Do you have a disability, or think you may have a disability?

This page will answer your questions on what is classed as a disability, how we can help and what you need to do to access support.

The Disability Team provides advice and support for students with a disability or specific learning difficulty.

We know that each person’s disability can affect them in different ways so the support we offer is flexible and tailored to each individual student. We do not provide support for short term injury or ill health.

To access support, please email us with evidence of your disability and request an appointment. We will then contact you to arrange a meeting with a Disability Advisor to discuss any support you need from the University. This will include things such as exam support, library support and academic support, which will be written down in a Student Support Plan.

The Student Support Plan will be shared with your academic department so they are aware of the adjustments you require. Each department also has a disability contact and disability representative, who you may also wish to contact.

One-to-one study skills support for students with specific learning difficulty is provided in-house if identified as required as part of the DSA assessment.

You are welcome to come and meet with a Disability Advisor once we have received your evidence of a disability. In this appointment we will start drafting your Student Support Plan. Alternatively you can contact us by phone if you have queries regarding the process.

The Equality Act (2010) defines a disabled person as someone who has a mental or physical impairment that has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on the person’s ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities.

We would positively encourage you to disclose your disability, which may affect your study, so we can advise on any academic adjustments that may be required. We have a legal duty to make reasonable adjustments and we are happy to help.

If you are unsure about a disability, for example, if you think you may be dyslexic, contact the Disability Team who will be able to advise you where to go for an assessment and what help you may be entitled to. 

If you have a disability, medical condition or specific learning difficulty it is important that you make contact with the Disability Team before you enter the UK.

This will allow time to discuss your support needs and possible support options. You will need to provide us with relevant medical evidence when you do so.

If you require academic adjustments or extra support because of your disability, you will need to provide us with medical evidence. In most cases evidence should be a letter from you doctor (General Practitioner) or Consultant. This should include:

  • details of the diagnosis and how it is likely to have a profound effect on your ability to study at University
  • confirmation that your condition has lasted, or is likely to last, twelve months or more
  • information about any treatment you are receiving.

For specific learning difficulties, you will need to provide us with a copy of your Psychologist's Assessment Report. We cannot accept SENCO (Special Needs Co-ordinator) or school reports.

Send your disability evidence to disability-evidence@york.ac.uk. Any delay in submitting evidence may mean you will not have all the support you are entitled to as quickly as you need it.

If you are returning to York to study on a postgraduate course please contact us. Previous support arrangements from undergraduate courses will not continue automatically.

The evidence you send as part of the Disabled Students’ Allowances (DSA) application is not shared with the University. We are required to see evidence to ensure any academic adjustments are in place.

Once we have received your evidence we are able to put in place a Student Support Plan which includes reasonable academic adjustments.

If you have a health, welfare or disability issue, please include this in your accommodation application.

If you have any concerns please contact us so we can discuss them with you and the accommodation team.

No. You can contact us any time throughout the year and the same process will apply. However, March is usually the deadline for exam adjustments if you have examinations that academic year.

Contacting us as early as possible is best in order to allow for any reasonable adjustments you need to be put in place.

You will need to let us know as we may have to revise your Student Support Plan. You will need to re-apply for DSA funding too.

As a higher education student living in England, you can apply for Disabled Students’ Allowances (DSAs) if you have a disability, such as a:

  • long-term health condition

  • mental health condition

  • specific learning difficulty, eg dyslexia

The DSA is a non-means tested allowance for disabled students who are already studying or about to study a higher education course. It covers additional study–related costs that you will incur because of your disability. It doesn’t provide you with money; it pays for the support you need, such as specialist equipment or dyslexia support.

You should apply for the Disabled Students Allowance as soon as possible. You do not have to wait until you have a confirmed place at the University; although you can apply at any stage of your course.

You can apply by downloading an application form from the DSA website.

Full-time undergraduate students: the University does not need to complete part five of the form if you are a full-time undergraduate who gets loans or grants from Student Finance England.

Postgraduates or part-time students: please send your completed form, along with the relevant evidence of your disability, to: Disability Team, Sally Baldwin Building Block B, University of York, York, YO10 5DD. We will stamp it and forward the application to Student Finance England.

If you have a disability or specific learning difficulty, you may be eligible for extra time in exams. Once we have received your evidence, any recommendations of extra time will be included in your Student Support Plan and will be shared with your department and the Exams Office.

If it is getting close to your exams it may not be possible to arrange extra time if you have not been in contact before or have not sent us any evidence. 

See the University's process for requesting extra time. 

The University are not responsible for funding or coordinating personal care needs. The Disability Team can put you in touch with local care providers.

We may need to disclose information about your disability with certain people in order to help support you.

This information will only be shared where necessary and on a need to know basis. That is: we will be share sufficient information to help set up support with people involved in the process. This could include academic departments, accommodation services, the exams office or the funding body.

We may also need to share information with agencies outside the University such as your GP.

Student Privacy Notice 

We would recommend that you contact us by telephone to discuss to ensure you are aware of the range of support available to you. Please do phone us if you would like to discuss your options.

If you suspect you have a learning difficulty such as dyslexia we would recommend you are assessed for this.

We can signpost you to the local companies Educational Guidance Services and Yorkshire Dyslexia. You may be able to apply to the University Student Support Fund to cover the cost of the assessment.

Please see your doctor (General Practitioner) who should make the appropriate referral to specialist services for assessment.

Each individual case will be looked at and considered in relation to timetabling, department requirements and other requirements.

We endeavour to meet all reasonable adjustments; however, on occasions this may not be possible.

If you receive non-medical help (ie approved disability support) such as mentoring or study skills with an external support provider there are a number of options available to book a room for your support sessions. The following rooms can be booked directly by students up to one month in advance:

  • the group study rooms in the JB Morrell Library and the Harry Fairhurst Building - by booking online
  • the accessible group study room in the Harry Fairhurst Building - Room LFA/158 - by booking online.

Alternatively, you can ask your support worker to book rooms on campus for your support sessions. Approved external providers of non-medical help have or can be given direct access to the University’s room booking team. If your support worker is unsure as to how to proceed with this please refer them to their own line manager in the first instance.

You can download the Safezone app to connect to Security on campus 24/7, who can administer first aid.

Disability Services can create an Emergency Action Plan (EAP) for you, which can be shared with relevant departments and security in case of an emergency.

If you are entering catered accommodation, you can contact catering staff to discuss your catering requirements.

You can also speak to Accommodation Services about having a fridge in your bedroom to avoid cross-contamination.    

If you are taking medication requiring cool storage in a fridge and will be living in University accommodation, you should state this on your application for accommodation. If Accommodation Services gives permission for a fridge you can bring your own, or you can request Accommodation Services to supply one.

If you are living off campus and you are in receipt of Disabled Students Allowance, you can apply to DSA for assistance.