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Students with disabilities

We’re committed to providing equality of opportunity through the best possible level of support to students with disabilities.

Support we offer includes:

  • rooms in halls of residence that have been adapted to meet the needs of students with impaired mobility;
  • extensive IT and other support facilities;
  • specialist software for blind, visually impaired and dyslexic students;
  • provision for study skills and other support for students with specific learning difficulties.

Defining disability

While we understand that not everyone who might need to use our disability support services thinks of themselves as disabled, we need to use the single term 'disability' to cover a broad range of physical and sensory impairments, medical conditions, specific learning difficulties and mental health needs.

The definition of disability found in legislation says that a disability is any condition which has a significant, adverse and long-term effect on the person's ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities. Therefore, 'disability' can mean:

  • a sensory (visual/hearing) impairment;
  • a mental health difficulty;
  • a mobility impairment;
  • a dexterity impairment;
  • Asperger's syndrome or other autism spectrum disorders;
  • chronic medical conditions (eg diabetes, epilepsy, asthma);
  • chronic pain/chronic fatigue;
  • specific learning difficulties (eg dyslexia, dyspraxia);
  • any other condition which has a long-term and adverse effect on study.

How we can help

The Disability Advisory and Support Service (DASS) supports students who have any of the disabilities listed above. You do not have to be registered disabled to access our services, although we will need to ask you to provide medical or other evidence.

If you think you may have a specific learning difficulty, such as dyslexia, you can also access the DASS’s services by going through the dyslexia screening process.

We recommend that all students with additional support needs contact the DASS. The DASS offers advice for current students and support for applicants during the admissions process. 

Please contact the admissions officer of the School you are interested in, or the DASS in order to discuss any specific needs. A member of staff will be pleased to meet you, by prior arrangement, should you choose to visit.

If you have decided to study at Manchester and are planning to live in halls of residence, then you should also inform the Accommodation Office if you require any specific facilities (wheelchair-adapted accommodation, flashing alarms etc).

We aim to treat every person as an individual and consider each person's needs on that basis.

Disclosing a disability

Although the University is working hard to make its services as accessible as possible, if you disclose your disability to the University, we are able to organise a wide range of practical individual support (eg alternative exam arrangements, copies of lecture notes, alternative formats).

We can also assist you to access external resources like the Disabled Students’ Allowance. Disclosing your disability will enable us to inform you about the options available to you, though you may choose not to follow them up.

If you choose not to disclose your disability to us, this may have implications for the provision available to you. Although it is ideal to disclose it to us as soon as possible so that we can organise any support for your whole course, you are free to do so at any point while studying at the University.

You can choose to what extent you want details of your disability to be disclosed or kept confidential. 

Ideally, we would ask you to disclose your disability to us by one of the following routes:

  • completing the appropriate box on your application form;
  • contacting the DASS to arrange a prospective visit;
  • completing the appropriate box on your registration form at the start of your course;
  • contacting the DASS directly at any point before or during your studies;
  • telling the School that provides your course/programme.

Access Summit Consortium

The University of Manchester is a partner in the Access Summit Consortium. As such we facilitate support and advice including assessments of needs, assisted technology provision, and training and advice on accessible curricula. The consortium operates a register of personal support workers.