What support is available to you?
Support is available for students with physical and sensory impairments, mental health issues, medical conditions and specific learning disabilities which have an impact on day to day activities. Disability Advisors are available to discuss any additional learning support requirements. They can:
refer students for diagnostic dyslexia assessments
liaise with examinations officers regarding reasonable adjustments in exams
recommend extended library loans for those students requiring them
loan out equipment on a weekly basis (laptops, digital recorders, ergonomic chairs, lumbar cushions, footrests)
discuss in confidence any accessibility issues you may have
signpost you to enabling and assistive technology within the University
Disabled Students' Allowance
Whether you are a full time, part time, undergraduate or postgraduate student you may be eligible to apply for funding through the Disabled Students' Allowance (DSA).
Student Finance England (SFE) will be able to provide you with an application form for DSA, as well as further information in a booklet called 'Bridging the Gap', produced by the Department for Education and Skills (DfES). Please note that you can apply for the Disabled Students' Allowance up to 6 months before you begin your course. You can find further information and also download the application forms from the 'Higher Education' section of
You will be expected to provide SFE 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, SFE will inform you whether they will fund a full assessment of your study needs. If you have a number of different conditions that you feel will impact on your ability to study eg dyslexia and mobility difficulties, then you will need to provide evidence for both. This means an Educational Psychologist report and medical evidence from your doctor.
If you have dyslexia but do not have an Educational Psychologist's report, or if you think that you might have dyslexia, please contact the Disability Service, and we will advise you how to proceed. The Disability Advisors are available to offer you advice and guidance during any stage of this application procedure. They can arrange for you to have a diagnostic assessment, this will cost £50.
Once approval has been received from SFE, a Disability Advisor will arrange a full assessment of your study needs here at the University of Bolton or at an assessment centre of your choice. 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 during this assessment is essential as you know best 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 impact on 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
The assessor will produce an assessment of study needs report, detailing their recommendations and the associated costs. This will be sent to SFE for approval.
Support workers/non-medical support
You will be eligible for a support worker if it has been recommended in your Assessment of Study Needs. Once SFE has given its approval, we will advise you how to arrange a support worker. They will normally be funded from your Disabled Students' Allowance.
A support worker will typically undertake such work as library research, note taking, mobility support, proof reading, interpreting (BSL) etc. Specialist tuition can also be recommended for students with dyslexia. This focuses on literacy and developing study skills strategies. Students who are D/deaf or hard of hearing may be recommended specialist support from a language tutor. The length of time that a support worker spends with a student will vary according to individual assessments. Timetabling of support is by agreement between the student and helper.
Assessments and Examinations
Some students may have specific requirements for their examinations. This varies depending on the recommendations made in their study needs assessment and/or Educational Psychologist's report.
Examples of such requirements are:
Extra time in examinations
Use of a scribe or reader
Use of a computer (with or without specific software)
Exam scripts in large font
These arrangements need to be made well in advance of any formal assessments and examinations. Please contact the Disability Advisor or your departmental office if you have previously had any specific arrangements for examinations, or you feel you need to discuss this issue.
Good communication between you, your tutors and the Disability Service is essential in order to provide you with the best available support. With your consent, recommendations made in your assessment report can be forwarded to your tutors. With a greater understanding of your individual support needs, tutors can work together to make courses more accessible. At any stage in this process we will be happy to arrange a meeting with your course leader and a Disability Advisor to discuss particular issues.
University staff will support you through your period of study and advise on procedures but you too have a responsibility for your own learning. If you are unable to meet agreed deadlines please talk to your tutors and negotiate an acceptable alternative.