specific learning difficulty?

A: The Learning Gateway and our web pages have information on study skills support for students with dyslexia funded through the Disabled Students Allowance (DSA). Study skills sessions are tailored to suit the student and may include areas like helping students develop strategies to optimise their memory, looking at how to plan and structure written work, improving interactive reading techniques, managing your time well etc. If the student has a SpLD but they are not eligible for DSA, perhaps because they are an international student, please do ask the student to speak to a Disability Advisor so that we can still ensure they have appropriate support.

Disabled Students Allowance (DSA)

Q: What is the Disabled Students Allowance?

A: Please refer to our Disabled Students' Allowance page.

Non-medical helper support

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

A: Please access details about non-medical helper support.