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Please find below a list of frequently asked questions regarding Disability advice.
If you still cannot find the information you require please contact us by either completing the contact form below or by using the information to the right.

General Questions

         

Disabled Students Allowance

         

Support Workers and Study Skills Tutors

         

Confidentiality

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Disabled Staff

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Exams

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Parking

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Will the fact that I am disabled affect my chance of getting a place at the University of Bolton?

No. The fact that you have a disability, health condition, mental health disability or specific learning difficulty has no bearing on your admission to a University of Bolton course.

How do I declare to the University of Bolton that I have a disability or specific learning difficulty?

You can declare a disability or specific learning difficulty when you apply to study here, on your application form, or when you start your course, on the enrolment form. You can also declare by telling a member of staff at any point during your contact with the University (as a prospective or current student). You should complete a disclosure form with staff – http://www.bolton.ac.uk/studentinformation-policyzone/Student-Information-Policy-Zone-2015-16.aspx.

Although you can declare at any stage in your academic life we would encourage you to do this sooner rather than later as this may affect the adjustments we can put in place.

Who are the Disability Service?

Fiona Valentine – Disability Service Manager
Liz McGovern – Disability Advisor (part time)
Rita O’Loughlin – Disability Advisor
Sarah Kenworthy – Disability Advisor (part time)
Craig Renshaw – Disability Administrator
Daniel Papworth – Administrative Assistant to the Disability Service

What does a Disability Advisor do?

The Disability Advisors will:

  • Support you in applying for Disabled Students Allowance if appropriate, and advise you as you are going through the process.
  • Communicate your requirements to your tutors, including exam arrangements in line with your consent.
  • Advise in regards to equipment that may be available to loan.
  • Support you to access support that is appropriate to your individual disability needs.
  • Be available for appointments, a weekly drop-in and by telephone and email.
  • Advise on services internal and external to the University for your disability needs.
  • Provide advice and guidance on disclosure.
  • Provide advice and guidance on gaining acceptable medical or SpLD evidence.
  • Work with colleagues to ensure reasonable adjustments are put in place.

The Disability Advisors will not:

  • Extend deadlines for you.
  • Speak to others (including family members) regarding your support, unless you have asked us to in writing.
  • Be able to see you at a time that is not a drop in, or a pre-arranged appointment.

Why do I have to make an appointment to see a Disability Advisor, why can’t I just drop in?

This is to allow Disability Advisors the time needed to work on issues relating to disabled student’s cases. We spend a considerable amount of time liaising with other agencies both within the University and outside the University (with your permission) in order to put the correct level of support and reasonable adjustments in place. We need some time to deal with these administrative tasks as well as appropriately developing the service.

Can a member of my family/next of kin sort out all my paperwork to do with my disability and talk to a Disability Advisor about my case?

No. There are several reasons for this. We cannot talk to next of kin or family members about your specific needs unless it is an emergency as this contravenes data protection. As an adult studying at the University we expect you to manage all aspects of your learning and administration issues yourself.

Please note, in serious, exceptional circumstances, we may take the decision to talk to next of kin or family about you particularly if we are concerned for yours or other students’ welfare. Please note that we are happy to meet with and talk to parents and next of kin at Open Days so long as you, as a prospective student are with them.

I want to make a complaint about the Disability Service, how do I do that?

If you have a problem with the services that we provide please try and resolve this with us first by speaking to one of the Disability Advisors. At that point if you are not happy with the way we have handled your complaint you may use the University's complaint procedure. The complaints procedure can be found under the Student Handbook – Policy Zone area of the University website, or at the following link: http://www.bolton.ac.uk/studentinformation-policyzone/Student-Information-Policy-Zone-2016-17.aspx

Do you have a lot of students with specific learning difficulties?

Yes, currently over 42% of our students who have declared a disability have disclosed that they have a specific learning difficulty.

What is Disabled Student’s Allowance?

Disabled Students' Allowances are grants to help meet the extra costs students can face as a direct result of a disability or specific learning difficulty. They are aimed at helping disabled people to study on an equal basis with other students. Eligible full-time, part-time and postgraduate students can apply for Disabled Students' Allowances. The amount you get doesn't depend on your household income. Disabled Students' Allowances are paid on top of the standard student finance package, and doesn’t have to be paid back. DSAs are usually only paid to the suppliers of support, not the student in receipt of the support. This is not an additional source of funding for course fees or living costs.

Who can apply for DSAs?

If you are a full time or part time, undergraduate or postgraduate home student you may be eligible to apply for funding through the Disabled Students' Allowance (DSA), however there is strict eligibility criteria set out by funding bodies.

Please come in to discuss your eligibility if you are studying a short course or few modules. Please note that you can apply for DSAs up to 6 months before you begin your course, so you should apply as early as you are able to. You do not have to have decided which University you will be attending to do so.

I have a part time job – can I still apply for Disabled Student's Allowance?

Yes. DSA is not means tested. It does not matter if you work or have savings, you can still apply for DSA if you have evidence that you have a disability.

I have HIV/AIDS – can I apply for DSA?

Yes. People with HIV/Aids are covered by the Equality Act and can apply for DSA

How do I apply for DSA?

Your funding body will be able to provide you with an application form for DSA, as well as further information in a booklet called "Bridging the Gap". You can also download these from the Student Finance websites. You will be expected to provide your funding body with evidence of your disability, in the form of either a medical note or an Educational Psychologist's report. On the basis of this evidence, the funding body will inform you whether they will fund a full assessment of your study needs. If you have more than one condition that you feel will impact on your ability to study e.g. dyslexia and mobility difficulties, then you will need to provide evidence for both, for instance an Educational Psychologist report and medical letter from your doctor. As many students find this a daunting experience, a Disability Advisor can help you with this. Please use the contact details above to arrange an appointment.

I have applied for DSA – what next?

If your funding body asked you to attend an assessment of need then a Disability Advisor can assist you to arrange this. Every assessment is done on an individual basis. This means that students with the same condition or impairment may be recommended different support. Your input in this assessment is essential as you know how your condition affects you. Try not to worry about the assessment it is really a discussion about you, your course and how your condition or impairment may/does impact your ability to study. It is not a test and it is not a medical assessment. There are four different elements to the Disabled Students' Allowance and you may be recommended support that comes under one, two or all of these areas: Specialist equipment allowance, Non-medical helper's allowance, General allowance or Travel allowance. The assessor will produce an assessment of study needs report, detailing their recommendations and the associated costs. This will be sent to your funding body for approval. Those who have significant changes to their disability or if they have diagnosis/evidence of another disability may have to undergo another needs assessment to determine what additional support requirements need to be put in place.

I think I might have dyslexia – can the Disability Service help?

We can assist you in arranging a diagnostic test for dyslexia. If the test confirms that you have a Specific Learning Difficulty (SpLD) such as dyslexia, we will advise you on the support available within the University and through the Disabled Students Allowance (DSA). Please book an appointment to see a Disability Advisor by calling 01204 903478.

I have cancer can I apply for DSA?

Yes. According to the Equality Act (2010) people with cancer are covered by the Act and can apply for DSA

What is a Disability Needs Assessment?

First time applicants for DSA have to undergo a needs assessment to determine what individual support requirements they have because of disability or specific learning difficulty. A needs assessment is a meeting between you and an assessor, who will then produce a report written on the basis of the evidence provided and your description of difficulties experienced when accessing your University studies/learning. The report will look at all aspects of your study and make appropriate recommendations for funding and other support in order to ensure you can access all areas of your course. This could include assistive technology, note taking, library support or proof reading.

I was recommended some equipment in my study of needs report. How do I get it?

You will need to wait until your funding body have approved the purchase of the equipment you have been recommended. Do not purchase anything before hand as it is unlikely that they will reimburse you. They will usually write to you to confirm this (this may take up to 4 weeks after they receive a copy of your finalised report). Once you have this letter – usually titled ‘We’ve approved your Disabled Students Allowance (DSA)’ you can contact the equipment supplier named in your approval letter. You should only order your equipment from the approved supplier. If you order equipment from an alternative source your funding body may not pay for it. Sometimes the funding body will order the equipment on your behalf, if this is the case they will usually state this in the letter they send you and give you instructions on what you should do next – if any assistance is required, the Disability Service can support you with this.

How quickly will any support be put in place for my disability needs?

This varies greatly depending on the time of year that you make contact with the Disability Service, the funding body that you apply to for DSA and how quickly you act on things that you have to do. Once you have your medical evidence or SpLD diagnostic report, some support can be set up immediately, such as making your tutors aware of the need for guided reading, or hand-outs in an alternative format. We would urge you to make contact with us as soon as possible, before you start your course if possible.

Can I keep the equipment which DSA funded when my course has finished?

This depends on your funding body. Most students are able to keep their equipment. In some cases, equipment is loaned, in which case you will be expected to return it. If you do not start your course, or leave it very soon after starting it, you may be asked to return your equipment. If in any doubt, contact your funding body.

Will DSA pay for my tuition fees or living costs?

No, the DSA will only pay for costs that are a direct result of your disability.

I am an international student. Am I eligible to apply for DSA?

No, but the Disability Service has some funding and an equipment loan bank which can be used to support disabled students who are not eligible for DSA. Relevant evidence of your disability, impairment or Specific learning Difficulty is required. Please arrange to see a member of the Disability Service staff for more information.

I am an international student and I have evidence of a disability or a specific learning difficulty but it is not written in English is that ok?

No. We require the evidence in English. It is your responsibility to get your evidence translated into English with a reputable translation service and you will be responsible for paying for this too.

Do I have to apply for DSA?

You don’t have to apply for DSA, however it is advisable, as a lot of the support you can get is through the money that comes from DSA. In other words, anything that has a cost will be paid for through DSA money.

What is 'access', 'assistive' or 'enabling' technology?

These terms refer to any piece of equipment that enables a disabled person to study with the maximum possible independence. For example, specialist computer hardware, software or mechanical device, to help a student to read, write and take notes using a computer. Other examples include Braille note-taker, scanners with optical character recognition (OCR) software, and computers with synthetic speech output.

Can a specialist one to one study skills support worker help me with the subject I am studying?

No, you will need to go to your module/personal tutor for this advice. A specialist may be able to help you with your disability related study needs and provide you with strategies to approach your work. This can include: planning your time effectively so that you can meet your deadlines; organizing your files and paperwork; working on structuring of work, essay structuring and paragraph formation; planning what resources you may need to look at; and developing strategies to improve your spelling and grammar. The specialist may also use any assistive technology that you may have been recommended through the DSA during these sessions.

I used to have a report that said I have dyslexia, but I have lost it – what shall I do?

You will need a new report if you want support. Please make an appointment to come and see a Disability Advisor by calling 01204 903478. A Disability Advisor can arrange for you to have a new report. 

I had a test for a specific learning difficulty done when I was at secondary school. Will I be able to use it to apply for DSA?

No, in order to apply for DSA, you must have a test which has been done after your 16th birthday. We can organize for you to have a new assessment. You should make an appointment to see a Disability Advisor.

I am D/deaf – I need British Sign Language Interpreters for my course. Can I have the same two interpreters every class?

The University will endeavour to achieve this by working closely with our preferred supplier, however this cannot be guaranteed. 

Will you tell anyone that I am disabled or have a specific learning difficulty?

Before we put support in place we ask for your written consent to pass on information to those who need to know, in order for support to be provided. We will only discuss disability-related information with other members of staff once you have given us permission, or if we need to do this for reasons of health and safety, emergency or public policy.

I am a disabled member of staff and I need support – who do I contact?

You should contact our HR department on 01204 903503 or hr@bolton.ac.uk or your line manager if you feel comfortable to do so.

Due to my disability needs I have been recommended to have a scribe (amanvensis) in exams. Should I have a practice session with them before the exam?

Yes. This request is rare, but reasonable. Dictating to a scribe can be an unusual experience and the Disability Service would encourage you and the scribe meet before an exam to practice. Contact the Academic Support service to set this up on 01204 903656.

I applied for individual exam arrangements, who can I check with that they are in place?

Once your Exam Arrangements have been processed, you can check these are in place by contacting your Academic Support Service on 01204 903656.

I missed the cut off date for exam arrangements. What do I do now?

Arrange to see a Disability Advisor as soon as possible. It may be possible, but not guaranteed, that they can negotiate for your exam arrangements to be put in place, if you have acceptable evidence.

Will a student be matched with a scribe in exams who has their subject knowledge, and doesn’t that place them at an advantage?

Students are matched with scribes who have some subject knowledge of the course the student is studying as they need a knowledge of the course’s specific technical language in order to undertake their role effectively. For example, a scribe with an Arts background would not be matched with a student who is studying a science or maths subject where equations or formula may need to be written, it is important the scribe has an awareness of those conventions. Scribes work to a strict code of conduct and only write down what a student dictates to them even if the scribe is aware the answer is incorrect.

I am a blue badge holder what parking arrangements are there on campus?

If you submit your valid blue badge to the Student Advisors they will give you access to the Disabled Parking Bays in the main staff car park and the UTC. These parking bays are accessed on a first come first served basis only.

Will I have to contribute to the cost of the the test to find out if I have a specific learning difficulty?

Yes, you will need to contribute at least £55.00 for academic year 16/17. You will also be charged £35 for failing to turn up to the appointment. Only in exceptional circumstances will this £35 fee be waived and you may be asked for written proof of why you could not attend.

How do I contact Disability Services?

You can contact Disability Services through the following methods:

Tel: 01204 903478

Email: disabilityinfo@bolton.ac.uk

Mobile: 07799657035

Fax: 01204 903809

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