Students with Disabilities
As a disabled student, it is vital that the institution of your choice provides you with access required. Initially, you should make personal contact with the institution over the telephone, by letter or e-mail. You can then discuss your disability and needs with the disability co-ordinator and find out whether the institution can offer you the support and access you need.
Students with Disabilities
Support within UK institutions Most colleges and universities in the UK have facilities for students with disabilities. Before applying for a course, find out if the institution has the facilities or support services that you need. Higher Education institutions in England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland, which are funded by the state are obliged to publish disability statements. These will state the facilities and access on offer for disabled students and may be produced in alternative formats, such as tape, large print or Braille. After you have been accepted, contact the disabled students’ advisor at the university or college to discuss whether staff will be able to meet your needs. Most institutions will not be able to pay for special equipment, such as a computer adapted to your needs, but they may be able to assist in arranging additional help. Welfare Benefits There may be some welfare benefits payable to the government of your own country that you can continue to receive whilst you are in the UK to study. These benefits may cover living costs or be payable to disabled people. Check with the authorities where you live. In some limited circumstances, you may be eligible to apply for UK social security benefits, available to certain people who have recently arrived in the UK. This may depend on your immigration status and any limitation or conditions put on you for your visit to the UK. Many international students are only allowed to remain in the UK with the condition that they make “no recourse to public funds”. If so, this means that you cannot get most UK welfare benefits. To find out more about this, contact www.dfee.gov.uk
Further Information SKILL: National Bureau for Students with Disabilities (www.skill.org.uk) is a charity in the UK, which works to improve education and training for people with disabilities and learning difficulties. Skill does not run colleges or offer courses but gives information and advice to international students, their families or people working with them.
The British Council in your country may be able to provide you with information in your own language. Studying Abroad1 – Checklist of needs for students with disabilities, is a checklist of how to obtain vital information before attending an institution in a country other than your own. It is available in eleven European languages on the internet at: http://europa.eu.int/en/comm/dg22/socrates/spencnds.html
Prospectus Postgraduate Funding Guide, published by CSU Ltd, offers information on disability funding and useful contact information. Available from UK careers services and direct from CSU.