Student Disability Service

Supporting Students - key information for staff

Key guidance and a range of relevant case studies

Any student whose studies are affected by a disability, specific learning difficulty (SpLD), health condition or even a temporary injury may receive support from the Student Disability Service (SDS) and their School.

Support can include the following:

  • Adjustments – modifications to how students experience their teaching and learning, such as extra time in exams, tasks being broken down into smaller chunks or access to the accessible study rooms in the Main Library.
  • 1:1 Specialist Support – regular support sessions with a trained individual who is skilled in a particular aspect of support, such as Proofreading, Mental Health Mentoring, Notetaking or Specific Learning Difficulties Tuition.
  • Assistive Technology – provision of specialist software, hardware or ergonomic equipment, often issued in conjunction with training in the use of the kit.

Students must evidence of the impact of their impairment in order to access support.  This can be a recent letter from a relevant medical professional or, in the case of specific learning difficulties, a post 16 diagnostic assessment carried out by a qualified Educational or Clinical Psychologist.  No support can be implemented without the provision of acceptable evidence.

SDS Disability Advisors discuss with students how their particular disability or health condition affects them in the context of the particular programme of study they are pursuing. 

Funded support

UK students may be eligible for Disabled Students’ Allowance (DSA), government funding to cover the cost of support.  This will pay for 1:1 specialist support, assistive technology or equipment, and will cover the cost of relevant training. 

For students ineligible for DSA, the University provides funding to pay for 1:1 support, and SDS are able to loan relevant equipment and technology for the full duration of studies.

The range of support options that can be provided are as diverse and individual as the students themselves, however, a few examples have been provided in the form of case studies, which are all genuine examples of support implementation.  Click on each of the links below to read the case study.

Case Study 1: Supporting a Visually Impaired Student

Case Study 2: Supporting a Deaf Student

Case Study 3: Supporting a Dyslexic Student

Case Study 4: Supporting a student with Asperger’s Syndrome

Case Study 5: Supporting a student with a temporary injury

Case Study 6: Supporting a student with a mental health problem

Please note that the University has an Accessible and Inclusive Learning Policy (AILP), which applies to all students studying at the institution.  Details of the policy can be found online: 

https://www.ed.ac.uk/files/atoms/files/accessible_and_inclusive_learning_policy.pdf

In addition, guidance for staff on the implementation of the AILP can be found on the Institute for Academic Development (IAD) website:

https://www.ed.ac.uk/institute-academic-development/learning-teaching/staff/inclusive/mainstreaming