The Learning Support Team are the main point of contact within the University for both prospective and current disabled students. This includes those with specific learning differences, mobility difficulties, long-standing health conditions, mental health difficulties, autistic spectrum conditions and sensory difficulties.
The role of the team is to provide you with information, advice and assistance relating to the help and resources available to you, both within the University and from external agencies. Learning Support Advisers will help guide you through any necessary processes and assessments that will help identify your individual needs and any potential barriers to your learning. Learning Support Advisers also liaise with academic staff and other university services to ensure that appropriate help is available to you.
The Learning Support Team assists disabled students as defined by the Equality Act 2010. You may be able to access assistance even if you do not consider yourself as disabled, provided you meet the definition of disability under the Equality Act. The act states that a person has a disability if:
they have a physical or mental impairment
the impairment has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on their ability to perform normal day-to-day activities
You may be entitled to help if you experience:
a specific learning difference (eg dyslexia, dyspraxia, ADHD)
a visual or hearing impairment
mental health difficulties (eg depression, anxiety)
a mobility impairment
an autistic spectrum condition
a long-term medical condition (eg epilepsy, fibromyalgia, multiple sclerosis)
any other condition which has a substantial, long-term and adverse effect on the ability to study
The Learning Support Team aim to ensure that you get the most from university life and achieve your full learning potential.
Learning Support Advisers offer information, advice and guidance on a range of issues including:
applying for Disabled Students’ Allowance
obtaining up to date supporting evidence
accommodation requirements in university halls of residence
creation of a Learning Support Plan to inform lecturers of your needs
additional arrangements for exams and assessments
arranging non-medical assistance, (eg dyslexia study coach, sighted guide, sign language interpreter)
specialist equipment loan, (eg digital recorder, laptop)
liaison with academic departments
assessment for dyslexia and other specific learning differences
liaison with the University Accommodation Services Team
Once you have accepted a place
The Learning Support Team will keep in contact with you to make sure the necessary arrangements are in place for when you start with us. This may include the production of a Learning Support Plan, which is a personalised plan that explains your particular needs and any reasonable adjustments identified to support you during your studies.
To ensure that you receive the appropriate information, advice and assistance in advance of the start of your course, we strongly recommend that you notify the University of your particular needs at the earliest possible opportunity prior to starting with us.
You can do this by disclosing your disability, mental health condition or specific learning difference on your UCAS form. If you are not applying via UCAS, you can disclose any support needs you may have during the University application process. Alternatively, you can contact the Learning Support Team at any point on 0151 291 3427 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Once the University is aware of your needs, the Learning Support Team will make contact with you to discuss your needs in more detail.
Getting students’ support arrangements in place can take considerable time and so you are advised to contact the University as early as possible before the start of your course. Doing so will help you to find out how the University might be able to meet any support or accommodation needs you may have, while allowing sufficient time for any support arrangements to be identified and put in place.
Applied via clearing?
If you obtained your place at Liverpool Hope via the University Clearing System, it is important that you discuss any support needs you may have with a Learning Support Adviser as soon as your place is confirmed. Any delay in advising the University of this information may cause a delay in getting the appropriate support in place, or could result in the need to delay/defer your start date.
Please be advised that the University may be unable to provide unlimited physical or other adjustments to meet the needs of individual students. Consequently, it may not be possible to implement all necessary adjustments in certain cases having explored all reasonable options.
If you have a long-standing health condition, mental health condition, specific learning difference (eg dyslexia, ADHD, dyspraxia dyscalculia), mobility difficulty, or sensory impairment, you may be eligible to receive Disabled Students’ Allowances (DSAs).
What are DSAs?
DSA’s is funding provided by the Government that helps contribute to any additional support costs a student might incur whilst at university as a direct result of a disability. Although you might not identify your condition as a disability, or consider yourself disabled, DSAs can provide support for the conditions listed above. The support you receive depends on your individual needs, rather than based on your income or that of your parents or partner. DSAs are available to both full-time and part-time students and those on postgraduate courses, and you can apply for DSAs at the point when you apply for your main student finance.
What kind of support can DSAs provide?
The assistance available via DSAs will depend on your individual circumstances but an example of some of the things DSAs can provide to students may include a laptop and assistive software (eg speech recognition, note-taking, text-to-speech, mind mapping, electronic dictionary/spell-checker), training in how to use the software, one-to-one sessions with a specialist mentor or specialist tutor.
How do DSAs help students?
Depending on eligibility and individual circumstances, the support available via DSAs can benefit students in a number of ways, including:
helps students to better engage with their studies
enables access to a correctly specified laptop and assistive software that helps students to process and manage their work effectively
provides one-to-one support to help students:
develop and improve their study skills
better manage, organise and process their university work
helps students to maximise their study and attainment potential
Do I have to pay anything back?
DSAs are neither a benefit or a loan and so don’t have to be repaid. Students are required to pay a one-off £200 contribution towards the cost of their new laptop but all other support is provided at no charge to the student and does not affect their student loan payments.
Am I eligible to receive DSAs?
DSAs are available to both full-time and part-time students, and those on postgraduate courses. You are normally eligible for DSA if you meet all the following criteria: *(please check with the relevant funding body)
you are taking a full-time or part-time undergraduate or postgraduate course in the UK that lasts at least one year
you live in the UK
you receive/qualify for student finance (eg fee/maintenance loan)
you can provide medical evidence that you have a disability, ongoing medical condition, mental health condition, sensory impairment, or specific learning difficulty which affects your ability to study
What medical evidence will I need?
Suitable medical evidence will usually consist of written confirmation from your GP or other medical practitioner confirming your condition. If you have Dyslexia or other learning difference, you will need to provide a copy of a diagnostic assessment from an Educational Psychologist. Once you are a student with us, the University can help arrange an assessment for you if you haven’t already had one, and where an assessment is required, help towards the cost is also available.
How long does the DSA application process take?
Depending on the point at which you submit your completed application and evidence, the process usually takes around six weeks but can be much longer during busy periods, up to 14 weeks. To avoid any unnecessary delays, we strongly advise that you make your application for DSAs as early as possible before starting at university. Most UK Student Finance bodies start accepting applications from March onwards.
How do I apply for DSAs?
To apply for DSAs, you will need to complete an application form and provide your medical evidence. To find out more information on DSAs and how to apply, please click on the relevant link below and search ‘DSA’.
Our Learning Support Team at Liverpool Hope can advise and assist you with your DSA application throughout the process. To access help, all you need to do is contact Student Development and Well-being on 0151 291 3427 or email@example.com and we’ll be happy to help.
Disabled Students’ Allowances will only cover study-related costs for academic support needs. If you require personal support associated with daily living, eg personal care, cooking, shopping, cleaning/ laundry, you will need to contact the Social Services Team in your local area as soon as you start applying for University to discuss your requirements.
The University may be able to provide you with details about local agencies and organisations that provide personal care support should you wish to approach them to make your own arrangements prior to starting at University. If you are not eligible for local authority funding ie if you are an international/EU applicant, it is important that you consider how you will fund your personal care requirements at the earliest opportunity before you start at the University.
You should allow plenty of time for planning your personal care arrangements as Social Services normally need to make their own assessment of your care needs. This process can take several months.