If you are a student with a disability, long term health condition (including mental health) or Specific Learning Difficulty (SpLd), you’re entitled to support to help you access your education at UEA.
Making education accessible for every student is one of my priorities as your Undergraduate Education Officer at uea(su) and I wanted to use this blog to raise awareness of the different avenues of support available to you.
Student Support Services
Student Support Services (SSS) is the student wellbeing service run by the University. It is located in between the library and Union House, opposite the top floor of Waterstones book shop, and is usually your first port of call for disability-related matters. They also run a variety of workshops that you can book onto.
You can contact SSS by going into the building and making an appointment at reception. You can also get in contact with them by calling 01603 592761 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
To find out more about SSS and what they might be able to do for you, take a look at their pages on portal here: https://portal.uea.ac.uk/student-support-service/wellbeing
If you disclose a disability or SpLd to UEA, the University have a duty to make reasonable adjustments to ensure you can participate in academic life and achieve your full potential. This individually tailored support could take the form of extra time in exams, mentoring support, Personal Emergency Evacuation Plans or accommodation adjustments.
For further information about reasonable adjustments, see the Universities’ brief guide here: https://portal.uea.ac.uk/student-support-service/wellbeing/disability/a-brief-guide-to-reasonable-adjustment
Disabled Students Allowance
The Disabled Students Allowance (DSA) is a nationwide government-run funding scheme, where students with disabilities, long-term illnesses or mental health conditions can get financial support for additional services.
This comes in the form of financial help for specific services and support related to your individual needs. It is available on top of your other student finance and doesn’t need to be paid back. You can find out more about DSA here: https://www.gov.uk/disabled-students-allowances-dsas
If you think you are eligible for DSA but need support applying, Student Support Services (SSS) can help you with the process.
Disability Liaison Officer’s
Within every academic school at UEA there is a Disability Liaison Officer. This is an academic or support staff member who is assigned to support the disabled students in their school. If you have any problems with reasonable adjustments, or other academic-related issues, or you feel your support is not in place, you can contact them. Find out who yours is here: https://portal.uea.ac.uk/student-support-service/wellbeing/disability/disability-liaison-officers-dlos-
If you think you might have an undiagnosed Specific Learning Difficulty (SpLd), such as dyspraxia, dyslexia, dyscalculia or ADHD, or an autism spectrum condition, SSS offer screening and assessment services. To find out more head here: https://portal.uea.ac.uk/student-support-service/wellbeing/disability/dyslexia-dyspraxia-and-ad-h-d.
Uea(su) run an Advice Service, offering information on a wide range of topics including general wellbeing. If you’re not sure where to go, Advice(su) are really good at pointing students in the right direction. Find out more here: https://www.uea.su/advice-housing/advice/.
We also facilitate peer support groups, including Umbrella: a peer support group for students with disabilities, chronic health issues and mental health difficulties. They campaign on behalf of disabled people, run weekly support groups, organise socials and offer online support. Find out more about Umbrella here: https://www.uea.su/opportunities/society/Chronic/ https://twitter.com/uea_umbrella.
Everyone should be able to access their education and ensuring that every student is supported at UEA is really important to me. If you’ve got any issues around accessibility you want to raise, feel free to get in contact with me at J.Chapman@uea.ac.uk or pop into the Union House office for a chat.