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Disability services

Teesside University is committed to removing barriers to learning for all our students. We're proud to provide an inclusive and empowering learning environment that enables success for all.

We provide advice to students and applicants as well as help to arrange tailored support for students with long-term health conditions; sensory impairments; physical and mobility impairments; mental health conditions; autism spectrum conditions; and, specific learning difficulties.

We have a team of advisers who can assist you with:

  • The process of notifying us of a disability in order to access support at Teesside University. This includes obtaining and submitting appropriate written evidence of your condition(s)
  • Setting up support (referred to as reasonable adjustments) for your course through an individual Student Support Plan (SSP) which contains information about the impact of your condition and details about the support and adjustments you will require during your studies.
  • Arranging any one-to-one support you may need, for example note-taking support and mobility assistance (please note that personal care support such as feeding/washing/toileting is not arranged or provided by the University and needs to be set up with your local Adult Social Services department in advance of starting your course)
  • Applying for Disabled Students Allowances (DSAs) and supporting you to arrange a Study Needs Assessment for any specialist one-to-one support (such as Sign Language Interpreting, Specialist Mentoring or Study Skills Tuition) or specialist equipment and software you may need

For further information please see our Advice Guides: Accessing Disability Support at Teesside University

To notify us of a disability/health condition and request support complete our Disability/Health Notification (DHN) form

How to contact Disability services:

You can contact Disability services by email:

Alternatively, you can submit an enquiry through the Student Life Enquiry Team:

T: 01642 342277
In person: Student Life based in the Campus Heart

Student Life opening hours

Monday - Friday: 8.00am - 6.00pm

First steps to arranging your support

Step 2

Provide written evidence of your disability/health condition

Step 3

Have a Student Support Plan (SSP) appointment

Step 4

Consent to your finished SSP being shared with the necessary staff

Step 5

You and the revlevent staff will action your support recommendations

If you are a student with a disability or health-related need and want to arrange support for your course you need to start by completing a Disability/Health Notification (DHN) form and submitting it to us along with evidence of your condition(s).

We would strongly advise you to do this early (i.e. three months prior to enrolling on your course) as support can take time to set up.

Please read our Advice Guides: Accessing Disability Support at Teesside University which explains the process and the criteria for acceptable evidence.

Once you have submitted your DHN Form and evidence to us you will be assigned an adviser who can talk to you about the available support and write a Student Support Plan (SSP) for you.

We also recommend applying for Disabled Students' Allowances through your funding body if eligible, as this process can also take some time to complete.

What is a Student Support Plan (SSP)?

Once you have submitted your Disability/Health Notification (DHN) form and appropriate evidence to us you will be invited to attend a Student Support Plan appointment with a disability adviser. In this appointment the adviser will discuss the impact of your condition; how this might affect your ability to carry out the different activities that will be requested of you as a student; and, the support that is available to help you.

Areas of study activity an adviser may want to discuss with you include (but are not limited to):

  • Travel to and from University campus
  • Mobility around campus
  • Accessing the library and managing self-directed study
  • Carrying out reading and research
  • Completing written assignments
  • Completing timed examinations
  • Attendance at lectures
  • Organisation and time management
  • Carrying out presentations and group work

Following your appointment, and if you give your consent, a Student Support Plan (SSP) will be written by your adviser containing the relevant information about how your condition(s) may impact upon study activities, along with advice and recommendations for your teaching and support staff regarding reasonable adjustments.

Examples of reasonable adjustments are:

  • Exam support arrangements such as extra time or use of a separate room
  • One-to-one support within and outside of taught sessions
  • A "cover slip" for students with specific learning difficulties to submit with assignments to remind assessors to mark their work according to guidelines that make allowances for certain errors with spelling, grammar and structure.
  • Asking tutors to be aware of and facilitate the specific communication needs of a student
  • Asking tutors to provide copies of lecture reading materials and Powerpoint slides in advance of sessions
  • Longer loans on library books

Your Student Support Plan will always be tailored to your individual needs and can be reviewed at any point should your circumstances change. You can contact your adviser at any point during your course to request a review.

The importance of applying for Disabled Students' Allowances

Disabled Students Allowances or DSAs is UK Government funding that we would recommend disabled students apply for, to cover any costs for additional study-related specialist support.

This may include funding for any specialist one-to-one support you may require (referred to as non-medical helper support); specialist equipment & software; additional disability-related travel costs; other additional disability-related expenses such as a general allowance for additional printing costs.

You are eligible for Disabled Student Allowances (DSAs) if the following criteria applies to you:

  • You can evidence you have a disability, medical condition, sensory impairment, mental health condition, or specific learning difficulty which has a long term impact and affects your day to day activities, including study activities
  • With the exception of apprenticeship degrees, you are enrolled, or due to enrol on a full-time or part-time undergraduate or postgraduate course that lasts at least one year (including distance learning courses), studying at an intensity of at least 30 credits per year
  • You are normally resident in the UK

We would encourage you to check out the UCAS website which has excellent and accessible information on Disabled Students' Allowances, including helpful video guidance on how to apply.

Once a DSA application and medical evidence has been accepted by your funding body, you will receive an approval letter from your funding body asking you to arrange and attend a Study Needs Assessment. A Study Needs Assessment is a meeting between yourself and a qualified Study Needs Assessor to identify what DSA-funded support and resources you require for your course, based upon your individual needs.

The DSA process is external to Teesside University processes. Your adviser can guide you through the process however to check progress on an application or for other advice specific to your application, please contact your funding body directly.

For students who are ineligible for DSAs (such as apprentice and international students), access to specialist, funded support will be discussed in your Student Support Plan appointment and, if appropriate, arranged by the University directly.

Bookable appointments with an adviser

Quick query appointments

A quick query appointment is a twenty minute, bookable appointment with a disability adviser. There are a limited number of quick query appointments available each weekday. These appointments are ideal for asking simple questions about setting up your disability support either face-to-face, by telephone or video call (via Microsoft Teams) with an adviser.

Please note that you can always email a query to if you are happy to communicate by email instead.

Student Support Initial Assessments

A student support initial assessment is a 30 minute appointment with an adviser who specialises in mental health and autism. The appointment includes a holistic assessment of your needs to explore appropriate internal or external support. The appointment will include talking about any difficulties you are experiencing related to your mental health or personal circumstances where you feel you need some additional support. Possible outcomes of the assessment may be, for example:

  • Supporting you to connect with your GP
  • Referrals into NHS services
  • Referrals into specialist services e.g domestic violence, sexual assault, bereavement etc
  • Referrals to counselling
  • Referrals to sleep and lifestyle clinics
  • Liaising with other internal departments such as your academic school, finance, international, accommodation
  • Referring to the Students' Union
  • Access to further appointments for developing strategies to manage anxiety and low mood
  • Self-help guidance

To book a quick query or student support initial assessment either call into the Student Life building reception, telephone 01642 342277 or email

We recognise that some students may have accessibility needs when attending an appointment. This includes, but is not limited to, learning, communication and sensory difficulties as well as mobility, visual and hearing impairments. If you would like to discuss any particular requirements, please email in advance of your appointment and we can discuss any adaptations required to meet your individual needs.

I think I might have a specific learning difficulty (SpLD) and want to be assessed

A specific learning difficulty (SpLD) affects the way that information is processed and learnt. This can have an impact on literacy skills including understanding language in both its verbal and written form. This does not have an impact on overall intelligence. Examples of specific learning difficulties include dyslexia, dyspraxia, dyscalculia, and specific language impairments.

The only way to confirm a specific learning difficulty is to have a full diagnostic assessment carried out by a qualified educational psychologist or specialist teacher. We contract psychologists from The Educational Guidance Service (EGS) to come in and carry out these assessments.

If you are unsure and need help to consider whether this is something you would like to arrange, please download and complete this Adult Dyslexia Checklist which is a simple indicator of whether or not you may be experiencing a dyslexic-type problem.

If you are sure you would like to request a diagnostic assessment from Teesside University you need to apply by completing our SpLD Assessment Application form (SAAF)

Please note that if you are a Teesside University applicant with an unconditional or conditional offer, you must provide us with some previous evidence to be eligible for an early assessment. This could be a previous SpLD assessment or a letter from your school or college detailing any support you may have had in place such as extra time in your exams, any one to one support, or any other adjustments. If you do not have previous evidence, you can still be assessed, however you will be placed on the waiting list and contacted once you have enrolled to arrange the assessment.

If you are not eligible for funding for an assessment (see the form for detailed eligibility criteria), you are able to choose to pay for an assessment yourself - either through the University or with an external provider. The cost of an assessment is usually £250- £450.

If you have any questions about this, please email

What happens after your SpLD Assessment?

After your assessment you will receive your results in the form of a report. If your report indicates that you do have specific learning difficulties, you will be invited to an appointment with an adviser to arrange additional support for your course.

If you are waiting for your diagnostic assessment result, or if you have had the assessment and the outcome is that you do not have a SpLD, there is still some support available to you, however this would not be through Disability Services. You can access the support available to all students through the University's Learning Hub, and we have a useful Advice Guides: Tools and Resources to Support Academic Writing


Our service is confidential which means that any information you provide us can only be seen by appropriate members of staff involved in helping you to access support.

We will treat all information you provide sensitively. We may need to share information about you with others, within the University and sometimes outside. We will only share information about you with your consent. But, there are some exceptions where we may need to share information without your consent:

  • If we are advised that we should share information by a medical professional;
  • If you are considered as being at risk or a risk to others;
  • If there is a concern regarding safeguarding of children or vulnerable adults;
  • If there is a legal requirement, for example at a court hearing

Under the General Data Protection Regulations we are obliged to tell you how we collect and use your personal data. Please note that enquiries and appointments with our services are tracked electronically and the personal data of your enquiry is stored in protected files. We keep this data so that we can keep track of your enquiry and our response for future reference, to enable us to support you in the most effective way. This personal information will be retained for 7 years after which it will be destroyed securely.

For more information, please refer to the University's Student Privacy Notice

Feedback and complaints

If you would like to provide any service feedback or make a complaint about the service you have received, in the first instance please contact

If you would like to make a formal complaint, please refer to the information on our complaints page.

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