What is a Student Support Document (SSD)?
The Student Support Document provides information about a student’s disability (including mental health, long term medical conditions, specific learning difficulties etc) and their support requirements, including Modified Assessment Provisions (MAPs) and other reasonable adjustments.
However, individual staff are also responsible for appropriate reasonable adjustments in their individual teaching/learning area. Therefore, the SSD aims to be a starting point for discussion between staff and the student concerned to help identify any issues the student may experience, further appropriate solutions and reasonable adjustments. Areas staff may wish to discuss with the student could be as follows:
- group work
- mobility on campus
- laboratory work (health and safety, risk of infections, respiratory issues)
- placements (location, commute, length of day, etc)
- shared working spaces, i.e. studios (sharing ideas, distractions, communication difficulties, etc).
Who produces the SSD and who needs to see it?
This document is produced by Disability Services as result of the student providing suitable information, e.g. GP or consultant letter, diagnostic reports.
The student signs a disclosure form which allows their information to be shared with University staff who have a ‘need to know’. The SSD is sent to a nominated central point within each faculty for distribution and should be made available to all staff involved in the student’s teaching and learning, including:
- Programme leaders
- Module leader
- Stage tutors
- Personal tutors
- Teaching staff
- Laboratory technicians
- Placement tutors
- Faculty administrative staff
- Fieldtrip leaders.
Please contact your faculty office and programme administrators for further details of how they hold and share the SSDs.
Staff should treat the information contained within the SSD sensitively but should also appreciate that they need to be fully aware of a student’s requirements and that they should have ongoing conversations as reasonable adjustments may change over time.
What information you will find in the SSD?
The SSD will have the student’s name, Student Reference Number, course details and disability/condition. There is also a section for additional notes where the Disability Advisor may have included brief information which is relevant for staff to know.
Modified Assessment Provisions (MAPs) are also included in the SSD. MAPs (e.g. own room, extra time, etc) are implemented by the Exams Office and designed to give equality of access to students who may be disadvantaged due to a Specific Learning Difficulty or disability where a time constrained assessment contributes to a final mark for a module.
Module Leaders are responsible for implementing MAPs for in-class tests and should discuss with the student if MAPs are required for each test. Please refer to Guidance for Arranging Assessments.
Frequently asked questions
What do students need to provide to Disability Services if exam provisions are arrangements are required?
(*) If you require exam provision arrangements, you need to provide Disability Services with the following documents:
- For students with a medical condition, we will need medical evidence explaining and/or confirming your condition.
- For students with Specific Learning Difficulties i.e. dyslexia, dyspraxia we will need a full diagnosis report (ideally post-16).
We will accept a report from age 14 years for exam provision purposes only (**). In this case we will need a letter or document from your school or college indicating that you have had examination provisions from the age of 14 upwards because of an SpLD (dyslexia / dyspraxia etc). Reference to a diagnosis must be made on this document and it will be checked by the Disability Service team if it is sufficient evidence.
If you would like to find out about how to be assessed for dyslexia you can find an information on local SpLD assessors form the Student Services Hub. If you are unsure on whether or not you should have this assessment done, you can fill in our dyslexia checklist form (copies available from the Student Services Hub). You can also do the online screening test and if required, you can book to see one of our SpLD Disability Advisors or pop into our drop in sessions on Thursdays from 12:00–13:00, to discuss the results of your tests.
- For students with ADHD/ ADD we need a post-16 diagnosis report. If you don’t have one, please book an appointment with a SpLD Disability Advisor.
- For students with ASD, we need a copy of your medical evidence.
(*) if you are applying for the Disabled Student Allowance you are required to provide a post-16 SpLD diagnosis report.
(**) This information can be provided at Admissions stage.
How do I know what exam provision arrangements I need?
These arrangements will be discussed with a Disability Advisor or a Disability Services administrative member of staff on receipt of medical evidence.
You may have had exam provisions in the past, so we would try to accommodate the same or similar provisions here where possible.
The Examinations Scheduling will email you your Modified Assessment Provisions for your formal exams to your university email. If you no longer require them or you need to discuss different arrangements you need to contact Disability Services as soon as possible. Please note it may be not be possible to make changes that can be implemented for that exams at that stage, however they would be put in place for any further formal written exams and in-class tests.
What happens if I change course?
You need to contact Disability Services as soon as possible so we can update your SSD and forward it to your Faculty for them to distribute it to the relevant teaching staff.
Who makes the exam provision arrangements?
- Formal Written Exams
The Examination Scheduling will implement the modified assessment provisions for formal written exams. Students will receive an email from the Exam Office confirming their exam date, time and room details as well as exam provision arrangements.
If you require to discuss different arrangements, the student needs to contact Disability Services.
- In-class tests
In-class tests arrangements need to be made by the Faculty. Please discuss your exam provision requirements with your Module Leader and whether these are required for a particular test.
Modified Assessment Provisions (MAPs) relate to written examinations. They may not apply when the main emphasis of the exam is on the demonstration of competency in other skills, for example an assessment of clinical skills on a health professions course. It is important to speak to your faculty about this.
Temporary Injury / Pregnancy – exam provisions
If a student has suffered a temporary injury or undergone an operation and requires exam provisions, please direct them to the Student Services Hub so someone from Disability Services discusses Temporary Modified Assessment Provisions with the student. As this is not a long term condition Disability Services will not produce a Student Support Document. If it becomes a long term condition Disability Services would produce an SSD.
It is recommended that the student lets their faculty / module leader and personal tutor know, in case they have in-class test. Please note that by letting staff know at short notice from your formal exams or in-class test, exam provision arrangement may not be possible to be set up and the student may need to consider fit to sit the exam.
Please discuss the options with your personal tutor/ module leader and Disability Services.