Student support: accessibility and reasonable adjustments
We’re committed to being inclusive and accessible to all students in every aspect of student life.
Your student disability officer
For those with an impairment, condition, difference or at a life stage when you require support for study, the student disability officer will be your point of contact for reasonable adjustments throughout your time on the course.
Sharing your reasonable adjustments
You can share your accessibility requirements through your online MyTap portal: on application, at enrolment or at any time during your course.
All communications about support are confidential to the student disability team, and any professional administrative staff who may need to put adjustments in place. Once you have shared with us, you will have a choice to state if you want your course team to know. We only share your information on a need-to-know basis and with your agreement.
We encourage you to share as soon as you are ready, so that you can make the most use of your study support whilst on your course. Please note that it can take a few weeks to put adjustments in place.
You can withdraw your agreement to share at any point. Doing so may affect any reasonable adjustments you already have in place.
Managing your reasonable adjustments
We encourage you to manage your accessibility requirements and we can then help to put reasonable adjustments in place based on the information you provide.
There are three ways to share:
- On application
- On enrolment through your MyTap portal
- At any time during your studies by accessing your MyTap portal and clicking on the ‘Request Reasonable Adjustments’ button to the right side of your profile picture on your dashboard.
If you choose to share at the application stage, we can put adjustments in place for your interview, where appropriate.
If you have formal documentation, you can upload this securely. (See documentation section below).
Meeting with the student disability officer
When you have shared your reasonable adjustments and provided any documentation you confidentially upload on your MyTap portal, you will be given the choice to meet with your student disability officer.
You will need to agree this by ticking a box on the MyTap portal, and the disability officer will be alerted. They will be in touch with you by email to arrange a meeting to discuss, your needs – in confidence.
You will also receive an email welcoming you, with information about how to proceed while you wait for your meeting to be arranged, which may take a few days or longer depending upon the time of year.
At your meeting, your disability officer (SDO) will have access to the reasonable adjustments that you have shared via your MyTap Portal and will discuss these with you. You will both create the final online Statement of Reasonable Adjustment (SoRA), which will become the agreement between the Trust and you about which reasonable adjustments we will put in place specifically catering to your support.
If you wish you can discuss your condition, impairment, difference, or life stage and how this affects your learning. The SDO may also have some suggestions based on their previous experience. However, it will be after the meeting when the SDO has liaised with other professional administrative support staff that reasonable adjustments can be fully agreed and put into place.
The student disability officer will also discuss your DSA application (where relevant – DSA can only be applied for if you are studying on a university-accredited programme) and offer you advice and support to complete it. It may be that temporary adjustments need to be put in place while you await the outcome of the DSA application.
The reasonable adjustments that can be put in place are given as options alongside each formal impairment, condition, difference or life stage, that you share. They will appear on a drop-down list on your MyTap Portal. It is recognised that your Reasonable Adjustments can include slight differences for each student. A few examples are listed below:
- We will agree a personal emergency evacuation plan (PEEP) for students who have a physical disability so that you would have safe exit from the building in the event of an emergency.
- We may be able to arrange for specialist equipment where required for a physical disability and these needs would be discussed during the meeting with the student disability officer (SDO).
- If you have dyslexia or another specific learning difficulty (SpLD) or sight impairment, you may be able to have copies of the lecture notes or be given permission to record sessions, if the DSA do not provide options for your specific needs. Recording sessions will be bound by the Trust’s data protection policy in these cases.
- Videos all have captions.
- You may also be able to get help with your assessments, such as a cover sheet to guide markers or we might be able to re-design an assessment (for example, a presentation) for you so that you can still demonstrate you’ve met the learning outcomes in a different way.
- In the normal structure of a course you will have a personal tutor or a supervisor who may also be able to support you in tutorials.
All the above and more can be discussed in your meeting with the disability officer.
After the meeting
The student disability officer will liaise with relevant departments regarding your reasonable adjustments and you may be able to follow some of these up yourself.
Shortly after the meeting the agreed statement of reasonable adjustments (SoRA) will be available to view as a list of on your MyTap portal.
The student disability lead has access to moderate the staff side of this portal. This step is to make sure that all students are getting equal access to resources and that the adjustments are fair and in line with our Trust policy, and that they are reasonable.
If you have agreed to share information with your course team, the relevant reasonable adjustments will be shared with your course lead, by email, for action to be taken.
Changing your reasonable adjustments
If you already have a statement of reasonable adjustments in place and would like to have other equipment, for whatever reason, you can do this by sharing another accessibility requirement on Mytap and also by contacting your student disability officer. The student disability officer will then review the request.
If the equipment is requested for a condition not previously disclosed, then you may need to provide documentation in the usual way.
We have a limited supply of equipment within the Trust, including chairs, laptops, keyboards and mice, and will consider on a case-by-case basis or if possible, purchase what is needed.
If you are requesting reasonable adjustments, we need to see evidence of your impairment, difference or difficulty, both to ensure we are providing the correct support, and to confirm that our support is reaching the right people.
This information should be read in conjunction with the Disabled Students and Reasonable Adjustments Policy.
Whatever evidence you submit, it is crucial that it confirms the impact upon you of your circumstance and is supplied by an independent party that witnessed the impact, or where the circumstances are such that the impact can be clearly implied. We must be able to confirm your statement by looking at the evidence, and so you should submit sufficient relevant evidence.
If you are looking at this page, we hope that you are already seeking support, and we strongly encourage you to complete the Reasonable Adjustments request on your MyTAP profile, if you haven’t already.
The table below explains the types of evidence we normally expect. Please note that this list is not exhaustive. We recognise that obtaining some forms of evidence can have a negative impact on you and where possible, to account for such situations, we have tried to accommodate alternative forms of evidence.
As part of your request for Reasonable Adjustments, you will be asked to upload your evidence / documentation. If you do not have documentation at the time of submitting your Reasonable Adjustments, we can support you with obtaining this. You can contact the disability officer for help. Please note that there will a fee applicable for a formal assessment. If you are unable to pay the fee you may be eligible for support from our Student Disability Support Fund, The forms are on the My Student Community – Moodle page. You can discuss this with the student disability officer.
|Illness (acute)||An acute illness is normally sudden/unforeseen and only lasts a relatively short time, for example, a broken arm, severe, short-term COVID-19, flu, and migraines. As evidence we would expect an original medical certificate/letter, dated from the time of your illness, from an appropriate medical professional confirming the nature of the illness and the likely impact it is having on your ability to undertake formal assessment and/or study. This can include medical certificates supplied by online doctors if they are UK based and CQC-regulated.|
|Disability, physical difference or impairment; And/or Long-term medical condition; And/or Symptoms of menopause||If you live with a disability or long-term medical condition, you should be supported via our Reasonable Adjustments process. We do not offer extensions to assessment deadlines as this means that you are consistently behind the rest of your peers. We provide all assessment deadlines at the beginning of the year, to enable you to manage your time. If you experience a ‘flare-up’ of symptoms, or your support is not in place during an assessment period you may apply for Extenuating Circumstances. If you have already provided evidence to the Disability team, you do not need to share any evidence with the EC team, and instead can refer them to the Disability team, unless evidence of a ‘flare-up’ is necessary. However, if your reason for requesting an extension relates to something other than your disability, appropriate evidence will be required.|
|Personal/Emotional (acute)||An original medical certificate or letter from an appropriate medical professional confirming the nature of the illness and/or circumstances and the likely impact it is having on your ability to undertake formal assessment and/or study (see ‘Staff Supporting Statements’ below). Depending on the issue(s) concerned, the Trust might consider a letter from a religious/faith leader.|
|Pregnancy||A dated letter on headed paper from a healthcare professional, such as a midwife, nurse or doctor explaining how the pregnancy could impact on studies (for example, if you are experiencing PGP, gestational diabetes, emotional symptoms)|
Any evidence presented from a health professional or other professional body listed above must normally meet the following standards and should be:
- Written by appropriately qualified professionals (e.g. health professional, police authority) who are independent from you.
- On headed paper and signed and dated by the author. Evidence presented by email may be acceptable in some circumstances but only if the email has been sent by the author from the official domain name of the author’s organisation. Where evidence is submitted in email form the School reserves the right to request further information from the student.
- Able to specifically confirm that the circumstances were witnessed on the relevant date as opposed to being reported retrospectively.
- In English. If your evidence is not in English, then you must submit an original source-language copy of the evidence together with an officially translated copy. The translation must include a statement signed by a Notary Public, attesting that the translated text is an accurate and complete translation of the source-language text.
- It is the student’s responsibility to attach all relevant documentation and to obtain an official translation at the time of submission.
- Unaltered. Documentation that has been amended for any reason will be deemed inadmissible by the Trust.
You are asked to note that the following evidence is normally not acceptable:
- Technical medical reports that do not contain the required information set out above
- Prescriptions, X-Rays, photographs or similar
- Statements from family and/or friends
- We do not accept video evidence. Only Word documents, PDFs or JPEGs are accepted as evidence.
The Trust reserves the right to take such steps as are deemed necessary to verify the evidence submitted without prior notification. Where we are unable to authenticate the material to our satisfaction, your request may not be accepted. The Trust reserves the right to request sight of original documents, if necessary. If there is evidence that you have fraudulently presented documentation to the Trust, the matter will be referred to the Student Conduct Concerns Procedure and/or Professional Suitability for Training Procedure .
You don’t need to wait for the meeting with the student disability officer to complete your disabled student allowance (DSA) application; in fact, the waiting time to get the outcome of your application can be long, so we strongly advise you to begin your application as soon as possible before meeting with the student disability officer. You can only apply for a DSA if you are registered on a university-accredited programme. You can find out about eligibility here: DSA Eligibility Criteria
As noted above, the Tavistock also have a Disability Fund, where there is no DSA provision, several aspects of support may be covered. See My Student Community – Moodle, and please discuss your support with the Disability Officer.
If you need urgent help
If you have a flare-up of your condition, your condition deteriorates suddenly, or you are newly diagnosed with a health condition or disability, there is help available to you.
We would urge you to contact us at the first opportunity to discuss your situation and your options. You can also visit the Moodle My Student Community Page, or the Support and wellbeing page of this website.