Disclosing your disability
Telling us about your disability and the AccessAbility Centre's Terms of Service
If you have a specific learning difficulty, a condition on the autistic spectrum, a long term health or mental health condition, or a disability, please tell the AccessAbility Centre as soon as you can. This allows us to tell you about support and services that are available to you.
The best place for you to tell us is on your UCAS form or application form. However, you can also do it at any time during your studies, either by telling a member of staff in your department or by contacting the AccessAbility Centre. Any information you give will be treated with sensitivity and, in most circumstances, will not be passed on to your department without your knowledge. You will be asked to agree that the Centre can process your personal and special category data as you start working with the Centre.
You can request that information you disclose about your disability is kept within the AccessAbility Centre and the implications of this will be discussed with you.
You will, of course, be treated exactly the same as any other applicant before you apply to the University, during the application process, and when you are here. Apart from the professional standards of the University, you are protected by the Disability Discrimination Act.
If you would like to discuss the implications of disclosure, please contact us.
All information will be treated in accordance with the provisions of the Data Protection Act (1998) and the General Data Protection Regulation (2018).
Terms of Service for students accessing support from the AccessAbility Centre
The purpose of this page is to describe the Terms of Service for students who access support from the AccessAbility Centre (AAC). Students should read these terms and conditions and ask questions if there is anything they do not understand. Students will be told about these Terms of Service as they start working with the AAC. They should be read in conjunction with:
1. Training and professionalism of support workers
All AAC staff as employees of, and sessional workers at, the University will:
- Be qualified to support you;
- Will comply with all relevant policy and guidance documents, as well as statutory and legal requirements;
- Act in good faith, with fairness, consideration and objectivity and recognise the boundaries of their own role and have the competence to ensure that appropriate referrals are made when situations fall outside these boundaries;
- Provide impartial guidance and advice;
- Be aware of the differences between practical support, advice and information and therapeutic relationships (including counselling) and be able to recommend assistance to those who may benefit from these forms of support;
- Undertake continuing professional development to maintain best practice
2. What support workers can do for you
The Study Adviser’s and Specialist Mentor’s principle role is the provision of regular support meetings to work with you to reduce the disability related barriers you may face as you study. At the core of their approach is the philosophy that students can do a great deal to take control of their difficulties and so enjoy a more productive approach to their studies.
In partnership with you, Study Advisers and Specialist Mentors will adopt a problem-solving approach to your specific issues which might include things such as:
- Transition support, settling in and establishing new routines;
- Helping you arrange one to one support appointments;
- Developing strategies to deal with persistent study issues;
- Support with organising and managing your time;
- Helping you to liaise with your course tutors for academic guidance;
- Agreeing the work to be undertaken during your sessions and, where possible, outline the expected outcomes. This work plan will be documented, reviewed and updated at each appointment, if appropriate, or least every three months if you are in regular contact with the AAC.
Study Advisers and Specialist Mentors cannot advise you on the specifics of your academic work or provide a proof reading service.
3. Your responsibilities in accessing support
The following conditions set the boundaries for your responsibility in using our support services. To make the most of a Study Adviser and/or Specialist Mentor support session it is important that you:
- Attend pre-arranged appointments – this is a joint responsibility; you need to attend support to get the most from your sessions;
- Let us know if you cannot keep an appointment, by giving at least one working day’s notice either by email to firstname.lastname@example.org, or by calling the office on 0116 252 5002 or by coming into the AAC. We understand that things can change.
- Look out for the text and email the day before your appointment which will remind you about the arrangements for your meeting;
- Confirm your attendance at the appointment by signing the timesheet. This is required by your funding body. We will not ask you to pre-sign timesheets.
- Keep in touch with us via your UoL email address so that we are able to contact you to discuss support, change appointment times, and so on.
- If you miss three appointments in a row, without giving at least one working day’s notice, we will not be able to effectively support you and further booked appointments with Study Advisers and/or Specialist Mentors will be cancelled. Further appointments will not be made until you make contact with the AAC.
- Please note that contact between you and your support worker must only be in person, or via your UoL email address and the support worker’s professional email address. You must not exchange other contact details such as your home address, or attempt to contact your Study Adviser or Specialist Mentor via social media.
- You are always welcome to contact us at any point in your studies.
If you have been awarded the Disabled Students’ Allowance (DSA), usually, we will not provide support that exceeds the number of hours agreed. If you require additional hours of support, advise your support worker who will liaise with the relevant Study Adviser in the AAC in order to help you to request this via your DSA Needs Assessor. The Needs Assessor will consider the request and liaise with the funding body to gain approval for any additional support hours.
4. The AccessAbility Centre’s responsibilities
The AAC’s aim is to:
- Work with students in an effective and professional way;
- Try to ensure that you work with the same worker throughout your course; this cannot be guaranteed but we will try to provide consistency wherever possible;
- Provide support in a comfortable and private environment;
- Provide remote support (for example over Skype or email) by arrangement if face to face support is not possible; most campus based students are expected to come in for face to face support;
- Provide support Monday to Friday during office hours; permission must be obtained from the Head of the AccessAbility Centre before any other arrangement is made;
- Let you know promptly if your support worker is unavailable for a pre-arranged meeting;
- Contact you as soon as possible to offer you an alternative appointment. If urgent matters were due to be discussed which cannot wait until your next appointment, you are welcome to discuss these with the AAC and we will attempt to have a Study Adviser answer your concerns.
5. Complaints and feedback
If you feel you need to complain about the service provided:
- Contact your Study Adviser in the first instance. It is hoped that problems can be speedily and effectively dealt with informally.
- If attempts to resolve the matter informally are unsuccessful you may submit a formal complaint to the Head of the AccessAbility Centre. You should address the complaint in writing and the complaint must be submitted within three months of the matter first occurring.
- Complaints will be handled in a professional manner; further information about the process and timescales is available in the University complaints procedure which can be found online Complaints Procedure — University of Leicester .
- We welcome feedback on our services at any time via the comments boxes in the Reception areas or direct to your support worker. You will also have a further opportunity to feedback to us through our regular surveys.