What support is available? | University of Oxford
Study support
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What support is available?

There is a wide range of individual adjustments and support available should barriers exist which have an impact on your studies. The Disability Advisory Service (DAS) will discuss your experiences and expectations with you, review your evidence of disability, and consider your current studies, which will all help to determine what support might be appropriate and reasonable for you while you are at Oxford.

Responsibility for meeting the needs of disabled students is shared across the collegiate University. The Common Framework for supporting disabled students sets out the principles that underpin the procedures, and aims to improve the sharing of information, clarity of roles and responsibilities, and the consistency of provision. The DAS will liaise with your college and department disability coordinators to implement your support. Where required, a Student Support Plan will be prepared, which you can use to share information about your disability as you choose. The types of support listed on this page are intended as a sample only. There might be more options or other ways of working available. Not all forms of support listed are always available to all students in a particular category. The DAS will work with you to consider your individual circumstances. 

Support can be considered in these categories:

  • Teaching adjustments
  • Human support (also known as non-medical help)
  • Adjustments to the built environment/residential accommodation: en-suite; personal medication storage; special diet adjustments; daily or emergency alert systems; ground floor or level access; ergonomic furniture; specialist lighting; UK registered assistance animal. In very exceptional circumstances, eg if you have extensive personal care needs or very significant mobility or sensory impairments, or where heritage rules prevent the adaptation of a building, changes of college might need to be considered. Colleges are responsible for these decisions. The DAS is not able to advocate on your behalf if you have a preference for a particular college.
  • IT equipment and study technology: visual enhancement software; text to speech and speech recognition software; study organisation tools; appropriate computer hardware; ergonomic keyboard; height adjustable screens.
  • Travel: reimbursement of taxi or bus fares for study-related journeys; parking access. Non-study related journeys or journeys to medical appointments extra-curricular events are not included.
  • Examinations and assessments: examination provision may include extra time and / or the use of a word processor for students with Specific Learning Difficulties (SpLDs) or physical disabilities / illnesses that make writing difficult; enlarged font papers for those with a visual impairment; written instructions for those with a hearing impairment; ergonomic or other seating arrangements; scheduling of examinations at a specific time of day or only one examination scheduled per day due to fatigue effects caused by some disabilities, or for religious observances; and permission to bring food and drink into an examination. For further information visit the Alternative examination arrangements page.
  • Libraries: extended loans; individual library orientation support; materials diverted to a different location; a support worker; permission to bring food/drink or medication to restricted areas; access to printing, scanning or assistive software; enhanced access to library study carrels. The DAS will notify the Bodleian’s Disability Librarian of any assistance that is required. Your college is responsible for notifying any needs to your college library. Overdue fees for library materials apply to disabled students in the same way as for non-disabled students.

Support or funding is not provided for:

  • Daily living support: personal care, leisure or extra-curricular activities. However, if you have private or government-provided support, contact your college disability coordinator in the first instance. For UK students the local authority service in your home town remains responsible for social and personal care and non-study-related support. They can also assist with completing applications for financial support through the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) or for Personal Independence Payments (PIP), which can help with some of the extra (non-study related) costs caused by a disability. Further information about state benefits assistance is available from the Beginner’s Guide to Benefits and from Disability Rights UK.
  • Medical support: health care needs, such as medication, mobility equipment, visual aids, medical supplies, personal care supplies, long-term mental health services, must be sourced through the appropriate health care service. There is information about registering with a local doctor and about National Health Services on the Health web page of this site. Travel costs to receive medical treatment are your responsibility.

Support for students by disability category

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and Asperger Syndrome

  • Advance visits and initial support to aid orientation and transition
  • Access to specialist mentoring support
  • Advance notice of changes to study venues, where possible
  • Access to study technology
  • Examination adjustments

Hearing impairments

  • Access to the hearing support systems (such as loop or infrared system)
  • Language support tutor for the Deaf
  • British Sign Language interpreter (please note we are not able to provide American Sign Language or other overseas sign-language formats)
  • Notetaking support
  • Access to study technology
  • Physical adjustments to the built environment (such as provision of flashing alerters)
  • Provision of materials in advance where possible
  • Examination adjustments

Long-term health conditions

  • Access to a study mentor to help manage the impact of your condition
  • General practical study support (such as practical assistance for laboratory work)
  • Residential accommodation adjustments if necessary
  • Adjustments to the built environment if necessary
  • Extended library loans
  • Access to study technology
  • Permission to record teaching sessions
  • Examination adjustments

Mental health conditions

  • Access to the University Counselling Service or a specialist mental health mentor
  • Access to study technology
  • Permission to record teaching sessions
  • Provision of materials in advance where possible
  • Examination adjustments

Mobility impairments

  • Physical adjustments to the built environment (such as automated doors, hand rails, level access or lift provision)
  • General practical study support (such as practical assistance for laboratory work)
  • Library support (such as transferring resources to a central location where possible)
  • Support with costs of individual study-related journeys
  • Access to study technology
  • Provision of ergonomic equipment
  • Advance notice of changes to study venues where possible
  • Examination adjustments

Specific learning difficulties (dyslexia, dyspraxia, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder)

  • Access to specialist study skills tuition
  • Provision of materials in advance where possible
  • Provision of materials in alternative formats (such as larger fonts or on coloured paper)
  • Access to study technology
  • Permission to record teaching sessions
  • Extended library loans
  • Examination adjustments

Visual impairments

  • Orientation support on arrival
  • Sighted guide support
  • Materials in alternative formats (such as Braille, electronic, audio, large print)
  • General practical study support (such as to source and scan library resources)
  • Access to assistive technology
  • Physical adjustments to the built environment (such as lighting adjustments or provision of tactile markers)
  • Notetaking support
  • Provision of materials in advance where possible
  • Permission to record lectures
  • Extended library loans
  • Examination adjustments