Disability and dyslexia support

The University of Birmingham is an inclusive learning community. Whatever your disability or learning support needs, we’re here to help make sure you have everything you need take full advantage of the student university experience.

The Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) defines a disabled person as someone who has a physical or mental impairment that has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on his or her ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities. This may include:

  • A specific learning difficulty such as dyslexia, dyspraxia or dyscalculia
  • A visual impairment
  • A hearing impairment
  • A mobility impairment
  • A mental health condition
  • Other unseen conditions

The University is committed to offering full support for any of these conditions that could affect your ability to perform on an equal level with your fellow students. For students with a mental health condition, such as depression, anxiety, schizophrenia or psychosis, support is available from the Mental Health Advisory Service.

Why should I tell the University I have a disability?

We want to make sure that all our students get the most from university life. By telling tell us about your disability as early as possible, we can identify any support that you might need, including any financial support you’re entitled to.

The ideal is to tell us about it on your UCAS application form so we can discuss your support needs with you before you arrive. You could also be eligible for the Disabled Students’ Allowance (DSA) which can help to pay for a support worker or other types of assistance.

You’re not obliged to tell us about your disability, but if you choose not to, you may not be able to access the full range of support available. Please rest assured that any information you do give us about your disability is treated in the strictest confidence.

When and how can I tell the University I have a disability? 

We recommend that you inform us of any disabilities you may have and your support needs on your UCAS form. You need to fill in the necessary information on page 1, section 2 of the form (titled Personal Details), where you’ll find a list of codes covering a range of disabilities.

You can find further advice about disclosing your disability on your UCAS form can be found in the Students with Disabilities section of the UCAS website.

If you haven’t told us about a disability before you arrive, you can talk directly to a member of the Disability and Learning Support Service by calling +44 (0)121 414 5130 or emailing disability@bham.ac.uk.

What support is available?

Whether you have a physical disability or health condition, a learning difficulty or mental health condition – even if you don’t consider yourself to be disabled – you’ll find we offer plenty of professional support and advice, including:

  • Advice before you arrive at Birmingham
  • Regular contact with the Learning Support Team, Disability Team or Mental Health Advisory Service 
  • Individual Student Support Agreements 
  • Liaison with departments and tutors 
  • Mobility maps of Edgbaston campus and Selly Oak campus 
  • Help with applying for the Disabled Students' Allowances (DSA) and other financial support.
  • Guidance on arranging notetakers, readers and laboratory support 
  • Specialist support from qualified Mental Health Advisors 
  • An appointment with the Assistive Technology Advisor 
  • Loans of equipment including digital recorders where DSA provision is pending
  • Book fetching, extended loans and assistive software in our libraries
  • Effective learning workshops
  • Support with examinations including extra time if needed
  • Useful videos and resources for students with dyslexia

Contact the Disability and Learning Support Service

General enquiries

T: +44 (0)121 414 5130
E: disability@bham.ac.uk
Disability and Learning Support Service, 3 Elms Road,
University of Birmingham, Edgbaston, B15 2TT

Enquiries specific to learning difficulties

T: +44 (0)121 414 5130
E: learning-support@contacts.bham.ac.uk
Disability and Learning Support Service, 3 Elms Road,
University of Birmingham, Edgbaston, B15 2TT

Enquiries specific to mental health difficulties

T: +44 (0)121 414 5130
E: mentalhealth@contacts.bham.ac.uk
Mental Health Advisory Service, 3 Elms Road,
University of Birmingham, Edgbaston, B15 2TT

Confidentiality and Data Protection

Details of your disability will be kept confidential except where you have given written consent permitting us to disclose it. This consent will remain in force during your registration at the University unless you notify the University otherwise. All information supplied regarding your disability will be stored electronically and/or as paper records and will be processed in accordance with the Data Protection Act 1998. This information will be retained by the University after your registration has ceased in accordance with the University’s records management procedures, and then destroyed in a secure manner.