Information for Parents and Supporters
Coming to University is a major transition for all students, and particularly for young people moving from home for the first time. For disabled students, including those on the autism spectrum, there may be additional barriers and Disability Services are here to help. Below, you will find information about Disability Services, and the support we provide.
Disability Services comprise of the following integrated services:
- Dyslexia Team (supporting students with Specific Learning Difference, including dyslexia, dyspraxia, ADHD)
- Mental Health Advisory Team
- Disability Advisory Team
- Non-medical Help Scheme
- Assessment Centre
- Disability Services offer a professional and comprehensive service to disabled students.
- We encourage students and prospective students to contact us so that we can work with them on an individual basis within the boundaries of our confidentiality policy.
- With the student and other relevant services, including academic schools, we will explore barriers, identify appropriate strategies and draw up a Personal Learning Support Plan.
- We will take all reasonable and practicable steps to enable students to access their studies however the University expects students to maintain contact with our service, for example, to respond to email queries or phone calls. Email is the primary way that the University corresponds with students, and we explore ways to support students to develop strategies to manage this important means of communication.
- Where students maintain contact with the Advisers, we can work with students on developing communication strategies.
- We will support students to have a clear understanding of the processes and support systems.
- We can work with students on enabling processes to engage with relevant staff and become independent learners.
Support not provided
- We are unable to provide support without an ongoing two-way communication with students themselves. It is important that students understand that they must engage with appropriate university services, including their academic school.
- We are unable to act in a parental role. At university, students are regarded as independent adults.
- In line with data protection legislation, our confidentiality policy is that staff in Disability Services will not pass on personal information about students (including information about attendance) to anyone outside the service except in the following situations:
- where the Service has the student’s express permission to disclose information, or
- where staff believe that there is a risk of serious harm to the student or a third party.
- There are strict limitations as to what information we can share with parents once a student has registered. For example, we cannot confirm to a third party (including parents or supporters) whether someone is a student at the University, or their whereabouts.
- We will follow up on any concerns raised but are unable to provide updates to the person who raised the concern - we will, however, encourage the student to do this.
- You can support your daughter / son through the transition by supporting them to take appropriate action. A strategy some students and parents have found useful is for the parent to summarise the student’s concerns in an email, send it to their son / daughter and ask that they forward that email on to the service. This can support a student to become more independent and often achieves a more timely response as staff cannot communicate directly with a parent or supporter but will always reply to a student as soon as they can.
- We cannot provide an emergency service and support is only available during office hours. Find out how to get help in a mental health emergency.
Preparing for University
Often the most important thing you can do is to support a student to access University services independently.
Students with strong daily living skills usually find the transition to living at university smoother, less stressful, and are therefore more able to manage the other aspects of University life. Coming to University with the skills to shop for and prepare a range of meals, deal with their laundry, and some strategies to help maintain a healthy sleep cycle will all help, and leave them more time for enjoyable activities, and their academic studies.
It will also be helpful to look at the Preparing for University section of the University’s Welcome 2020 website.