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Frequently Asked Questions


 

Support at University 

What is the difference between DDS and DSA?

The Disability & Dyslexia Services (DDS) team within Student Advisory & Wellbeing at Royal Holloway are here to support all students who have disclosed a disability, long standing medical condition, specific learning difficulty or mental health condition. Our advisers will help co-ordinate the right support for you including liaising with external providers or support services for specialised support. 

Disabled Students’ Allowances (DSAs) is a grant (in the form of specialist equipment and Non-Medical Helper support) to help toward meeting the additional studying costs or expenses that students can face as a direct result of a disability or specific learning difficulty. It is intended to help disabled students’ study on an equal basis with other students.  Applications for DSA are independent from DDS but we can help with the application form.  For more information visit our DSA page.


 

I have a disability; how do I register with Disability and Dyslexia Services (DDS)?

To register with our service, please complete our Registration and the Consent forms and upload relevant evidence of your disability.  Please make sure that you have evidence of  your disability to submit with your registration form.

 

During term time we are offering a daily confidential online drop-in (Monday - Friday 11am to 2pm).  Please click on the link below:

DDS Drop-in (11am to 2pm week days during term-time)

Please note you may be required to wait. A disability adviser will let you into the drop-in as soon as they are available.  

You can also email or phone us (please see below).  If you would like to organise a meeting we can offer this via Microsoft Teams. Please email or phone to arrange.

Call us on 01784 414621 or email the team.  

 

 

What support am I entitled to once I register with Disability and Dyslexia Services?

  • We will discuss your support needs with you, however, please see this page for details of some  of the support available from the university
  • Exams Access Arrangements (EAAs)

Does the college provide personal care support?

The College is not able to provide personal care support.  This is provided by a student’s local authority.  It is recommended that a student’s local authority is contacted well in advance of them starting their course to ensure support is in place.

International students would be required to fund this themselves and make arrangements directly with a UK personal care provider. 

Students must be capable of administering and looking after their own medication unless they have a personal carer who would do this.

I can’t meet with DDS on campus; can I still arrange the support I need?

All the DDS related support can be arranged online. Once you complete the Registration and the Consent forms and submit your evidence you can discuss the support you need via email or online (via MS Teams ).

Find out more about the range of support available and what examination access arrangements we offer.

How do I get in contact with the Disability & Dyslexia Service?

 

During term time we are offering a daily confidential online drop-in (Monday - Friday 11am to 2pm).  Please click on the link below:

DDS Drop-in (11am to 2pm week days during term-time)

Please note you may be required to wait. A disability adviser will let you into the drop-in as soon as they are available.  

You can also email or phone us (please see below).  If you would like to organise a meeting we can offer this via Microsoft Teams. Please email or phone to arrange.

Call us on 01784 414621 or email the team.  

I don’t have any disability evidence available, what do I do?

If your disability is a medical condition (i.e. you take a prescribed medication) please contact your GP to get a medical evidence - you can ask them to complete this medical evidence form which can be used for DDS registration and will also be suitable for a DSA application.

 

If you suspect that you might have a specific learning difficulty, we can arrange for you to meet with a specialist adviser for an online screening interview. If the outcome of the screening is positive, then you will be referred to a specialist assessor for a diagnostic assessment (please note fees may apply). Once diagnosed, you can use the report as evidence to register with our service and apply for DSA. Please email us for further information.

 

What do I do if I cannot submit any new evidence of my disability because of COVID-19?

Due to the current COVID-19 outbreak, we understand that you may not be able to get any new medical evidence or diagnostic assessment reports. You can use any evidence which you intend to use for your DSA application for registering with DDS.

 

Student Finance England will accept an Evaluation of Need in place of a full diagnostic assessment if you have a Specific Learning Difficulty. If you have an Evaluation of Need, you should email it to dsa_medical_evidence@slc.co.uk along with your full name, customer reference number (CRN) and date of birth. Student Finance England will accept any Evaluation of Need completed up to and including 31st August 2020. Please contact us via email if you need further details.

 

Can you accept a prescription as evidence of my disability?

Sorry, we cannot accept a prescription as evidence of a disability or medical condition.  We would require a letter from an appropriately qualified professional that confirms your condition.

Do I need to be on campus to have a diagnostic assessment?

For a full diagnostic assessment, you need to attend an appointment on campus. With the current COVID-19 situation an ‘evaluation of need’ assessment can be carried out online via MS Teams. However, please note that the online version is not a full diagnostic. You may need to be reassessed if you move to the next level of your studies (i.e.UG to PG).

I think that I have a specific learning difficulty, but have never been tested.  Can I get a diagnosis?

If you suspect that you might have a specific learning difficulty, we can arrange for you to meet with a specialist adviser for an online screening interview. If the outcome of the screening is positive, then you will be referred to a specialist assessor for a diagnostic assessment (please note fees may apply).

Please come to one of our drop-ins to discuss this further:  

DDS Drop-in (11am to 2pm week days during term-time)

 

How long will it take to get a diagnostic report?

Depending on the time of year you may need to wait 3-4 weeks before your appointment.  Once you have attended the appointment, you should allow 2-3 weeks for a report to be generated and you will be contacted once we have received this. Please note that the report will be only released to you once you have completed our online registration.

Will my dyslexia be considered when my assignments are marked?

Yes – the work of a student with a SpLD (dyslexia or dyspraxia) who is registered with the Disability & Dyslexia Service, is identified usually by writing or typing ‘Green Sticker’ on the front of your work. This is to ensure that assignments submitted by students with a SpLD are not penalised for their spelling and/or grammar. All work is now submitted electronically.  Please check with your department/school for further information on the procedure.

 

What is the policy regarding library loans for DDS students?

Extended library loans are available for students registered with DDS.  The Library will email DDS registered students to let them know what is available. 

The Library can also arrange for course reading materials to be available in alternative formats.  Prospective students are advised to let DDS know in advance of starting their course if they have any specific requirements in this area.

 

 

I am clinically extremely vulnerable.  How will this affect my studies or living in halls accommodation?

If you consider yourself to be extremely clinically vulnerable according to the government’s guidelines, then please contact us at disability-dyslexia@rhul.ac.uk as soon as possible so that we can discuss your requirements.

 

 Disabled Students' Allowances (DSA) 

Should I apply for the Disabled Students Allowance before I start at Royal Holloway?

The DSA Application process can take a couple of months from start to finish and so it would be a good idea to start the process as soon as possible so that your support is in place for when you start your course. It will also give you time to arrange the delivery of any equipment, and to have the training in using it, before you start your lectures. Please see our guide to the DSA process.

What support am I entitled to once I apply for the DSA?

Depending on the diagnosis, you might be entitled to Non-Medical Helper support (specialist 1-1 study skills, specialist mentoring) and/or specialist equipment and software and a travel allowance, depending on your disability.

My DSA letter entitles me to study skills and specialist mentoring sessions. Can I have these sessions online?

Yes - Due to the current COVID-19 situation and until further notice the 1-1 study skills and specialist mentoring sessions will be delivered online via MS Teams, if Royal Holloway is the supplier of your support.

During term time we are offering a daily confidential online drop-in (Monday - Friday 11am to 2pm).  Please click on the link below:

DDS Drop-in (11am to 2pm week days during term-time)

Please note you may be required to wait. A disability adviser will let you into the drop-in as soon as they are available.  

You can also email or phone us (please see below).  If you would like to organise a meeting we can offer this via Microsoft Teams. Please email or phone to arrange.

Call us on 01784 414621 or email the team.  

I’ve been given an external provider for my study skills and mentoring sessions. Can I change this to the Disability and Dyslexia services at Royal Holloway?

You cannot request to change this unless you have tried to use the external provider first. If, for instance, the supplier was not able to provide someone to support you or you were not happy with the support provided, then you can request to change your provider. To do this please contact your Needs Assessor to discuss this. You can find their contact details on your Needs Assessment Report.

What should I do if I need Section 5 of the DSA application form completed by a member of staff?

The full DSA form which includes Section 5 is required if you are a post graduate student or if you are a self –funding undergraduate.  During the current pandemic please email your full form with all other sections completed to DDS, so that we can complete Section 5 for you. 

What are the current options for accessing 1-1 study skills and mentoring sessions?

Due to the current COVID-19 situation and until further notice the 1-1 study skills and specialist mentoring sessions will be delivered online via MS Teams, if Royal Holloway is the supplier of your support.

During term time we are offering a daily confidential online drop-in (Monday - Friday 11am to 2pm).  Please click on the link below:

DDS Drop-in (11am to 2pm week days during term-time)

Please note you may be required to wait. A disability adviser will let you into the drop-in as soon as they are available.  

You can also email or phone us (please see below).  If you would like to organise a meeting we can offer this via Microsoft Teams. Please email or phone to arrange.

Call us on 01784 414621 or email the team.  

 

 

Exams Access Arrangements 

Am I entitled to extra time for the online alternative assessments?

If you assessment has a 23-hour submission window this provides plenty of time for you to complete the work. Students are being encouraged to treat these assessments as they would an invigilated exam and only work on the exam for the 2-3 hours that would usually be expected. If you are doing problem solving exercises and quizzes which are time limited, then your extra time will be added as normal. 

Please note that assessment arrangements for 20/21 are not yet confirmed.

 

I had extra time and the use of a word processor when I sat exams at school. Will I be able to have these arrangements at Royal Holloway?

Please register with us and submit any available evidence you have from school/previous assessments. We will look at the evidence and let you know if further assessments are needed, and if so, how we will support you to attain them.

 

Accommodation 

I have a physical disability and am worried about accessing my accommodation and buildings around the campus. How do I find out about this?

Please register with DDS and provide evidence of your disability. It would be helpful if your evidence includes information regarding  your disability related specific accommodation needs.

We will then assess this information and if granted we will submit a recommendation of accommodation to the Student Services Centre for them to take into consideration.  We will also notify your academic department to arrange the support you need to access lectures and seminars. 

 You can view accessibility information for Royal Holloway here.

I have mobility difficulties and am worried about accessing my accommodation. Can I view my room before I decide where to live?

We strongly encourage that anyone who is a wheelchair user or who has mobility difficulties to see the accessible rooms before enrolment. The areas where some of our accommodation is located is very hilly and students would need to ensure they can manage this in their wheelchair before deciding on their choice of accommodation. 

You can view accessibility information for Royal Holloway here.

The college has a range of accessible rooms.   Please email us to arrange a virtual viewing where appropriate and possible.

My room needs a few changes to meet my needs/disability, what should I do?

If adaptations are required to a room in order to meet a student’s specific needs, then the cost of these must be met by the student’s local authority. Please email DDS about any required adaptations.

Can I have a fridge in my university accommodation/room?

These can only be permitted for storage of medicine that must be kept stored in a fridge.  Storage of food is not permitted.

You will be required to purchase your own fridge, please note that the maximum size is 60cm x 50cm x 50cm.  Please contact DDS to gain approval to have a fridge in your room. You can email us to discuss this further.

 

How do I apply for a recommendation for accommodation by DDS?

A 'recommendation for accommodation' is where you have specific accommodation requirements in relation to your disability which have been confirmed by an appropriately qualified medical professonal.  If you have this requirement, please  contact DDS to discuss further. Please note that you should also apply for your accommodation through the normal routes

Can I remain in accommodation on campus for the duration of my studies?

Students who have been diagnosed with an autistic spectrum condition can apply to remain on campus for the duration of their studies.  Please contact DDS in January of each year of study if you would like to make this arrangement.  Please note that you should also apply for your accommodation through the normal routes. 

 

 

 

 

 Campus Accessibility 

I have a disability; can I park my car on campus?

Please see general information about parking on campus.

Blue badge holders can bring a vehicle onto campus and may park in designated accessible parking bays. Please make an application via DDS.

Please contact us if you have any questions about parking.

If you do not currently have a blue badge and wish to apply for one, then please follow this page for further information.

 

How do I find out about accessibility on campus?

Please find out more about accessibility information for Royal Holloway here.

I have a guide dog. What is the policy at Royal Holloway?

Please see the general information about guide dogs, therapy animals and pets.

I have a pet/ animal for therapy purposes. What is the policy at Royal Holloway?

Please see the general information about guide dogs, therapy animals and pets.

 

  Other 

I live in university accommodation; do I need to register with the GP on campus?

Students living in halls are encouraged to register with the onsite Medical Centre and to ensure their home GP has passed on their health records.  Students can access their home GP as a temporary patient when at home during College holiday periods. 

Can my parents or guardians contact the college on my behalf?

We are unable to provide information about a student to parents or guardians unless specific consent has been given by the student.  This consent needs to be given in writing specifying whether they agree to their parent/guardian/supporter requesting information on their academic progress, wellbeing or both. Students are asked to complete a  Consent form when registering with DDS.

The College will not provide automatic updates or get in contact unless there are concerns for a student’s safety or wellbeing.

 

Contact us

 

During term time we are offering a daily confidential online drop-in (Monday - Friday 11am to 2pm).  Please click on the link below:


DDS Drop-in (11am to 2pm week days during term-time)


Please note you may be required to wait.   A disability adviser will let you into the drop-in as soon as they are available.  

You can also email or phone us (please see below).  If you would like to organise a meeting we can offer this via Microsoft Teams. Please email or phone to arrange.

Call us on 01784 414621

Email us

Keep safe and well!

 

Accessibility

You can view accessibility information for Royal Holloway here

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