This article contains information about the type of evidence you will need to provide in order to access additional support and/or apply for the Disabled Students' Allowance.

The Additional Support and Disability Advice Centre (ASDAC) aims to support disabled students by removing barriers to accessing their studies.

Producing evidence

The University’s regulatory framework requires independent evidence to be produced to show that a student’s reported needs are genuine before special arrangements such as additional examination arrangements and other reasonable adjustments to processes can be considered. Documentary evidence is also required by external funding bodies before any additional allowances to pay for the provision of personal support may be released.

Consequently, we ask students to provide evidence from an appropriately qualified professional confirming the nature of the impairment or condition and any further information which could inform our discussion on reasonable adjustment.

Evidence for physical, sensory, mental health, autistic spectrum conditions, and other medical conditions:

In most cases a letter from an appropriately qualified medical practitioner confirming your disability and an outline of the difficulties it presents will be sufficient. However, you should check directly with your funding authority to confirm this. The letter or report should:

  • Identify your impairment, condition or ongoing symptoms.
  • State whether the condition is expected to be short or long (over 12 months) term.
  • State whether the impairment, condition, ongoing symptoms, or treatment, including side-effects of medication, would be considered a disability under the Equality Act 2010, i.e. it has a substantial (more than minor or trivial) adverse impact upon the day-to-day activities normally encountered by a student.

Evidence for Specific Learning Difficulties and other cognitive impairments (e.g. ADHD or head injury):

To confirm a diagnosis of a cognitive impairment you will need a formal diagnostic assessment conducted by an appropriately qualified specialist tutor who is able to undertake diagnostic assessment or practitioner educational psychologist.

There are specific guidelines from the funding authorities that direct who can conduct these assessments, the tests they should use and what format their report should take.

These guidelines require that:

  • The assessment must have been carried out after your sixteenth birthday.
  • The assessment must have been carried out by:
  • The report must have been based upon the specific assessments recommended in the individual funding authority guidelines. These assessments have been designed for use with adults.
  • The assessment should focus on areas where there are likely to be difficulties that impact on study at HE level. In particular, working memory, processing and phonological awareness. The report should also contain any issues with literacy skills and identify strengths and weaknesses.

If you need to obtain an assessment prior to registering at University you should start by asking your school or college whether they have access to a suitably qualified person. If not, we recommend obtaining an assessment from one of the organisations listed in this article.

If you are currently registered on a course or wish to explore this further, then please book an appointment to see a Disability Officer for a screening and subsequent discussion of the results.

Financial Help

If you are a student registered on a course then cost of assessment or evidence can be met through the University Hardship Funding and you would be encouraged to apply.

Unfortunately, we are unable to provide funding assistance for applicants, but once registered on a course at the University students are eligible to apply for support from the University Hardship Funding.


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