Disability support

Always be honest about a disability. 

If you didn’t disclose this when you applied for your course, or it has arisen since your pre-course occupational health check, talk to your personal tutor. They will be able to direct you to key people for support, such as the:

  • disability support officer – for the university or faculty/department
  • university’s disability service
  • student welfare and advice services

Having an occupational health check can give you a realistic assessment of whether, with reasonable adjustments, you would be able to do the course and the associated clinical practice. Universities are able to make reasonable adjustments to a course and in some cases to placements, to aid most types of disability.

You may also be able to access:

  • extra time in timed assessments/exams and use of a computer
  • extensions to deadlines for written assignments
  • extensions to the time you can borrow books and library resources
  • study skills advice and support, or a study coach
  • a disabled students’ allowance

"University healthcare courses strive to be as inclusive as possible. We support all students to maximise their own potential, irrespective of disability, and to complete the course and qualify."

Sarah Waygood, disability and dyslexia tutor, Kingston University and St George's, University of London

Read physiotherapy student Heather Beebe's story.

Useful resources

Professional bodies can be a good source of disability support. For example, The Chartered Society of Physiotherapy (CSP) provides information for physiotherapy students on how to cope with disabilities. They can also put you in touch with practitioners who can advise on working with a specific disability. The Royal College of Nursing provides a toolkit of strategies and tips for nursing students to help those with dyslexia, dyspraxia and dyscalculia.

Visit the relevant role page on this website for details of the professional bodies and other organisations relevant to your chosen profession.

  • Your first point of contact should be your personal tutor. They may be able help you or will signpost you to student welfare services for help with accommodation, health or financial problems, or to the university counselling service or occupational health service.

    If problems are preventing you from continuing with your course you may be able to take a break and return at a later date.

    Read midwifery student Sarah Billington's story.

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