Student Disability Service

Jargon and terminology

A guide to some commonly used terms and acronyms.

Some terms explained

Disabled Students' Allowance (DSA) - Extra financial help for UK students studying a higher education course who have a disability, ongoing health condition, mental health condition or Specific Learning Difficulty like dyslexia.

Schedule of Adjustments - A Schedule of Adjustments is compiled by the Student Disability Service following discussions with you, and in some cases your Personal Tutor or Postgraduate Supervisor.  It presents the reasonable adjustments to be implemented so that you are able to participate fully in your studies.

Needs Assessment - A Needs Assessment is a report that explains what your difficulties with studying and learning are and makes appropriate recommendations for funding and other support in order to ensure you can access all areas of your course.

Reasonable Adjustments - Changes which are made to the study environment which allow the student to compete on an equipal footing with his/her peers, e.g. permission to record lectures, extra time in exams etc.

Specific Learning Difficulties (SpLD) - Term used to cover a wide variety of specific learning difficulties which can affect literacy skills (e.g. aspects of reading, spelling and writing skills), short term memory, processing of information and sometimes motor skills. These include dyslexia, dyspraxia, dyscalculia and dysgraphia and is often used to refer to additional developmental disorders such as Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) (includes Asperger’s Syndrome or High Functioning Autism) and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).