Frequently Asked Questions – Disability Service (students)

Frequently Asked Questions – Disability Service (students)

Back to “Disability and Mental Health Service”

Last Updated: January 18th 2018


I’m having difficulties with depression and anxiety, where can I go for help?

There are plenty of people here to help.  You can speak to an ASA (Academic Support Advisors) in The Hub, or your APT if you are an Initial Teacher Education student.  Lynne Whitlock, our Mental Health Adviser can also help you – she is based in the Student Support Centre, across the bridge from the top floor of the library.  We also have Counselling Services or if you prefer you could speak to Margaret Holland, the Chaplain.  For Student Support Services please

I have some health issues but I don’t think of myself as disabled. Can I contact Disability and Inclusion Services?

Yes, the service is here for any student or applicant who has a long term health condition, mental health issue, impairment or specific learning difficulty, such as dyslexia, dyspraxia, dyscalculia, which impacts on their ability to study.

What is Disabled Students Allowance?

Disabled Students Allowance (DSA) is funded through Student Finance England and it pays for any equipment or assistance to help you if you have a long term health condition, mental health issues, impairment or specific learning difficulty which impacts on your studies.  It is not means tested and you don’t have to pay it back.

Who is eligible to apply for DSA?

You are eligible to apply if you have a long term health condition, mental health issues, impairment or specific learning difficulty which impacts on your studies. You also need to be a UK citizen or member of the EU, and have been settled in the UK for 3 years prior to the start of your course.  Other eligibility criteria can be found at:

I am sure there are other students who are more deserving of DSA.  If I apply, won’t it stop someone else from getting it?

No, it doesn’t work like that.  If you are eligible you can apply and you won’t deprive other students.

I need help to apply for DSA, who can help me?

If you have dyslexia, please contact Becky Hartland-Fox, Dyslexia Adviser.  If you are Deaf or have an impairment, health condition please contact Heather Griffiths, Inclusion Co-ordinator,, ext 2421, if you have mental health issues, please contact either Heather Griffiths, or Lynne Whitlock, our Mental Health Adviser,, ext 2377.

I am an international student, can I apply for DSA?

Unfortunately international students and other students who have not been settled in the UK for 3 years prior to the start of their course, are not eligible to apply for DSA.  Please make enquiries in your own country, before you come, about what funding might be available to you.

I am eligible for DSA, when can I apply?

If you are a current, eligible student, you can apply for DSA at any time throughout the year.  If you are an incoming student on a full time undergraduate programme, you can usually apply from about February onwards.  Part time or Postgraduate Students may have to wait until a few months later. Further information on the current position is available on

How long does it take to get DSA?

Some students have received DSA within 6 weeks of making their application.  The time it takes may depend on the time of year and the number of applications being processed by Student Finance England at the time.  The earlier you apply, the sooner you should receive DSA.  If you are having difficulties, due to health issues, impairment or a specific learning difficulty, please contact Student Support as soon as possible and we will advise you on how to apply for DSA.

Can I apply for DSA to help with my financial situation?

DSA specifically pays for equipment and support to help you participate in your studies, if you have a health condition, or impairment, which makes studying difficult.  The funding from DSA mostly goes directly to purchase equipment or software, or to pay for a helper, such as a communication support worker; specialist mentor; or specialist 1:1 study skills tutor. The money does not come straight to the student.

I think I may have Dyslexia, how can I find out?

Contact Rebecca Hartland-Fox, Dyslexia Adviser, to make an appointment for a dyslexia screening test.

If I am not eligible for help through DSA, is there someone else who can help me with my academic work?

Yes,  we have 1.5 Academic Development tutors based in Student Support.  They are available to help  students who are having difficulty with academic work.  You can also speak to an Academic Support Advisors (ASA) or to your APT (for Teacher Training Students).

I am having difficulties accessing some aspects of my course, who should I speak to?

Please speak to your course tutors in the first instance.  If you need further help with this, please contact Heather Griffiths, Inclusion Co-ordinator, in Student Support., ext 2421.

if you are not getting some of the things recommended in your SNA report, such as extended library loans, notes in advance of lectures, or particular exam arrangements, please speak to your main contact in Student support, i.e. Heather Griffiths, Rebecca Hartland Fox or Lynne Whitlock, or contact the student support helpdesk on@; Tel 0121 476 1181 ext 2421.

I have a DSA funded Study Skills Tutor or Specialist mentor, but think I need additional hours who should I speak to?

In the first instance speak to your support worker and to a member of Student Support Services. You will need to contact your Study Needs Assessor, and make a case for why you need additional hours. They will consider your request and liaise with your funding body to gain authorisation for any additional hours.

I am not happy with the Non-medical helper support being provided to me.

In the first instance speak to your NMH provider about your difficulties.  If you do not receive a satisfactory answer, please speak to a member of Student Support Services at Newman, e.g. Heather Griffiths, Inclusion Coordinator, Lynne Whitlock, Mental Health Adviser, Rebecca Hartland-Fox, Dyslexia Adviser.  NB if you tell us about your difficulties we will endeavour to help you to find a solution.

I have been allocated support through an external provider, but I would prefer my support to be provided through Newman University.

This is likely to be because the provider you have been allocated is charging a lower rate for support.  If you want to swap to a provider charging a higher rate you can email SFE to say you wish to do this, but you may be asked to pay the difference in hourly rate.  If you have any concerns please speak to someone in Newman Student Support Services.

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