Student working in the library at Somerville College
Student working in the library at Somerville College

Tell us about your disability

This page provides information on registering with the DAS and explains what evidence is suitable. 

This page provides information on registering with the DAS and explains what evidence is suitable. 

Please tell the University about your disability as early as possible, ideally before starting your course so that you can benefit more quickly from the full range of support available. Disclosing a disability will not affect academic review of your work, but will mean:

  • The University can understand difficulties you face and offer appropriate help
  • Reasonable adjustments and individually tailored support can be arranged
  • DAS can tell you about events or things that might be of interest
  • The University can monitor it’s support and inclusion of students with disabilities

To disclose a disability:

  • If you are a matriculated student, update the disability field ONLINE in Student Self Service to declare a disability – you will be asked questions about how your disability impacts you and invited to upload your disability evidence.
  • If you are an offer holder and have not yet matriculated or do not have a single sign-on, complete the DAS registration form and send it to us at [email protected].

DAS will then contact you directly to explore your support requirements.

  • If you are not sure whether to disclose a disability, you can talk to a tutor, or your college or department disability coordinator or attend the DAS Wednesday drop-in service to discuss.
  • If you feel you might have a disability but have not yet received a diagnosis, for example because you are on an NHS waiting list waiting for an assessment or had school-based exam adjustments but no formal diagnosis, please disclose and register with the information available so we can offer advice, or attend the drop-in clinic.

The next tab (see top of this page 'Providing Evidence') contains detailed information about obtaining and providing formal evidence of your disability which is needed for registration with the DAS.

Your information

Information about your disability is sensitive personal data in accordance with the Data Protection Act. It will only be shared with your permission on a need-to-know basis.

For more information about how DAS uses student’s data .Student Welfare and Support Services: Confidentiality Statement | University of Oxford

When you register with the DAS or apply to your funding body for financial assistance for certain types of support or adjustments, you will need to provide evidence of your disability or learning difficulty and its impact on your studies. The type of evidence that can be accepted depends on the nature of your disability.  For most disability types a letter from a GP, medical consultant or Diagnostic report from an appropriately qualified clinician is needed. However, we may also be able to consider copies of Education, Health and Care Plans (EHCP), Personal Independence Payment Award (PIP), previous disability-related study support and accommodations/adjustments in school or previous educational institutions and Study Needs Assessments for Disabled Student’s Allowance.  

Medical Letters

Your medical evidence should include confirmation of the following:

  • your condition or impairment (including any diagnosis);
  • how long you have had the condition or when you were diagnosed;
  • if it’s long-lasting (more than 12 months) or life-long;  
  • the nature and severity of impact on your daily life (including your studies), with examples where possible.

Information about the following can also be useful:

  • any medical treatment or support which you are currently receiving (or that is recommended);
  • It is not always necessary for evidence to be recent if the nature of your condition will not change. However, if the condition is fluctuating, we may ask you for evidence which confirms the current status of your condition if necessary.

It is recommended that your GP or consultant uses the Oxford Medical Certificate (version for external use) for the purposes of providing evidence. 

All evidence must be signed and dated by the professional who has prepared it, ideally on headed paper (PDF format). Please avoid sending photos of yourself, printouts of medical records, emails or unsigned documents as evidence.  Do remove passwords to documents where possible.  If taking a photo of a document, please use the ‘scan or PDF’ function if available.

Any foreign language evidence must be translated into English by certified translation services. ITI Public Directory provides a translation service.

The DAS is unable to pay for the cost of obtaining medical evidence. If you are struggling to gather evidence of your disability, do contact the DAS for guidance.

Are you on the NHS waiting list for an ADHD or ASC assessment?

The University can accept written confirmation from your GP practice that you have been screened and referred for an NHS ADHD or Autism diagnostic assessment. Wherever possible, it is helpful to include any pre-screening questionnaires completed as part of the referral process.

Please note this will only apply to those with confirmation of referral to an NHS waiting list (it will not apply to those awaiting private assessments outside of the NHS route).

The University will be able to consider making some standard reasonable adjustments to teaching and assessment whilst you await your NHS assessment, not exceeding 25% extra writing time and/or use of a computer during exams.

Please note, that Disabled Student's Allowance (DSA) eligibility under Student Finance England still requires a full medical diagnosis and therefore you would not be able to apply for DSA until this is confirmed. However, Student Finance Wales have relaxed evidence thresholds for those awaiting an Autism assessment and Student Awards Agency Scotland (SAAS) will accept a working diagnosis from a GP or other medical professional, in place of a formal diagnosis if you are awaiting a full assessment for ADHD or Autism.

A specific learning difficulty (SpLD) such as dyslexia, dyspraxia or dysgraphia

Your assessment must have been conducted on an individual basis by a psychologist or a specialist teacher who holds a qualification recognised under the SpLD Working Group 2005/DfES Guidelines and an appropriate and valid Assessment Practising Certificate.  Detailed guidance about diagnostic assessment reports is available online. Any foreign language assessments must be translated by certified translation services – the contents must then meet the University’s guidelines.

No formal diagnosis of SpLD?

If you had exam arrangements at school without a formal diagnostic assessment of Specific Learning Difficulty we may still be able to put in place standard adjustments to teaching and assessment if you can provide appropriate evidence, such as a copy of your school’s access arrangements (Form 8 or JCQ).  The University will be able to consider standard reasonable adjustments to teaching and assessment, not exceeding 25% extra time and/or use of a computer in these cases. 

Please note, that Disabled Student's Allowance (DSA) eligibility still requires medical evidence of disability and therefore you would not be able to apply with the school-based assessments, so a formal diagnosis is needed if you want to benefit from additional support.

If you have an existing diagnosis but your report does not fully meet the Guidance on SpLD Diagnostic Assessment, your disability adviser will be able to establish whether a new assessment is necessary, and then help you to arrange an appointment.  Please note, if you already have another SpLD diagnosis or type of disability, we would not necessarily seek to conduct further assessments if suitable study adjustments are already in place or can be offered on the basis of your existing evidence.

Arranging a new SpLD diagnostic assessment

If you think that you might have dyslexia, dyspraxia or another SpLD but have not been diagnosed formally and do not already have support in place for another type of disability, you should contact the DAS, who will discuss your concerns with you and see if there is sufficient background evidence and history of difficulty in order to recommend an assessment.  With that in place, the DAS will can help you to arrange an appointment and the University can contribute to the cost. If you are an offer holder, you will need to pay for the cost of the assessment up front and then claim reimbursement after you have started your course.

Note: University-funded diagnostic assessments are not available for students in their final year of study after Week 4 of Hilary term. The key purpose for the University in conducting these assessments is to facilitate study support. After this point, the time taken to organise, conduct and report on an assessment makes it highly unlikely that any recommendations could be implemented usefully. Also, after this point the deadline for examination adjustment applications has already passed and the disruption to study at such a crucial time makes an assessment inadvisable.

If you are an offer holder, you can find an assessor via to carry out a Specific Learning Difficulty assessment prior to starting your course. The University would refund you up to £400 once you have matriculated as long as a SpLD was diagnosed.  Please keep your receipt for evidence of your claim. This will be needed for your reimbursement.  Seeking a formal diagnosis would provide evidence of a SpLD and enable you to apply for Disabled Students' Allowance (DSA) funding.

Was this page useful?*