How we can help

The ALS team is here to support students who have sensory/physical disabilities, specific learning differences (SpLDs), medical conditions, mental health difficulties and/or temporary injuries. 

How the team can provide support: 

  • Offering information, advice and guidance for disability-related concerns 
  • Signpost to Educational Psychology Assessments for dyslexia, dyspraxia and ADD  
  • Assisting with applications for Disabled Students’ Allowances (DSA) 
  • Providing support to enable independent learning through one-to-ones 
  • Exam access arrangements 
  • Advising the faculties on reasonable adjustments that could be arranged to help remove barriers that some disabled students may face
  • Advising on support for students on Apprenticeship courses.

You can also find study support on the Academic Skills Hub on Brightspace; with online resources and opportunities for face-to-face and virtual support:

Visit the Academic Skills Hub

Things the team are not able to provide: 

  • Give information about individual degree courses 
  • Send out exam timetables 
  • Deal with course funding 
  • Diagnose conditions/learning differences
  • Provide personal care 
  • Order DSA equipment 
  • Provide subject-specific support 
  • Proofread work - but we can teach proofreading strategies. 

How to contact the ALS Team

If you are likely to need support, please contact the ALS Team as soon as possible so reasonable adjustments and one-to-one support can be tailored to your individual needs.

The variety of support you may be entitled to will vary depending on many factors. For more information, read our frequently asked questions below, or contact the team direct. 

What are the Disabled Students' Allowances (DSA)?

Disability Students' Allowances (DSA) are non-means-tested grants provided by the UK government on top of your other student finance. They are ony available to UK students and you don't have to repay them. You may be eligible for funding if you fulfil the criteria. A disability for funding purposes is defined as a physical or mental impairment that has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on your ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities, which includes studying and attending lectures.

The amount you receive will depend on your individual needs and is determined by a DSA Needs Assessor in the form of support hours and resources. The amount you are awarded does not come directly to you, it goes directly to the provider of your support, which could be for one to one specialist support, equipment or software. You can then arrange the set up of your support with those providers.

Reasonable adjustments at BU

BU will make reasonable adjustments to learning and assessment so that students with additional learning needs are not significantly disadvantaged compared with other students.

All reasonable adjustments depend on each student's circumstances within the course being taken, so it is important to contact the ALS office as soon as possible so that appropriate adjustments can be discussed and agreed with your faculty. 

Samples of the reasonable adjustments it may be possible to make at BU include: 

  • Session materials 48 hours in advance to deconstruct and process before each lecture 
  • Use of a digital recorder to record lectures and seminars 
  • Mentors to assist with and personal study, if DSA (Disabled Students' Allowance) funded  
  • Wheelchair access
  • Printed materials in large font and/or coloured paper 
  • Specialist software  
  • Exam questions in accessible formats 
  • Extra time and/or rest breaks in exams and timed assessments 
  • Flagging of scripts to denote the use of Marking Guidelines 
  • Non-subject specific study skills support, if DSA (Disabled Students' Allowance) funded.

More information