Specific learning difficulties
Each year we support many students with Specific Learning Difficulties, such as dyslexia, dyspraxia or ADHD. We are able to screen students for SpLDS and carry out diagnostic assessments, but we strongly recommend you do not wait until arriving at university, as this will delay your support.
What support is available?
If you have a formal diagnosis of a Specific Learning Difficulty, such as dyslexia, dysgraphia or ADHD, the University will assess your individual requirements and provide the support described. We will use information from you about what support you have previously found useful, what difficulties are highlighted in your diagnosis, and what the DSA needs assessor recommends, to decide what support we can provide.
It is important to remember that other professionals who have recommended particular adjustments for you may not be aware of what the University is able to provide, but where we cannot provide something that has been suggested, we will look at what else we may be able to do.
We make individual recommendations to your school about the support you'll need from them, such as:
- particular exam arrangements
- extra time for assignments
- handouts in advance of lectures
- written material in a particular format
- being allowed to take a note taker or voice recorder into lectures.
These are just examples of reasonable adjustments which may be made; what will be recommended for you will depend on your specific requirements.
The other main part of your support is the practical assistance you may need. For example, you may require regular sessions with a dyslexia support tutor or a mentor. These types of support are usually funded via Disabled Students’ Allowances.
Find out more about planning your support.
Evidence about your specific learning difficulty
To receive support due to a specific learning difficulty (SpLD), you must provide the University with a diagnostic assessment report which meets specific criteria and is written by a professional with a current Assessment Practicing Certificate.
If you have a report diagnosing you with a special learning difficulty, please show it to us so we can check if it meets the requirements mentioned above. If it does, it can be used to arrange support at university and to apply for Disabled Students’ Allowances. If it doesn’t, we can advise you on how to get a new report.
If you don’t show us your report until you enrol at BCU, this may significantly delay the implementation of your support.
Please note short reports from school / college, completed to give extra time in exams, cannot be used to implement support at university, or to accompany your application for Disabled Students’ Allowances. If you do not have a suitable report, we can arrange for you to be assessed at university. However, if you wait until then, any support to which you may be entitled will be delayed.
To arrange a diagnostic assessment before coming to university, please ask www.bdadyslexia.org.uk about local assessors or email us for advice.
Please note the Disability Support Team holds all medical evidence securely and it will not be shared outside the team with anyone else in the University, without your consent.
If you have any questions or you would like us to look at your current dyslexia report to check if it can be used for university support, please email the disability support team.
Who pays for support such as support workers and equipment?
Disabled Students’ Allowances (DSAs) can pay for study-related costs you may incur at university as a result of a specific learning difficulty, such as dyslexia, if you're on a higher education course.
The allowances are not means-tested and should not affect any disability benefits you may currently receive. You do not have to pay this money back, as the allowances are not loans. For example, they could pay for:
- Computer equipment and assistive software e.g. read-aloud, mind-mapping and notetaking software
- Other equipment e.g. digital recorders, radio aids, personal CCTV
- Assistance from support workers e.g. mentors and dyslexia support tutors.
You can view more detailed DSA information on our support page.