Frequently Asked Questions
1. How do I contact Disability Services?
The easiest way to make an appointment is to telephone Disability Services on 028 9097 5251 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Alternatively, you can call in to the Student Guidance Centre and make an appointment at the Information Desk.
2. How do I register for support?
To register for support from Disability Services you will need to attend an initial meeting with one of our Disability Officers. If you disclosed your disability or long term condition on your University application, you will automatically be invited to this meeting when you accept your firm offer. If you didn't disclose this information on your University application please contact Disability Services on 028 9097 5251 or email@example.com.
At the meeting you will receive information on the service and we will discuss the supports that may be available to you when studying at Queens and engaging in University life. You should bring medical evidence which confirms your disability or long term condition to this meeting.
3. How do I arrange a Needs Assessment?
Once you have received a letter from your Education Authority confirming that you are eligible for DSA, book your Needs Assessment by contacting the Needs Assessment Centre on 028 9097 5062 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
4. Should I declare my disability or long term condition?
Deciding to disclose your disability or long term condition is a personal decision. However, we strongly recommend that you inform us at application stage to enable us to address your individual support requirements.
All information will be treated in strict confidence.
5. What types of support are available?
Following your registration meeting, Disability Services may liaise with a variety of departments within the University, as follows, to endeavour to ensure that appropriate support is put in place to meet your individual requirements.
- your Faculty/School to arrange photocopies of lecture notes and/or OHP transparencies
- your Faculty/School regarding class time-tabling and/or room allocation
- lecturers and tutors regarding extended assignment deadlines and additional considerations
- the Library to arrange extended book loans or other appropriate support
- Campus Copy to arrange the provision of a photocopying card
- the Estates Office to modify the physical environment, where practically possible
- the Examinations Office regarding the arrangement of individual examination requirements, including extra time, specialist equipment, enlarged papers, scribes, readers, rest breaks, and separate rooms where necessary
- the Careers Service to facilitate careers advice and a smooth transition into the workplace
- the Students' Union to assist with application for the University Access Fund
- the Students' Union to organise an orientation visit to allow students to familiarise themselves with the University and the services available
- the University Health Service to consult on how a particular disability might affect a student while pursuing their studies
- the Counselling Service when referring a student who requires access to a counsellor
Disability Services is also involved in the provision of a variety of other services as indicated below:
- arranging for the provision of information in alternative formats, such as on disk or in blind readable format
- the arrangement of support workers, such as personal assistants, note-takers, proof-readers, library helpers, sign language interpreters, speech-to-text operators, IT trainers, and specialist dyslexia tutors
- arrangement of communication support during the academic year, including enrolment and induction
- provision of Disability Awareness Training for lecturers and other staff involved with your studies
- assistance with application for Disabled Students Allowance (DSA), arrangement of the purchase of specialist equipment through DSA, and liaison with your local Education and Library Board DSA officers on your behalf
- monitor and assess the effectiveness of disability provision at Queen's
6. Is there any financial assistance available?
The main source of additional funding for the majority of students with disabilities and long term conditions is the Disabled Students' Allowance (DSA) which is available through your local Education and Library Board, Central Services Agency or Social Services Inspectorate, depending on the appropriate funding body. The allowance is available to full-time and some part-time undergraduate students who are resident in the UK, and to some postgraduate students. Disability Services will carry out a 'needs assessment' of your support requirements and assist you with the application process. You are, therefore, advised to contact Disability Services as early as possible in the academic year if you wish to submit an application.
If you are a student from the Republic of Ireland, you are eligible to apply to its Department of Education's Special Fund for Students with Disabilities. Disability Services keep a supply of application forms, however it should be noted that the closing date for applications is at the beginning of October each year so early application is essential.
7. How many students are registered with Disability Services?
There are over 1900 students at Queen's registered with Disability Services. This includes students with visual and hearing impairments, mobility and physical disabilities, medical conditions, specific learning difficulties, mental health problems and those with multiple disabilities.
Queen's strongly encourages students to declare their disability or long term condition. All students registered with Disability Services will have an individual support requirements assessment. Disability Services staff will endeavour to put appropriate support in place for each individual student.
8. Does the University have a policy on students with disabilities?
Queen's is committed to equality of opportunity for all students and will, therefore, strive to facilitate students with disabilities as an integral part of the Queen's community.
There are six principles, which underline this commitment:
- Equality to physical access, to information and to safety, as far is practically possible
- The responsibility to promote informed and positive attitudes to disability and inclusion
- The responsibility to adjust customs and practices if they create inequality of opportunity for people with disabilities and long term conditions
- The recognition that fewer students with disabilities and long term conditions apply for academic courses at Queen's than it would wish. Queen's therefore recognises its responsibility to encourage an increase in the proportion of students with disabilities and long term conditions who apply, and are admitted to the University to a level, which is more reflective of the proportion of people with disabilities and long term conditions in the community at large
- The responsibility to accommodate, insofar as is practicable, all qualified applicants irrespective of disability or long term condition
- Inclusion depends on cooperation among local educational institutions, and between them and groups which represent people with disabilities, and Queen's actively commits itself to such cooperation
9. Where can I find careers advice for students & graduates with disabilities?
There are often other issues for students with disabilities and long term conditions, which may affect your career destination. Questions you may have could include; should you disclose your disability to a potential employer? Whether or not you need adapted/specialised equipment in the working environment? And, will your employer fund this?