Declaring a disability – Guest Blog

The blog this week is a guest blog brought to you by Sophie Lloyd, Wellbeing Services Administrator at the University of Exeter. She is looking into the support provided to students by our AccessAbility and Wellbeing Services Teams and whether prospective students joining us in 2016/17 should declare a disability to the university:

Should I declare a disability to the University of Exeter before I begin my studies?

The words ‘declaring a disability’ can sometimes be misinterpreted as a little extravagant when it comes to requesting support during your studies. However, at Exeter, ‘declaring a disability’ is just a fancy term we use which simply translates into making the correct services and departments within the University aware of your situation and requests for support.

A common misunderstanding of the term ‘disability’ has often resulted in many students not knowing what support is available to them under the AccessAbility and Wellbeing Services umbrella. If you do feel that you may need support for learning difficulties, mental health and /or physical health then you may like to fill out an Online Prospective Student Form before your arrival in September. Upon submitting this form, we will be able to advise you on what services we feel may be beneficial to you, whilst also offering advice on what actions you could take to help make your adjustments to university life a little more comfortable. As a service, we are also able to pass appropriate requests onto the Accommodation Team who may be able to offer accommodation which is more suitable to your needs.

At Exeter, we understand how every individual is different, and therefore we understand how many students may require a personalised support plan to help them reach their full potential during their independent studies. If you would like to help us put timely arrangements in to place for you as soon as your begin the academic year, you may also like to book an appointment to see an AccessAbility Advisor or Mental Health practitioner to discuss putting together an Individual Learning Plan. For disability support please contact SID on 0300 555 0444 and for a Mental Health Initial Meeting please contact The Wellbeing Services on 01392 724381 quoting your enquiry number.

The online form does require the attachment of a Post-16 Educational Psychologist Report or any up to date medical evidence which may help to support your disability requests. Having these documents saved to your student files as soon as you begin your studies will make the process of accessing support or creating an Individual Learning Plan much easier and faster for you!

Do not hesitate to contact AccessAbility on 01392 723 880 or The Wellbeing Services on 01392 724381 to speak to one of our friendly members of staff who will be more than happy to help.

Many thanks to Sophie for writing this week’s blog. Next week’s blog post will be updating you all on our forthcoming Open Days which are taking place on Friday 3 and Saturday 4 June.

Accommodation Catherine

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