Students with Disabilities

If I have a disability, why should I disclose it?

If you tell us that you have a disability, we will try to make reasonable adjustments appropriate to your individual needs. Thus it is in your interest to do so. You are not under any obligation to disclose details of your disability either to the College or to the University’s Disability Advisory Service, but we can only provide you with appropriate support if we are made aware of any particular needs that you may have.  Should you provide such information, it will be treated on a confidential basis. This means that it will be shared within the College on a need-to-know basis within the terms of the College’s confidentiality policy.

More information about all aspects of the University’s provision for students with disabilities is available on the website of the Disability Advisory Service, which may be found here (site opens in new window.) The College operates within the University’s Common Framework for Supporting Disabled Students, details can be found here.

How can I disclose that I have a disability?

Ideally, any applicant to Oxford who has a disability will disclose this to the University on his or her UCAS form. This means that we can make appropriate adjustments for you if you are invited to come for an interview.

If you are offered a place at Univ, but have not yet disclosed that you have a disability, we would encourage you to do so as soon as possible after you receive your offer.

If you are already at Oxford, but have not yet disclosed that you have a disability, you may do so at any time. Likewise we would encourage you to tell us as soon as possible if you are diagnosed with a disability after you join the College. Remember that we cannot offer you appropriate help until we know about any difficulties that you may be facing, so we do encourage you to tell us sooner rather than later.

Disclosures of disability should be made to the University’s Disability Advisory Service. You may also want to contact the College directly. If your disability is likely to require any adjustment to the way that you are taught, including additional disability-related provision or the way in which you sit Public Examinations, please contact the Senior Tutor, Dr Bell (andrew.bell@univ.ox.ac.uk). If your disability means that you are likely to require a particular type of accommodation, or proximity to a kitchen, please contact the Domestic Bursar, Angela Unsworth (angela.unsworth@univ.ox.ac.uk)

The University disability disclosure form is available here (site opens in new window.) 

Disability advisers can give you guidance and advice about any aspect of the disclosure process.  Their contact details are as follows:
telephone: +44(0) 1865 289 828   or   +44(0)1865 280 459
fax: + 44 (0)1865 289 850
email: disability@admin.ox.ac.uk
 
Funding is usually available to pay for additional costs that a student may incur as a direct result of his or her disability. The funding body to whom you should apply will depend on your status (e.g. if you are an undergraduate or a graduate; or if you are from the UK or elsewhere). More information about funding is available here (site opens in new window.)
 
A UK student with a disability who requires particular support (e.g. special computer software or hardware, or the support of a mentor or note-taker, all of which can be arranged through the Disability Advisory Service) will almost certainly need to apply for a Disabled Student’s Allowance (DSA) or equivalent. You should do so as soon as possible so that funding and support can be in place for the beginning of your course. More information is available here: http://www.ox.ac.uk/students/welfare/disability/study Further advice and guidance is also available from the Disability Advisory Service.

The funding body to whom you apply may ask you to go for a Study Needs Assessment (SNA). The purpose of this is to determine what support you may require.
Again, the Disability Advisory Service can offer guidance and advice about what is required of you when you apply for a SNA.

How does Univ administer its support for students with disabilities?

Each student who discloses that he or she has a disability or disabilities has a single point of contact who oversees and plans the overall support required and provided for the student. This person is known as the Disability Lead. For undergraduates, the Disability Lead is the Senior Tutor, Dr Andrew Bell (andrew.bell@univ.ox.ac.uk). The Disability Lead is supported by someone known as the Disability Coordinator. This is the Disability and Welfare Administrator, Aimee Rhead (aimee.rhead@univ.ox.ac.uk). Acting together, they will draw up a statement of the support required by and available to each student who has a disability, including the names of relevant departmental or faculty contacts.  Students with disabilities are welcome to contact the Disability Lead and the Disability Coordinator at any time. 

Special examination arrangements for both undergraduates and graduate students need to be applied for by the Senior Tutor, and require (depending on the nature of the disability) either appropriate medical certificates or an assessment and/or report from an approved chartered psychologist, preferably from the University’s list of professionals approved to make these assessments (further details of whom are available from the Disability Advisory Service). It can take some time for these assessments to take place, so it is good to begin the process as soon as possible.

The Domestic Bursar, Angela Unsworth, and the College Surveyor, Richard Pye, play a crucial part in advising on practical problems and devising solutions to difficulties faced by students who have a disability.  Univ actively supports its students with disabilities.  The College has some excellent accommodation that has been adapted for the needs of physically disabled students. 

What will happen after I arrive in Oxford?

Soon after your arrival, you will meet with the Disability Lead (the Senior Tutor), the Disability Coordinator (the Disability and Welfare Administrator) and, if appropriate, your subject tutors to discuss your study needs and the support required.  Hopefully by then we will already have a copy of your Study Needs Assessment, which will make it easier to ensure that the support you need is in place. Once you start your course, you may find that you need additional support (such as a note-taker for lectures, a particular computer software package, or sessions with a study support tutor).  If this is the case, you must contact either the Disability service or the Senior Tutor as soon as possible so that the appropriate help can be arranged for you.

Throughout the academic year, the Senior Tutor is available to meet with students as problems or concerns arise, as are advisers at the Disability Advisory Service. The Senior Tutor is responsible for organizing special examination arrangements for students who need extra time for exams, special computing facilities, or an amanuensis.  It is essential that the Senior Tutor be made aware at an early stage (i.e. ideally in the first term of study) of any special needs because all departures from the standard examination arrangements require the prior approval of the Proctors: leaving this to the last minute is likely to lead to a refusal.  Special adjustments can also be made for the arrangements for Collections (College exams at the start of term); this also requires early discussion.

If your exam preparation or the exams themselves may have been compromised by illness or other significant factors, you must inform the Senior Tutor of your problems as a matter of urgency, and before the exam results are published.

What happens if I'm already at Univ and think I may have a disability not previously diagnosed?

If you think that you may have a disability (e.g. Asperger’s syndrome, or a specific learning disability such as dyslexia) you may wish to be assessed by a University-approved educational psychologist or other appropriate specialist.  Information and advice about approved Chartered Educational Psychologists and other professionals is available from the University Disability Advisory Service.  It will probably be useful to speak first to a tutor who will be familiar with your work, or to your GP, or the Senior Tutor.  Each of these people can give you advice about whether they think that you have good reasons to see a specialist.  The University offers some financial support towards the cost of specialist assessment, provided that you have proof of (e.g.) dyslexic tendencies in a letter of support from a GP, a tutor or from the College.  Further information is available from the Disability Advisory Service.