Disability support

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We offer information, advice and specialist support to students with disabilities, including mental health difficulties, ongoing medical conditions and specific learning difficulties, such as dyslexia.

Some of the things we can help with include exam or timetabling adjustments, access to facilities, and specialist study skills support.

If you've told us about a disability on your university application form, we'll get in touch to discuss the support we can offer you or you can email us on disability@aru.ac.uk.

For more information about the support you can receive, visit the Disability and Dyslexia Support web page (current students - login required) or check the information below.

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Questions we're asked

I'm worried I won't get a place on my course if I say I have a disability on my application form. Can I wait and tell you after I start?

We understand some students will be nervous about declaring a disability on their application form. However, ARU is proud to be an inclusive education provider and we welcome disabled students.

You’ll be offered a place on the basis of the entry requirements for your course, and your academic potential. We strongly encourage you to tell us about your disability or additional support needs on your application form so that we can make sure your support is in place for the start of your course.

When you have received an offer to study at ARU, we will contact you about the level of support we can offer and reasonable adjustments we can make, so that you can make an informed decision about where you choose to study.

If you have any questions about support or about your individual needs, you can contact a Disability or Dyslexia Adviser at any time.

What happens if my needs change?

If you are new to university, you may not know what to expect or how your condition will impact on your studies. We understand this. Some conditions are progressive, and some can fluctuate over time. We can review and amend your Summary of Reasonable Adjustments (SRA) at any time. If you think your SRA might need to change, speak to your Disability Adviser or email disability@aru.ac.uk.

I have significant one to one support in class at school/college. Will I get the same at university?

Generally, the level of intensive one to one support available to students in university is less than what a lot of students experience in school or college. The focus in university is to support you to develop independent learning skills through regular one to one appointments outside of the classroom. These may be with an adviser in the Disability or Dyslexia Service, or it may be with a specialist study skills tutor or mentor provided by DSA.

We understand this change can be worrying for some students. If you are concerned about the support available at university, contact us as soon as possible so we can talk though your needs and what we can provide.

I don't have any evidence of my disability, is there any support for me?

Yes. We recognise there will be some students who, for various reasons, have not been able to obtain documents that evidence a diagnosis. Our transition events, one to one study skills or mentoring appointments and peer support groups are open to students without evidence of a disability.

In school/college I get extra time in exams and can use a smaller room. Will I get the same at university?

We can provide eligible students with a range of exam adjustments including extra time, rest breaks, access to a small room, readers and scribes.

In order to make exam adjustments we do require students to provide documents from a suitably qualified professional that details a diagnosis and symptoms as well as the impact they have on you carrying out day to day activities. If you would like to speak to us about your supporting documents, or need help in obtaining them, please email disability@aru.ac.uk.

Can I have extra time for coursework assessments?

Extra time for coursework assessments is not provided as a reasonable adjustment. All students should be provided with coursework assignment details at the start of a module, providing everyone with sufficient time to plan and prepare their work.

If you do experience circumstances that mean you can’t meet a particular assessment deadline you can apply for an extension by speaking to the Student Advice team.

Will my disability be considered when my work is marked?

No. At ARU we have a stringent anonymous marking policy which means that wherever possible, a student’s identity is not known to the assessor at the time of marking. This policy is based on the need for fairness and equality amongst students, removing the possibility of prejudice of any kind in the marking process.

Students who are concerned about being marked down due to the impact of a disability or specific learning difference (e.g. dyslexia) on their writing skills are encouraged to access study support provided by ARU or via Disabled Students’ Allowances in advance of assessment deadlines.

My course involves a placement, will they know about my disability and support needs?

It is likely when you start your course you will have an appointment with an occupational therapist who will be able to make recommendations to your placement provider about the support and reasonable adjustments you will need in order to allow you to participate fairly. They will also be able to make recommendations about the suitability of the placement on the basis of the information you provide them with.

If you have any problems regarding support or reasonable adjustments on placement you are encouraged to contact your placement co-ordinator at ARU who can advise further. If you are unsure who this is, please contact us for further advice.

Can I bring an assistance dog onto campus?

ARU recognises that an assistance dog may be kept and used by a disabled person (as defined by the Equality Act 2010) wholly or mainly for the purpose of assisting that person to carry out day to day activities. We do what we can to ensure that the needs of individuals who require an assistance dog in the course of their work/studies are met whilst outlining the practical measures required to minimise the risk to the health, safety, and welfare of those who come into contact with the assistance dog.

You must request permission from the University to bring an assistance dog onto our premises (except in the case of transitory visits). You will need to provide documents from a medical practitioner that confirms the disability related need to bring an assistance dog on campus. You will also need to provide evidence that your dog is a certified assistance dog which has been trained through one of the organisations registered with Assistance Dogs UK (ADUK), or an international equivalent. If you are an international student, you will need to provide documentary evidence that your dog is trained by an accredited training organisation which is a part of either the International Guide Dogs Federation or Assistance Dogs International. Guidedogs.org.uk provides more information on UK regulatory requirements and a summary of the preparation that should be undertaken before you reach the UK.

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Can I bring my therapy animal onto campus?

ARU generally prohibits individuals from bringing animals that are not classed as service animals inside any University owned, leased or controlled buildings, vehicles or structures. A dog/animal providing emotional support alone is not sufficient for the animal to be classed as a service animal and does not have the same legal privileges. Find out more information regarding the law on assistance dogs.

I applied to ARU but I haven't heard anything from the Disability and Dyslexia Service, what should I do?

We generally start contacting applicants who have indicated they have a disability after they have received an offer to study at ARU. For students applying through UCAS, you will hear from us if you select ARU as your ‘firm’ or ‘insurance’ choice.

If you want to know where your support arrangements are up to, you can email disability@aru.ac.uk at any time.

Have any other questions?

If you’re thinking about studying at ARU and have any questions about support with a disability or learning difference, please email them to student.services@aru.ac.uk

Already a student?

If you've told us about a disability on your university application form, we'll get in touch to discuss the support we can offer you or you can email us on disability@aru.ac.uk