Assistance Animals on campus
Bangor University has recently reviewed its policy on animals on campus. Trained Assistance Dogs accompanying a student to University will be allowed into University buildings and facilities, including Halls of Residences, in compliance with the law. Unregistered therapy / emotional support animals will not be permitted to join students at University, or be housed in University accommodation however students should discuss alternative strategies with our Mental Health Advisers. Students with Assistance Dogs should contact Disability Services in the first instance to discuss procedures and answer any questions you may have.
Can support be arranged before I arrive?
Ideally, yes. We encourage prospective students to contact us to discuss their requirements. We write to all students who include disability-related information on the application form and provide information on funding and the support we can provide. Where necessary, we can guide students through the admissions process and help them apply for funding as well as liaise with their department, and other sources of support.
In the summer, we ask prospective students to complete an online registration form for Disability Services and provide us with documentary evidence. For information on how we share disability-related information, please see our confidentiality policy. Once we have received this information, we will draft a Personal Learning Support Plan.
Ideally, we will be able to do this in time for your first week of lectures, but this will depend on how soon we receive the information from you, or the Assessment Centre if you have had a study needs assessment for Disabled Students’ Allowances (DSA.) The main thing is for you to keep in touch with us – this way, we can ensure your support is in place as soon as possible.
If you are considering coming to Bangor through Clearing, you should make your circumstances known in the first instance to the Clearing Helpline or to the admissions tutor in the department, and then contact Disability Services or phone 01248 383620 / 382032 to discuss your needs in detail.
Entering information about disability, including relevant medical condition, specific learning difference or mental health difficulty, on your application form enables us to begin to discuss any study support needs you may have at an early stage. These discussions are in confidence and information will only be shared on a ‘need to know’ basis within the Institution, when appropriate, and with your permission. See Confidentiality.
What evidence of disability do I need to provide to register with Disability Services?
Usually a letter from a GP or consultant outlining your condition and its impact on you will be sufficient. If you have a specific learning difference (SpLD), such as dyslexia, then you will need a report from an educational psychologist or suitably qualified specialist tutor holding a current assessment practising certificate. We may accept the evidence you had at school as interim evidence, but this will need to be checked by an SpLD Adviser.
In accordance with the University’s regulations, any evidence provided will need to be in Welsh or English; any translations from the original should be provided from an accredited professional translation service.
Should I undertake a diagnostic assessment report before I start University for a Specific Learning Difference (for example, dyslexia)?
If you have a Specific Learning Difference such as dyslexia, then in order to apply for the Disabled Students’ Allowance you will need to provide evidence in the form of a diagnostic report, written in accordance with the 2005 SpLD Working Group Guidelines, from either:
- A registered psychologist or
- A suitably qualified specialist teacher, holding a SpLD Assessment Practicing Certificate.
You can then send a copy of your diagnostic assessment with your application for the Disabled Students’ Allowance before you start University.
Your DSA Funding Provider will need to approve your application if you qualify. They will then send you an approval letter to arrange a DSA Needs Assessment. This is an informal meeting with an experienced Needs Assessor to help you decide the kind of support that will help you with your particular needs.
You can choose any DSA Needs Assessment Centre and claim travel expenses. A list of Assessment Centres can be found at https://dsa-qag.org.uk/students/find-assessment-centre. We also have a Centre at Bangor who are fully aware of the provision here at Bangor University.
Putting all of the above in place before you start University will ensure that the support you need is there from the start of your studies.
I had extra time in exams at school/college. Am I entitled to extra time at University?
You may be. You need to register with Disability Services, provide us with documentary evidence and have a Personal Learning Support Plan. Do this as soon as possible.
My PLSP gives me 25% extra time in exams yet some of my in-class exams had the extra time factored in for all students. Is this fair?
Where assessments are designed to provide all students with sufficient time to demonstrate a module’s learning outcomes, enabling all students to demonstrate their knowledge or competence to their fullest extent, then this is considered to be good inclusive practice. Often it is possible to include additional time (e.g. 25% extra time) for all students in on-line and in-class assessments. It removes the stigma of separating those students requiring adjustments in class and the need for separate rooms or for additional timetabling arrangements.
Students who have 25% extra time for exams as a reasonable adjustment in their PLSPs may feel that they could be disadvantaged as non-disabled students will have more time available, say, to write more and have time to review their work. However, a well-designed assessment should give all students sufficient time to answer questions fully and review their work. ‘Writing more’ will not necessarily meet the learning outcomes of the assessment and there is research that demonstrates that this form of inclusive assessment does not afford an advantage to non-disabled students.
Ofiesh, N., Mather, N. & Russell, A. (2005). Using speeded cognitive, reading, and academic measures to determine the need for extended test time among university students with learning disabilities. Journal of Psychoeducational Assessment, 23, 35–52.
Duncan, H. & Purcell, C. (2019) Consensus or contradiction? A review of the current research into the impact of granting extra time in exams to students with specific learning difficulties (SpLD),Journal of Further and Higher Education, DOI: 10.1080/0309877X.2019.1578341
Face covering exemptions
Section Three of the Welsh Government’s guidance sets out a list of “legitimate reasons” not to wear a covering. Groups and settings include:
- Those who cannot put on, wear or remove a face covering because of a physical or mental illness or impairment, or disability.
- Those who will be caused severe distress by putting on, wearing or removing a face covering.
- People travelling with or providing assistance to someone who relies on lip reading to communicate.
- To avoid harm or injury, or the risk of harm or injury, to yourself or others to avoid injury, or to escape a risk of harm.
- To eat or drink if reasonably necessary.
- To take medication.
What are Disabled Students’ Allowances (DSAs)?
DSAs are non means tested grants available to cover some of the extra costs students may have because of a mental health condition; specific learning difference, such as dyslexia, dyspraxia or ADHD; long-term illness; or any other impairment. For further information, including eligibility see here.
Where can I have a Study Needs Assessment for DSAs?
For information on Bangor University’s Assessment Centre, see Bangor Access Centre To identify an Assessment Centre near you, see the web link on your DSA letter.
I am eligible for DSA but have already bought equipment to support me, can I reclaim the cost of the equipment?
Only equipment, software and consumables recommended by a needs assessor and approved by DSA can be funded in this way. The majority of funding bodies will not reimburse anything purchased before it is approved by DSA. Additional disability-related items can be added following the needs assessment appointment, but it is important that you do not purchase any DSA-related equipment until after the approval letter allows you to do so.
What if I am not eligible for Disabled Students’ Allowances?
There is still support available so arrange to see an Adviser to discuss this. For example, you may be able to loan equipment. The University has a small fund to pay for additional disability support costs for those students who are not eligible for UK Disabled Students’ Allowances. To apply, you will need to see an Adviser, provide evidence of disability and undergo a study needs assessment, which may involve your School.
Is student accommodation accessible?
Several en-suite rooms in Halls have been designed for wheelchair access, with kitchens containing low level cookers, work surfaces and sinks. Ramps, wheelchair lifts accessible toilet and shower facilities and internet access have been installed in a variety of halls to give students a variety of choice. A number of rooms at different sites are equipped with visual alarm systems and vibrating pagers for students who are deaf or hard of hearing.
You can find out more about our adapted rooms on our accommodation website.
How do I get an extension for my assignment?
Please see the helpful information in the Student Handbook.
For further advice and guidance, please see either your Personal Tutor or the Disability Tutor for your School.
Including disability-related information on your UCAS form or postgraduate application form
It’s really important to include information about your impairment, long-standing health condition or specific learning difference on your UCAS form or Postgraduate application form. Once we have this information, we will contact you to find out what individual reasonable adjustments and support requirements you may have. Email Disability Services for further information.
Is there support for international students
Yes, although there is no DSA funding for international students. The University has a small fund to pay for additional disability support costs for those students who are not eligible for UK Disabled Students’ Allowances. To apply, you will need to see an Adviser, provide evidence of disability and undergo a study needs assessment, which may involve your School.
Keeping in touch
How do the Advisers keep in touch?
Once you have registered with Disability Services and have had a PLSP drawn up, you are welcome to make an appointment to see an Adviser as necessary within usual office hours. You may prefer to email us, and we will respond as soon as we can within office hours.
In addition, we will keep in touch with you through a number of means:
- By emailing you – for example, sending you reminder messages about the deadline for booking in exam adjustments, or other timely information.
- By responding to your emails.
- Emailing you our quarterly Newsletter.
- By offering you an appointment if we need to see you.
- Offering weekly drop-in sessions on Wednesday afternoons in Pontio with the Mental Health Advisers (term time only – look out for our poster).
There is also a tick box in PLSPs which Advisers can check if they wish to send you a review appointment each semester – just to catch up with you to see how things are going.
Bangor University works within a bilingual policy. In Disability Services, where any student requests that we correspond with them only through the medium of Welsh or only through the medium of English, we will always endeavour to do this. Where students have assistive technology requirements, for example, where a student uses a screen reader which is ‘set up’ to read a specific language, we will also forward the communication in either Welsh or English, but this is also dependent upon students informing us of their requirements in this regard.
Leaving buildings in an emergency
I am unable to walk up or down stairs. What happens in an emergency when I am unable to use a lift?
Safe refuge areas have been identified in all key buildings. These areas are designed to provide people with a safe place in which to await assistance from the Fire Service, whilst remaining in communication with University personnel. Where necessary, our Health & Safety Adviser will draw up an individual Personal Emergency Escape Plan (PEEP) with students.
How do I request items through the Library’s Click and Collect Service during the Coronavirus Crisis?
To address the demand for items in our print collections and to conform with health and safety guidance and social distancing measures, the Library is trialling a safe and contactless Click & Collect book request service where registered staff and students can request items to be collected at an arranged time.
This service is currently restricted to items housed in the Main Library.
I am unable to fetch books myself from library shelves. Who can help?
If you are identified as eligible for the Book Collection Service on your PLSP (Personal Learning Support Plan) you can request available items to be collected from the shelves ready for you to pick up from the library services desk. If you would like to use this service, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org before 4p.m. The items will be ready for you to collect after 10a.m. the following day. (Mon – Fri). Further information on support in our Libraries, can be found here
I need a printed book in an alternative format, who do I contact for help?
Contact the Library’s Academic Support Officer at email@example.com
How do I obtain documents in an alternative formats?
The University has a site licence for SensusAccess. This is a self-service solution which allows all BU students and staff to automatically convert documents into a different format, including audio books, e-books and digital braille. /library/sensusaccess
Marking considerations (Yellow Slip)
Bangor University students with a Specific Learning Difference (SpLD), who are registered with Disability Services and have a Personal Learning Support Plan in place, are offered the reasonable adjustment of a yellow slip.
The yellow slip means that coursework and examinations will be marked according to content and ideas, and marks will not be deducted for spelling and structure, unless these form part of the marking criteria / learning outcomes.
For electronic submissions there is an electronic version of the yellow slip that you can copy and paste onto your front cover / submission documents.
To access the electronic yellow slip:
- Go to your PLSP page.
- Right click on the yellow slip image.
- Right click on the copy image.
- Paste image into a word document.
- Alternatively, the image can be dragged from the PLSP page straight into a word document.
I have a Blue Badge but how do I access car parks with barriers?
You will require a parking permit and / or a fob. Blue Badge holders are able to park in Blue Badge bays at any of the University car parks and can apply for a parking permit free of charge as an adjustment within your Personal Learning Support Plan.
Email the Disability Advisers or phone 01248 383620 / 382032.
Please note – when parking in a Blue Badge bay you must always display an up-to-date Blue Badge.
I don’t have a Blue Badge but I have mobility difficulties, where am I able to park?
Only Blue Badge holders are allowed to park in Blue Badge bays. If you are not a Blue Badge holder, but have mobility difficulties, you can apply for a Student Parking Permit which will enable you to park at any of the University car parks as an adjustment within your Personal Learning Support Plan. You will need to supply relevant medical evidence and pay the usual charge for a parking permit. Email the Disability Advisers or phone 01248 383620 / 382032.
Please note – issue of a permit does not guarantee that a parking space will be available; the demand for parking spaces at some times can exceed the available spaces.
Telling the university about my needs
How do I access support if I didn’t declare disability on my application form?
Book in to see an Adviser to discuss your support options. It’s useful if you can bring along some documentary evidence.
Sharing information with my Placement Provider
Whilst some students may be happy to share disability-related information with the University, they may be reluctant for the information to be shared with their placement provider. You can talk through the sensitive issues that sharing such information raises with your Academic School’s Disability Tutor or with a Disability Services Adviser. Not all information may be relevant to the placement and only certain members of staff at the placement may need to be passed information on a need-to-know basis. You should also think about what adjustments you can reasonably ask to be made bearing in mind that the placement provider would be unable to offer any support unless aware of your situation. Students have found it helpful to share a copy of their Personal Learning Support Plan (PLSP) – a Disability Services Adviser can help you with this.
At times, dependent upon the nature of the placement, there may be disability-related implications that require discussion (for example, when working with children or other vulnerable groups, or with chemicals or dangerous equipment). In such circumstances a full risk assessment would need to be carried out, giving consideration to reasonable adjustments. Speak to your academic school’s Disability Tutor or one of the Disability Services’ Advisers should this apply to you.
The physical environment at Bangor
The University is set within the small city of Bangor, in an area of outstanding natural beauty in the foothills of Snowdonia, which means that it is a hilly environment. However, it is also a small and friendly campus so your accommodation will be relatively close to University buildings, and shopping and leisure facilities are nearby. This still may present barriers to people with mobility difficulties and some of our older buildings may also be difficult to access. If you do experience difficulty with mobility, we would advise you come and visit the university to assess the practicalities yourself. Wherever possible, reasonable adjustments are made to meet particular requirements. We are always pleased to meet prospective students, at Open Days, or at another convenient time. Just contact one of our Disability Advisers and we will be happy to meet you and make arrangements to show you around.
What support is available to me?
If you have a diagnosis of Visual Difficulties (also known as Irlen Syndrome / Scotopic Sensitivity / Visual Stress) then you are entitled to use your overlays in exams, just as students who have prescription glasses must be allowed to use them. However, such use of overlays should not be seen as an adjustment for a disability, and students should not be given extra time in exams on the basis of this need.
We recommend you speak to one of our Disability Advisers to look at strategies available to you.
Where additional examination arrangements are requested, such as extra time or the use of a computer, you will be required to provide further evidence for these arrangements from a qualified specialist. You could also be referred for or asked to produce a full diagnostic assessment for a Specific Learning Difference (Guidelines from SASC SpLD Assessment Standards Committee, p.26, June 2018).
What if personal circumstances have affected my academic performance?
Please use a Report of Special Circumstances to inform your school. You can do this via the Request Centre. Please see the student handbook for further information.
For further advice and guidance, please see either your Personal Tutor or the Disability Tutor for your School. If you have a PLSP and feel it needs to be updated in relation to your present difficulties, please email firstname.lastname@example.org and ask for an appointment with the relevant Adviser team.