Support for Disabled Students and Care Leavers


Care leavers and Disabled students face unique challenges when they enter higher education.  You can get support from the application stage right through to graduation and the search for employment.

If you’re disabled;

  • Have a disability such as a physical disability or a sensory disability such as Blind or Deaf
  • Have a long-term health condition (more than 12 months);
  • Living with stress, anxiety, depression or any other mental health condition;
  • Have a specific learning difficulty such as dyslexia;

 

We’d encourage you to  share this to the University to find out what support is available. 

It’s your choice on whether or not to share that you are disabled. If the University knows, it’s then under a legal duty to make ‘reasonable adjustments’ to support your studies. 

Many students with dyslexia and other learning difficulties use support to manage their learning. If you or your tutor think that you may have learning difficulties, or you have a long term health problem or disability affecting your studies, we would encourage you to contact the Disability & Dyslexia Team within the Student Wellbeing Service by email wellbeing@gre.ac.uk

You may be entitled to extra support through the Disabled Students Allowance. You can find out more about this here: www.gov.uk/disabled-students-allowance-dsa

Contact the Disability & Dyslexia Team within Student Wellbeing Service for further information.

It’s not unusual for students at University to experience mental health problems.  About one in four of us will have a mental illness in our lives.  Find out more about the Mental Health and Wellbeing support on our Health pages. To see a member of the Mental Health team within the Student Wellbeing Service or to request counselling support, please complete the online referral form here: www.gre.ac.uk/student-services/support/student-wellbeing

And don’t forget the *AccessAbility Ambassador Scheme, run by the Widening Participation team at the University.  The project works with (and pays) care leavers and disabled students to be the public face of the University at Open Days and with local schools, to advise and support people in similar situations to come to University.  Find out more at www.gre.ac.uk/study/support/needs/disabled/aap

 

If you’ve been in care

(or you forced to leave home before you were 18),  go here to find out about:

  • Financial support
  • Pre-entry support
  • Further benefits for care leavers
  • Mentoring
  • Accommodation
     

The University support is additional to any support you should be getting through your home Social Services Department. 

If you’ve left care after your 16th birthday, your Social Worker should have agreed with you a Pathway Plan (or Leaving Care) plan.  The leaving care plan should put in writing how you and your Social Worker will do to help prepare you for living independently.

If you don’t have a Leaving Care Plan, or if you were never properly assessed by Social Services when you were under 18, then get advice from us.  If you’re still eligible for help from Social Services, we can help you enforce your rights through local authority complaints procedures. As importantly, we’ll help make sure you’ve got the support now to complete your studies successfully and to move on in your life.  We would strongly encourage any Home student to seek advice if they were homeless on their own before they were 18, whether or not they were helped by Social Services. 

IT Support for Disabled Students

If you are not entitled to DSA, there is still lots of free software publicly-available to support your learning:

  • Go to Eduapps.org to download My Study Bar (small enough to fit on a USB key disk) – useful for students with dyslexia / dyspraxia, but others will find it useful.
  • Find out how to make MS Office software accessible at www.microsoft.com/enable

For a HUGE range of resources to support Disabled students, go to the Diversity and Ability (DNA) website, www.dnamatters.co.uk/resources
 

The university has assistive technology available for use on its network:

Inspiration – this is a mind mapping software which you can use to help with generation and structuring of thoughts and ideas. You can find out more about this software here: www.inspiration-at.com/ 
 

Frequently asked questions

I discovered my disability after starting university can I get help and how do I go about it? 

Contact Student Wellbeing Service on wellbeing@gre.ac.uk so that an appointment can be made with the Disability and Dyslexia team to discuss and arrange support that you will need due to your disability.  

Do I need medical proof in order to get support? 

To access support from the Mental Health & Wellbeing, Counselling and STAART teams – no. Medical proof is needed if you require a Greenwich Inclusion Plan (GIP) and/or want to apply for Disabled Students’ Allowance (DSA).  

Who do I approach for help with an application for Disabled Students’ Allowance? 

The Disability and Dyslexia and STAART team can support you with your application for Disabled Students’ Allowance (DSA). You can make contact with their admin team to request an appointment via wellbeing@gre.ac.uk or attend one of the Daily Drop-ins – you can get the joining link from their admin team. 

Are there any external sources of funding that students can access? 

For students that are not eligible for Disabled Students’ Allowance (DSA) you can seek funding from the University to provide support. You will need to meet with the Disability and Dyslexia team so that your evidence can be reviewed and then support arranged.  

Short explanation of GIPs - What is a GIP? 

A GIP is the Greenwich Inclusion Plan – the support plan which outlines reasonable adjustments and exam arrangements that students require to ensure that they are able to fully access all aspects of their course.  This is automatically shared with all staff on a need to know basis for example a student’s Personal Tutor, Programme Lead, Module Tutors, the Exams team, the Library team etc. Students MUST see the Disability and Dyslexia team to have a GIP created. It is not automatically created. Without a GIP, support cannot be arranged or communicated.  

If my Lecturer is not following my inclusion plan who do I go to?  

If you are comfortable to do so then please do speak to your Lecturer first to find out what is happening. If you are not comfortable doing this then please do contact your allocated Disability and Dyslexia Coordinator and they will remind your Lecturers about your GIP.  

How can I update my GIP? 

If your circumstances change and you require more support or less support then make contact with your allocated Disability and Dyslexia Coordinator to have your GIP updated or you can attend the Daily Drop-Ins to meet a member of the team and they can update for you. Please do email the admin team for the joining link. 

How do I get accommodation that is accessible? 

You need to meet with the Student Wellbeing Service Disability and Dyslexia team to review your evidence and to discuss the support required. Your allocated Disability and Dyslexia Coordinator will then liaise with our Accommodations Services team to communicate your needs. Alternatively feel free to speak to the Accommodation Services team directly first and they can contact STAART on your behalf – with permission from you – to discuss support needs and making your accommodation accessible.  

What do I need to bring to prove my mask exemption status? 

You can collect an exemption lanyard from the Student Centre – you may be asked to provide evidence of your disability such as a medical letter.  

Is there a community of disabled students at Greenwich?

STAART provides transition and pastoral support to disabled students. University life can be challenging. Many new students are moving from a structured environment at home or at work, school or college to a situation where they will need to balance independent study with their other commitments and social lives. For disabled and diverse students, these challenges can be more extensive, so good preparation and organisation is important. STAART supports students through this transition. 

There are several ways to access STAART support. Students can: 

  • Follow the Facebook or Twitter accounts for news and information

  • Talk to STAART and fellow students 

  • Attend a preparation and/or transition day before the start of term for a tour of the campus and library, and to meet STAART Ambassadors. 

  • Access the STAART newsletters. 

  • Talk to the STAART Ambassadors on the STAART desk at open days and applicant events.