Student Disability Service

Privacy Notice

Information about you, how we use it and who we share it with.

Where does the Student Disability Service (SDS) get your personal data?

We obtain personal data about you from the following sources:

  • From you when you register with us and/or the University
  • From third party sources (e.g. UCAS, funding bodies, placement providers, medical professionals).  When we obtain personal data about you from third party sources, we will aim to ensure that the third party has lawful authority to provide us with your personal data.

Purposes for processing your data

Your personal data will be used by the University to ensure relevant support is provided to aid you with your studies. 

Legal Basis for processing data

There are various legal bases for our use of your information.  Here is a brief explanation of the key legal bases under which we use your data:

  • Performance of your student contract – on many occasions the Service and University will process your data to enable it to meet its commitments to you, e.g. those relating to adjustment support.
  • Performance of a task carried in the public interest – activities carried out in response to legislation or government requirements is conducted in a public interest (including your interest and the interest of others).
  • Comply with legal obligation – the University has legal obligations to provide your personal data to others, e.g. the Higher Education Statistics Agency.
  • Consent –the Service will process certain data with your consent, e.g. sharing information with a parent, spouse or carer.

Sharing your information

Your data will be shared with relevant University staff, e.g. Student Disability Service, Personal Tutors, Supervisors, Student Support Officers, School Disability Contact, Coordinator(s) of Adjustments, Course Organisers, Course Secretaries, relevant teaching staff, Student Administration (exam support), library and student support assistants (including relevant self-employed staff or agencies providing support assistant work).

It will also be shared with placement providers, funding bodies, Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA), assistive technology suppliers and educational/clinical psychologists if appropriate.

Uses of Your Data

Performance of Student Contract

Description of process and specific purpose of using or sharing data Who receives data
A Schedule of Adjustments (SoA) is distributed to relevant University staff to ensure your study adjustments are put in place.  This may also be shared with placement providers.  The SoA contains your name, course and the adjustments you require to be in place for you studies.  Your disability will not be included unless you wish it to be (your advisor will discuss this with you when setting up the SoA).  A few adjustments may name the disability in the adjustment but your advisor will make you are aware of this. Personal Tutors, Supervisors, Student Support Officers, School Disability Contact, Coordinators of Adjustments, Course Organisers, Course Secretaries, relevant teaching staff, student administration (exam support), library.
Screening results and/or former diagnostic assessments will be share with Educational/Clinical Psychologists who may be reassessing you. Educational/Clinical Psychologists
Emails regarding your support.  We will periodically email you regarding your support or to check with you that your support is being put in place.  Relevant School staff if you indicate support is not being put in place at the School.
Equipment order or training request will be sent to our Assistive Technology suppliers so that they can deliver the equipment and/or provide the necessary training.  Your contact details and address (if equipment is to be delivered), funding body and reference number will be shared with the providers.  Assistive Technology Providers.

If you write to us in Gaelic, we may be using a third party translator to translate your message into English and our response back into Gaelic.

Ma sgrìobhas sibh litir no post-d thugainn sa Ghàidhlig, tha e comasach gun cleachd sinn eadar-theangair airson do theachdaireachd eadar-theangachadh bhon Ghàidhlig gu Beurla agus freagairt air ais dhan a’ Ghàidhlig.

Translation supplier.

Performance of a task carried out in the public interest

Description of process and specific purpose of using or sharing data Who receives data
If you are eligible for Disabled Students Allowance (DSA), a Needs Assessment to request funding for equipment, printing and non-medical help will be submitted to the relevant funding body.  This assessment will include details of your disability, how it impacts your studies and medical evidence. Funding Body
If you have been awarded DSA, funding claims will be made for any costs the University has incurred providing the agreed support.  The claims will include your name, matric, funding body reference and type, date and amount of support provided. Funding Body, University Finance Department
Information in relation to a complaint you have placed against the University or an academic appeal. Relevant University staff e.g. appeals board.

Legal obligation

Description of process and specific purpose of using or sharing data Who receives data
Annually the University sends some of the information we hold about you to Higher Education Statistics Agency.  HESA is the official source of data about UK universities and higher education colleges. This data collection includes the special category data of disability. Their student collection notice can be found here: Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA)


Description of process and specific purpose of using or sharing data Who receives data
Discussions of your support with your parents, spouse or carer will only take place with your consent. Parent, spouse or carer (as indicated by you).
Discussions of your support with your GP or healthcare practitioner will only take place with your consent. GP or healthcare practitioner.

IT Systems

We use an external company, Symplicity, as a data processor.   Symplicity provides us with the MyAccessibleLearningHub (UniHub) database that allows us, as data controllers, to administer our services on the University's behalf.

The other systems used to process your data are part of the University’s corporately-supported IT architecture and are protected by the University’s security measures.

Management information, research, and learning analytics

We may analyse data in order to understand and react to growing trends, strategically plan and enhance the future provision of support for disabled students, and report on issues and successes of the Service, University and its students.  While we will, where possible, use anonymised data for these purposes, in some cases we will use personal data where there is a legitimate interest in doing so.  Where we use personal data for these purposes, we will ensure that any published information is anonymised.

Retention Period

We will keep your data for five years after you graduate or leave the University.   If you contacted the Student Disability Service prior to, or during, your application to the University, but did not enrole at the University of Edinburgh, your data will be kept for five years from the date of your contact with our Service. 


If you have any questions, please contact

Additional privacy notices

The full University of Edinburgh Privacy Notice can be found here: Edinburgh University Privacy Notice

The University maintains several other privacy notices that are specific to services delivered.