learning difficulties (SpLD)

Having a specific learning difficulty (SpLD) should not be a barrier to you having a great student experience at UEA. Below we have detailed the support available for you whilst you are at UEA.

Getting a Diagnosis

Student Services can support you with a diagnosis, whether you just need an updated post 16 report or have never been diagnosed before. You can do the pre-assessment on their website. The cost of screening and assessment is subsidised by the University. The most recently published cost to students is £30.00 for the screening and £70.00 for the Educational Psychologist or Psychiatrist assessment. This is then usually reimbursed to you if you are diagnosed, if you are a UK student, through DSA (Disabled Support Allowance – A bursary to help you with your studies).

If you have a positive initial screening shortly before an assessment deadline, ask if you can be provided with appropriate adjustments immediately, while you are waiting for an appointment with an educational psychologist.

Student Services

Student Sevices can provide you with a wealth of support. You will have to disclose your disability to them and provide evidence and they will give you the option not to tell your school of study or anyone else in the university. Student Services are a separate department and will not disclose your information to anyone without your consent. 

All students who provide an up-to-date assessment of Dyslexia, or a diagnosis of Dyspraxia or AD(H)D are eligible for extra time in timed tests and exams with a substantial amount of reading or writing. The extra time awarded will be determined by the diagnostic report you provide Student Services with (e.g. Educational Psychologist's report or other medical evidence). The university will also put in place other concessions such as Reader, Scribe, use of a PC, or coloured paper for exam script and answer booklet if these concessions are supported in your diagnostic report.

Be aware an assessment or adjustments are not automatically transferred over from your A-Levels. You have to let Student Services know that you had adjustments for previous study, ideally with the most recent report you have, when you arrive at UEA, even if you have disclosed a disability in your application.

Disabled Students Allowance (DSA)

You can apply for DSA to cover some of the extra costs you have because of a mental health problem, long term illness or any other disability. You can get the allowances on top of your other student finance loans. You won’t need to repay DSA. How much you get depends on your individual needs - not your household income.

You can check what you DSA you could get here: https://www.gov.uk/disabled-students-allowances-dsas

These figures given are the maximum amounts - most students get less.

What can DSA can pay for?

You can get help with the costs of:

  • specialist equipment, for example a computer if you need one because of your disability
  • non-medical helpers (for example a scribe or note taker)
  • extra travel because of your disability
  • other disability-related costs of studying
  • special software

You may get a new computer if you don’t already have one, or if your current computer does not meet the required specification. More information will be provided to you if you’re assessed as needing a new computer. You’ll need to pay the first £200, which is the minimum cost that any student is likely to incur when buying a computer.

Yellow Stickers

You may be entitled to what is called a yellow sticker if you have:

  • Dyslexia
  • Dyspraxia
  • Dysgraphia
  • Dyscalculia
  • Attention Deficit (Hyperactivity) Disorder
  • Autism or Asperger Syndrome

Yellow stickers are stickers that you can stick on all the work you hand in, whether it be electronic or paper, to show that you have an SpLD.

Some tips about using stickers:

  • The use of stickers is optional, but if you choose not to attach a sticker to an exam script you cannot later use lack of the sticker in an appeal.
  • A sticker should be placed on the front of the answer book but should not cover any information printed or written on the page.
  • When trying to use them on a blackboard submission you need to type yellow sticker in the comments box.
  • On an evision submission there should be a question asking if you want to apply your yellow sticker.
  • You must take yellow stickers to exams. They can be obtained from the front desk of SSS.
  • You can also use the same physical stickers for physical hand-ins.
  • If you forget to apply your sticker to your work contact your Hub immediately to advise them of the error.

You can find the UEA's guidance on the use of yellow stickers here: https://portal.uea.ac.uk/student-support-service/wellbeing/help-for-students-with-disabilities/whilst-you-are-here/sticker-scheme

Having a yellow sticker means that staff marking your work should follow different guidelines. For giving feedback, these include:

  • Be as clear as possible in giving feedback. For example:
    • Provide clear explanations of what you regard as wrong with the work
    • Wherever possible relate comments directly to marking criteria (students can then identify where they need to improve/where they have lost marks).
    • If spelling, grammar and punctuation are included in the assessment criteria, state this, and be clear how poor spelling, grammar and/or punctuation affects the student's grade.
    • Avoid multiple grammar, punctuation and spelling comments on a script.
    • Avoid subtle innuendo and metaphor. Students often find it difficult to interpret what is meant and what they should do in response.
    • Give praise where it is due.

Further detailed guidance for staff on marking work with yellow stickers can be found here: https://portal.uea.ac.uk/documents/6207125/8551351/spld-marking-guidelines.pdf/6ef1524d-fdda-47b8-bd23-62c826ee7455

Other adjustments can be made, for example allowing the use of laptops for written exams. 


If you find that you are unable to get the support you need whilst at UEA, do get in touch with us. We will be able to work with you to identify the available, and advocate for your needs where UEA is not meeting them.

If you have any questions and would like to discuss your particular situation with an advisor, get in touch via our online contact form here.