Settling into life as a disabled student can be daunting, but there is a range of support to help you get the most out of this exciting time.
Access the Student Disability Service
If you have not already done so, we strongly encourage you to tell us about any disabilities you have (including long-term mental or physical health conditions and autistic spectrum conditions).
This will ensure we can understand your needs and discuss any support you might need with you, and put a Reasonable Adjustment Plan (RAP) in place where appropriate.
We encourage you to tell us about your disabilities as early as possible, even if you don't think you will need any support to begin with.
Access the Student Disability Service
Disabled Students' Allowance
The Disabled Students' Allowance (DSA) is support provided by the government to cover the study-related costs you have because of a mental health problem, long term illness or any other disability. This can be on its own or in addition to any student finance you get. The type of support and how much you get depends on your individual needs - not your household income. DSA does not need to be paid back.
Find out more
Life in accommodation
We can provide additional support for disabled students to help you feel safe and comfortable in University accommodation. If you have a disability, health need or support-related accommodation requirement, let us know – even if Birmingham is your insurance choice. It means we can aim to meet any accommodation requirements you have, and make sure you get access to extra funding or other support as soon as possible.
Start by registering with the Student Disability Service, then tell us about your needs when you apply for accommodation.
What support is available?
We endeavour to provide a wide range of support. All support is determined on a case by case basis upon registration with the Student Disability Service and the information you provide when filling out the ‘Additional Requirements’ section of your accommodation application form.
Adaptations and types of support in the past have included:
- Prioritisation for en-suite, self-catered, close to campus or ground floor rooms
- Mini fridge in your room for personal medication and/or specialist food
- Visual alarm and doorbells for Deaf or Hard of Hearing students
- Physical adaptations, such as power assisted doors
Aside from our Accommodation Open Day and University Open Days, where we have lots of bedrooms open, you can also visit us for a ‘Taster Stay’.
Taster stays let you spend a few hours or stay overnight in accommodation during the summer, to help you see how it feels. Contact Living for more information.
Student life with an allergy
Coming to university might be the first time you’re independently responsible for your allergies. Living have provided some information on what to expect, tips on sharing important information with your flatmates, and practical solutions
Allergies in accommodation
Support and community at the Guild of Students
There are a wide range of student groups available at the Guild of Students, including societies and volunteering groups relating to health conditions, mental health, and disabilities. For example you may be interested in the Autism Society, Beat UoB, and Headucate.
Disability and Mental Health Students Association (DAMSA)
DAMSA is a free-to-join association at the Guild of Students which provides representation and support for all students who identify as having a physical, mental, developmental and/or learning disability. They arrange social and networking events, represent students and raise awareness to create a welcoming environment for all students. Find out more on the DAMSA page.
Disabled Students' Officer
The Guild of Students has a part-time Disabled Students' Officer who represents and campaigns on behalf of all disabled students. You can contact them directly - see the Guild Officer Team page for more information.
You can use the links on our disability access page to find accessibility reports for buildings on campus provided by AccessAble, and you can download the MyUoB app to access campus maps on your phone.
Other sources of information
Disability Rights UK run the Disabled Students' Helpline, providing advice to students, trainees and apprentices in England.
UCAS provide information for students with physical or mental health conditions and learning differences.
Student Minds is the UK's student mental health charity, providing support and advice for any student.