For a British Sign Language (BSL) version of the disability Handbook please click here:
Welcome to student life at Lancaster University. We realise that those of you who are new to the University may have mixed feelings, both excitement and apprehension, at this important stage in your life. The staff in Disability Services are here to help so do come and see us if you need assistance. To make an appointment please contact ‘The Base’. The Base is a one stop enquiry desk for Student Based Services and is located in University House.
Induction sessions for new students run by Disability Services will take place in the Chaplaincy Centre at the start of the academic year. They provide an opportunity to meet with staff involved in supporting students with disabilities. There is also an opportunity to meet some continuing students who will be happy to answer any questions you didn't want to ask us!
ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES
Lancaster University is well known for its inclusive culture encouraging students to take part in all aspects of the University's academic, cultural and social life.
Many of you will already have had contact with the Disabilities Service during the admissions process. Our role is to co-ordinate the support you need to enable you to concentrate on your studies. We are the first point of contact for all students with disabilities, Dyslexia and other support needs.
You will already have noticed that studying - and day-to-day life - at university is a much more independent process than at school or college. The onus is very much on you to be pro-active in seeking the support you need. It is your responsibility to make us aware if you are having difficulties or if your circumstances have changed, so that we can assist you to access any additional support you may need.
Outline of Learning Support Needs
To enable your academic departments and tutors to support you, the Disabilities Service will prepare a document called a statement of support needs. This document is sent to each of your departments and it outlines your learning support needs. If we already know your Major department we will send a copy to them first. Please let the Disabilities Service know the remainder of your Part I course choices, as soon as you have decided upon them, to ensure the relevant departments receive the information in good time. If you change your course or your department after initial registration it is your responsibility to ensure that your new department is informed about your support needs. We suggest that you keep a copy of your statement of support needs document to show to tutors in private discussions if appropriate. If you have a learning difficulty we will also provide you with an essay cover sheet to attach to your essays if you wish, to alert your tutors to your support needs.
Any information you provide may be used by members of the University to support your needs. In line with the University's Data Protection Policy, this information is provided on a 'need to know basis'. If you have any concerns about this please do come and talk it through with the Disability Advisor.
If you wish us to discuss your needs with a third party outside of the University, for instance, a close relative or carer, please confirm in writing (or by email) that you wish us to do that.
Disabilities Service staff will make arrangements for adapted examinations. This might include the provision of examination papers in large print or Braille, arranging for you to use a computer/ word processor to write your examination answers, or additional time. All adapted examination arrangements are made on the basis of formal evidence.
Adapted examinations may take some time to arrange. If you are likely to need adapted examination arrangements, it is essential that you come and discuss this with us as early as possible. Some modular courses have more frequent examinations. If you are registered for such a course, and require adapted arrangements, please alert us to this.
Please Note: If you have a specific learning difficulty or dyslexia and wish to request adapted examination arrangements, then you will need to have this recommended by an educational psychologist in an assessment that has been conducted after age 16, and usually within the last two years. If you need an updated educational psychologist assessment the Disabilities Services can help to arrange this for you. You may be eligible for some assistance from the Access to Learning fund for help with the cost of this.
Student Learning Advisors
Each Faculty has a Student Learning Advisor (SLA) who is available to offer guidance and support in your learning to help you to develop effective study practices. Each SLA has a moodle (virtual learning environment) website with additional guidance and information. The SLAs are:
- Robert Blake and Rebecca Marsden in the Faculty of Science & Technology and the Faculty of Health & Medicine
- Gill Burgess in Lancaster University Management School:
- Joanne Wood in the Faculty of Arts & Social Science:
For further information, please see the Lancaster Answers Portal: http://lancasteranswers.lancs.ac.uk/
LANCASTER ASSESSMENT CENTRE
Lancaster University hosts an Assessment Centre for disabled students - this is nothing to do with assessment of academic performance. The purpose of this type of assessment is instead to identify study aids and strategies required to provide equal access to the curriculum and to identify any additional disability related costs that may be incurred. Usually, this type of assessment is carried out to secure funding from the Disabled Students’ Allowances (See the section on the Disabled Students’ Allowances for further information.) but may also be provided to students funded by other agencies. This type of assessment is called a Study Aids and Strategies Assessment (SAAS).
If you wish to be assessed you should first of all contact your funder (e.g. Student Finance England, Student Finance Scotland etc.). If you have applied for DSA and the funder has made an award in principle then this should be straightforward. As part of the DSA application process you will need to provide the funder with up-to-date evidence of your disability so that they can assess your eligibility for DSA.
Once you receive written approval of funding, you can contact the Assessment Centre to make an appointment. Telephone 01524 592753 (internal 92753) or Email: email@example.com. Staff in the Assessment Centre will be happy to answer any questions you might have about the process.
The University has a number of purpose built study-bedrooms. If you require adapted accommodation we will probably already have been in contact with you. However, if you find you have difficulties with your accommodation, please do contact staff in the Disabilities Service to discuss how we may be able to help. It is often possible to make minor adaptations to accommodation in order to make it easier for you to live more independently. If you have a concern about an adaptation, please bring it to the attention of the Disabilities Service.
If you require accessible accommodation or need to live on campus for medical reasons, then you may be able to stay on the site for the duration of your course. The allocation of rooms for the following academic year takes place in early spring, so you must let us know in January if you will need on-campus accommodation for the following year. Please discuss this with your College Residence Officer and the Disabilities Service early in January.
For more information about accommodation see: http://www.lancs.ac.uk/sbs/accommodation/index.html
Many students seek off campus accommodation after their first year. Lancaster University Students’ Union (LUSU) can help you with organising off-campus accommodation. For more information see: http://housing.lusu.co.uk/
A map indicating accessible routes around campus is available here:
You may also find the Disabled Go website helpful; it provides further details about the accessibility of different buildings:
PERSONAL EMERGENCY EVACUATION PLAN (PEEPS)
If there are any long term reasons why you might find it difficult to leave a building in an evacuation situation then you are likely to need a PEEP (Personal Emergency Evacuation Plan). If appropriate, staff in the Safety Office will work with you to develop a PEEP. They will normally contact you shortly after arrival to make an appointment to do this. If you wish, you can get in touch as soon as you arrive to arrange this. Contact the Safety Office in the first instance.
AbilityPlus, our regular newsletter, is emailed to all students listed on our database, and provides up to date information on disability issues.
DISABLED STUDENTS' ALLOWANCES (DSAs)
Usually you will be eligible for Disabled Students Allowances (DSA) if you are a UK citizen who is an undergraduate or postgraduate, part-time or full-time student with disabilities, who is eligible for tuition fee support from: Student Finance England/Wales/N.Ireland/SAAS. Postgraduate students funded by research councils or receiving a bursary from the General Social Care Council may also be eligible. DSAs are not means tested.
The DSAs are to help pay for extra costs which you may incur on your course because of a disability. DSAs are available to full-time and part-time students with disabilities although part-time students must be studying at least 25% of a full-time course.
You can only claim for costs related to your disability if they are directly connected with your studies. The DSA provides funding to pay for:
- Specialist equipment
- Non-medical assistance
- General allowance
For more information about the DSA including how to make an application see:
If the funder agrees you are eligible for DSA, they will refer you to an Assessment Centre for a Study Aids and Strategies Assessment (SAAS). Once your SAAS is completed, it will be sent to you to approve before sending it to the funder. Once the funder has approved the assessment report, they will write to you to explain what to do next. If you have not heard from your funder after a few weeks, contact them to find out what is happening.
Experience shows us that support arrangements almost always work best when planned well in advance. It normally takes around 12 weeks from the start of a DSA application for support to be confirmed and organised.
All Library staff are happy to help you use our facilities. In addition, Fiona Rhodes is the Senior Assistant (User Support) with special responsibility for providing one-to-one help and training within the library for students with disabilities, dyslexia and long term medical conditions. She can provide a personal tour of the Library, potential problems can be assessed and the most appropriate solutions devised for each student. Ask for Fiona at the library information point, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or ring 01524 592528 For help in your subject area please contact the Library's team of Subject Librarians.
Access and Safety
The Library building is located in Alexandra Square. There is a ramp at the entrance and push-button access to the entrance and exit. There are three lifts inside and the lift near the entrance serves all floors. Each floor of the building is divided into colour zones. Toilets are available on all floors and facilities suitable for wheelchair users are located in the A floor yellow zone and B floor red zone.
The Library has a range of specialist equipment which is located in the Equipment Rooms on A Floor, yellow zone. The rooms can be booked in advance at the Help and Information point for a maximum of a two-hour session at any one time
Equipment room 1:
- Tieman Colour Reader that enlarges text and other images and displays them on a TV screen. The size of the image and the colours of text and background can be varied by each user.
- The Kurzweil Personal Reader scans text then speaks it out. The reading speed can be varied from 120 to 350 words per minute and a choice of 9 voices is available. The machine can store up to 40 pages of text in its memory and move throughout the memorised text. Braille and taped instructions are available.
- PC with Read and Write 9 Gold
Equipment Room 2:
- PC, scanner and screen reading software JAWS 13.0 and Read and Write 9 Gold
Located near the lift on ‘B’ floor purple zone there is a height adjustable table. If you need assistance to alter the height please ask at the Help and information point. Other accessories can be borrowed for use in the Library from the Enquiry Desk on production of a library card. These include:
• Book rest
• Magnification sheet for enlarging printed material
• Coloured overlays
• Task lighting
• Gel wrist-rest
The online catalogue, OneSearch, can also be reached from the Library http://libweb.lancs.ac.uk. The homepage also gives access to a range of information about the Library, including guides to specific Library services, online and full text resources. The Library web site has been designed so that you should be able to adjust font size or colour to suit your needs. One of the catalogue PC’s near the entrance to the Library is positioned on a height adjustable table. The catalogue can also be accessed from any PC with an Internet browser.
The Library has self-service photocopiers on all floors. All of the photocopiers will enlarge and reduce. Photocopies are made by card, obtainable from card dispensers on A floor and B floor. Machines which enable you to add more credit to your photocopy card are available on A floor. If you require a receipt for your photocopying please go to the Help and Information point before you add credit to your card.
OTHER SUPPORT AND SERVICES
Lancaster University Students’ Union (LUSU)
The role of the Students' Union (LUSU) is to represent the interests and welfare of all students at the University, and to work with the University or any other institution on their behalf. The main LUSU building is located in Edward Roberts Court (underneath Spar) and is fully accessible. LUSU look after all societies and sports clubs on campus and arrange various events such as Grad Ball. LUSU also offer representation through the College Junior Comment Rooms (JCR) and cross-campus Officers. LUSU is led by an elected President and 5 Vice-Presidents.
Each College has a JCR (Junior Common Room) which is run by an elected committee of students from the College. All JCRs, including the Postgraduate Students’ Association (PGSA), have officers responsible for equal opportunities and education and welfare issues.
LUSU Education & Support
The LUSU Education & Support Unit is staffed by three full-time, professional advisers and is open 9am-5pm weekdays all year round, apart from when the University is closed. LUSU Advice offers free, independent, confidential advice, advocacy and information to all students, undergraduate and postgraduate, at Lancaster University in a variety of areas including academic, disciplinary, funding, health and welfare, accommodation, employment, disability, equality and money advice.
The Job shop advertises part-time and vacation employment opportunities for students. You can register with the Jobshop on line or through the Information desk in LUSU. Once you are registered you will receive notification of appropriate vacancies as soon as they come in, alternatively just pop in and browse the notice boards.
General Enquiries & Information Tel: 01524 593765
9am – 7pm Monday – Friday
LUSU Online: www.lusu.co.uk
Centre for Employability Enterprise and Careers (CEEC)
It is never too early to make contact with the Centre for Employability Enterprise and Careers, which is your link between the University and the outside world of employers. For many students, making plans about what to do after graduation can be a daunting prospect, and if you have a disability, you may have additional considerations. It can also be an exciting time, particularly if you plan well in advance and get involved with the activities and events available on campus to help you find out about yourself and the opportunities open to you. You may change your mind several times about the options you want to consider and the decisions you make. Whatever your concern, and whatever stage you have reached, CEEC is here to provide information, advice and guidance to support you through this process, including the provision of sessions to develop your employability and career-management skills.
If you have a disability, you may feel you need extra support when planning your career. The type of queries you might have could relate to the disclosure of your disability to employers, how to market yourself effectively so that your disability isn’t the focal point of an application, CV writing and how to deal with gaps in your education or lack of work experience, and how to find positive employers. During the application process for graduate jobs, it’s important to stress positive achievements and give examples. You may have developed skills as a result of your disability and you can use these as selling points.
1-2hr workshops run each term on a variety of topics include: choosing your career, improving self confidence, applying online, assessment centres, CVs and applications, work experience, interview skills, teacher training, creative job search, exploring your personality, and using social media to network. If you need materials in a different format or any other adjustment to enable you to participate fully, please let us know.
We also organise a programme of employer-led presentations and skills-based workshops, including an annual careers fair at the end of October. These are a great chance to make yourself known to employers and gain inside information about their graduate recruitment process.
One to one advice and guidance
These are half hour sessions with a careers consultant in which you can discuss anything career-related. It is an opportunity to talk about your ideas and areas for concern. For example, you may want to discuss your CV or application form, your interest in a particular career area, your preparation for an interview or whether or not to disclose your disability to an employer. You may need more time and several appointments, and this can be discussed at the initial meeting.
The Information Resource in CEEC provides a range of information, much of which can be taken away. Please ask if you need information in different formats. Examples of information include:
1. What graduates from your course have gone on to do?
2. Background information about a range of occupations.
3. Employers and vacancies, including vacation and voluntary work
4. Postgraduate study/training and its funding
If you are unsure what to do in the future, a useful starting point is to do a computerised questionnaire called Prospects Planner which can be found on the Prospects website (www.prospects.ac.uk). You could also look at the “Options with my subject” section on the same website. Additionally, attending the CEEC workshop “Choosing your career” can help you to make a start.
Please look at our website for further information on all our services and events. There is a section specifically for students with disabilities, with links to helpful organisations.
Counselling and Mental Health Advice
Student Wellbeing Services offer a Counselling and Mental Health Service staffed by a highly experienced team of counsellors, who are professionally trained to respond to the broad spectrum of student needs. Areas of concern might include problems of a personal, social, emotional or educational nature. Often a single session with a counsellor may be enough to sort things out, but if someone is experiencing more serious difficulties, contact with a counsellor can be maintained for longer periods of time.
Whatever is discussed in the Counselling Service is CONFIDENTIAL and will not be disclosed to anyone OUTSIDE THE Service without your permission except in extremely rare circumstances where there appears to be a very serious risk to your own or others’ safety. Even then, we would do our utmost to discuss this with you first and, if at all possible, deal with the issue without breaking confidentiality. This is in keeping with the Ethical Framework of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy.
Appointments with a counsellor can be through a student online self-referral form available on the Counselling and Mental Health Service website:
All students of the University are required to register with a local general medical practice. There is a GP Practice (Tel: 01524 387780 or ext: 94130), Pharmacy (ext. 59498) and a Private Dental practice (ext. 94595) on Campus. If you require repeat prescriptions from the doctor you can call the Health Centre and ask them to organise it, although you must have registered with the Bailrigg Health practice first. Please let the receptionist know if you have problems collecting prescriptions.
Centre for Sport
Lancaster University’s Sport Centre offers a wide range of facilities and activities for both members and non-members. Sports Centre staff are keen to help in whatever way that they can, so please ask if you need some assistance. You can call the reception desk on 01524 510600 or see the webpage:
Access to parking is regulated to ensure that those students who do need a car on campus are able to find a parking space. If you require a car parking permit then please read the following: Student Car Parking Policy for 2012/13
Regular buses, operated by the local bus service, leave from the underpass. A lift is available for access to the underpass. There are also pick-up and drop-off points around the perimeter road. Please refer to the timetable for further details www.lancs.ac.uk/users/transport/. Many, but not all, of the buses are accessible. If you are travelling by taxi please give directions for the pick-up point at a particular college or University House, as Taxis will not collect passengers from the underpass.
Natwest Bank in Alexandra Square has a portable induction loop, automatic opening door, ground level access and a low level till. Staff are happy to discuss the wide variety of products and services available to students on a face to face basis. Internet and 24 hour phone banking is also available and for further information visit in person or log onto www.natwest.com.
Barclays Bank is situated next to Natwest in Alexandra Square. There is a power assisted door and low level till. Staff are available to help and assist wherever necessary. For more information visit www.barclays.co.uk.
The Petrol Station
There is a petrol station located on campus. Staff will help you fill up with petrol, oil and water and check tyre pressures if needed.
Updated October 2012.