At QMU, we help current students who have a disability to access the support that they need.

This includes everyone, whether you’re an undergraduate, postgraduate, EU or International student. Our Disability Service is entirely confidential.

The Disability Service provides friendly advice, guidance and information, and liaises with key staff throughout QMU to ensure reasonable adjustments are in place for eligible students during their studies.

Who we Support

At QMU, we help current students who have a disability to access the support that they need.

This includes everyone, whether you are an undergraduate, postgraduate, EU or International student. Our Disability Service is entirely confidential.

What do you mean by Disability?

What do you mean by Disability?

We know that not everyone who uses our services thinks of themselves as disabled. We use the term ‘disability’ as it is used in Equality Law.

This legislation states that the definition of disability is any condition which has a substantial, adverse and long-term effect on a person’s ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities.

We see students with a range of difficulties including, but not limited to:

  • autism spectrum conditions
  • dyslexia, dyspraxia and other specific learning difficulties
  • mental health difficulties
  • mobility impairments
  • sensory impairments
  • Longstanding illness or medical conditions such as epilepsy, HIV, AIDS, rheumatoid arthritis and chronic fatigue

Support We Offer During Your Studies

A team of Disabled Student Co-ordinators in academic and support departments, specialist tutors and student assistants, supported by full time Disability Advisers are dedicated to the provision of information, support and guidance for disabled students. Through a system involving an Individual Learning Plan (ILP) for each disabled student, we aim to offer a package of academic and personal support, which is constantly monitored and adapted to meet individual needs. You will devise an Individual Learning Plan (ILP) with the Disability Adviser for your School of study. With your permission, this will be sent to the Academic Disabled Student

Co-ordinator in your subject area who will meet with you to discuss and sign the ILP. The information from this plan will then be shared with other staff with whom you will come into contact to ensure your requirements are taken into consideration.

  • Access around the campus
  • Liaison with tutors and ADSCs concerning adjustments
  • Exams and Assessments
  • Study skills support
  • Disabled Students’ Allowance (DSA)
  • Assistive Technology Room

Exams and Assessments Support

We can offer you a wide range of exam support, wherever we assess that this is needed to minimise disability-related disadvantage.

Even if you’re not sure if or how we can help, it’s always worth talking to us.

How do I get exam support?

To receive exam support, you’ll need to register with us and have a University Support Plan in place.

Your deadline for receiving exam support:

Before each main exam period (January, May and August), we have a deadline. If you want exam support and haven’t got this in place already, you’ll need to register with us and speak to an adviser before this deadline. There is a lot of demand for appointments in the week before the deadline, so make sure that you contact us early, or you may not be able to speak to an adviser to determine your support.

Assistive Facilities

  • Assistive Technologies Room

The Assistive Technologies Room provides access to a range of specialised hardware and software primarily for the use of disabled students at QMU.

The Assistive Technologies Room can be located on the ground floor of the library, immediately after the entrance/main reception.

Software Available:

  • Mind Manager - mind mapping software
  • TextHelp - software that helps students with reading, writing and research
  • Audio NoteTaker – Audio Editing Software
  • Scanning Facilities
  • CCTV systems are also available, these enlarge printed material on to a TV screen for reading

The Assistive Technologies Room also has height adjustable tables.

  • The Assistive Technologies Room is a restricted access area.  In order to be able to use it you must register with the Disability Team.  Please contact the disability team

 

The Disabled Students’ Allowance (DSA)

What is the Disabled Students’ Allowance?

The Disabled Students’ Allowance (DSA) is a non-income assessed allowance for which eligible disabled students can apply for funding to cover the additional costs they may experience due to the impact of their disability. An example may be of a student who has difficulty reading from a screen and requires to print off a high volume of course materials, in doing so, the student is probably paying much more to access these than a non-disabled classmate.

DSA support can only be sourced by application to the relevant Funding Authority.

To be eligible for DSA students must:

  • provide appropriate evidence of disability
  • meet certain residency requirements
  • be on a course that is recognised by their Funding Authority

DSA Applications to Funding Authorities require a completed application form, appropriate evidence and a DSA Needs Assessment Report.

If you think you may be eligible for DSA, please contact the Disability Service and speak with a Disability Adviser.

More about the Disabled Students’ Allowance

DSA can provide eligible students with a range of items including equipment, software, one-to-one support and additional funds.

The decision about what items are most appropriate is made during a DSA Needs Assessment where eligible students meet a DSA Needs Assessor to explore the impact of their disability on learning. Appropriate strategies to support individual issues are fully discussed. The DSA Needs Assessor writes a report for the relevant Funding Authority identifying recommended supports. A DSA Needs Assessment Report is only released to the Funding Authority when a student has agreed to its content.

For most eligible QMU students, DSA Needs Assessments can be arranged at the Queen Margaret University Needs Assessment Centre.

Funding Authorities: links to DSA  

Student Awards Agency for Scotland (SAAS)

http://www.saas.gov.uk

Student Finance England (SFE)

https://www.gov.uk/disabled-students-allowances-dsas

Student Finance Wales

http://www.studentfinancewales.co.uk/new-students/201617-what-financial-support-is-available/extra-support/disabled-students-allowances.aspx#.V8gSEDgUXpA

Student Finance Northern Ireland (SFNI)

http://www.studentfinanceni.co.uk

Disability FAQs

Will you tell my tutors that I’ve been to see you and if I am diagnosed with dyslexia or a mental health condition will you pass on that information?

All enquiries to the Disability Service are treated in the strictest confidence and we will not pass on information unless you ask us to do so. Students may also find it helpful to disclose basic information to academic departments to ensure they receive the best possible support. One example might be telling lecturers that they have an Individual Learning Plan and are allowed to record lectures; another might be that they may need to miss classes on occasion as a result of a medical condition that necessitates hospital appointments.

Can you cure dyslexia?

Dyslexia is not a medical condition; it is a description of someone with a different learning style. Dyslexia cannot be ‘cured’, but students can develop strategies to address the difficulties it may present.

Will it say ‘dyslexic’ or ‘disabled’ on my degree certificate?

No.

Do I have to request assessment / examination arrangements every year ?

No, not unless you interrupt your studies, change your course, or your requirements change.

Will I get extensions on my coursework deadlines once I’ve been to see you ?

Extensions to deadlines are only possible if this is an adjustment included in your Individual Learning Plan.

ILP extensions can only be for a maximum of 7 days. For longer course-work extensions you need to discuss your circumstances with relevant academic staff.

Do I have to apply for the Disabled Students’ Allowance every year 

Yes

Do I have to return equipment provided through the Disabled Students' Allowance ?

No, it is yours to keep provided you do not withdraw from your course in the year of your first DSA award. If you withdraw in that year, your Funding Authority may contact you regarding the award.

Different rules apply for students from the Republic of Ireland on undergraduate courses.

Is it a good idea to disclose my disability or specific learning difficulty on job application forms?

Many students ask us this question. Legally, employers cannot discriminate against disabled people and it is advisable to let employers know if you have a disability that may affect your performance at an interview; for example, if you are visually impaired they will need to send the directions for the interview electronically or in large print.

Keep in mind that a potential employer may be worried about how to support a member of staff with a disability, so they’ll be looking to you for advice. If you have an existing strategy which works - maybe you work effectively with specialist software to hear text read aloud - let them know. You are then providing them with a ready-made solution.

Completing a degree course with a disability will tell a future employer that you have worked hard and shown creativity and initiative by working around obstacles. As such, a good employer should view it as a positive attribute.

Confidentiality and Disclosure

QMU welcomes disabled students and aims to ensure that, as far as possible, appropriate support is offered to meet individual needs. QMU complies with current equality legislation and can offer a range of ‘reasonable adjustments’ to services so that disabled students are supported in their learning.

  • Confidentiality and Disclosure Policy

Disclosing information before applying to QMU 

If you have a disability or Specific Learning Difficulty/dyslexia, you are strongly encouraged to make early direct contact with the Disability Service so that we can tell you about the range of support that is available at Queen Margaret University. We can discuss with you reasonable adjustments that may best meet your needs during your course of study. We can arrange an individual visit on campus if this is required. Knowing about your support needs in advance can also help QMU to prepare and arrange your support in time for the start of your course.

We therefore encourage you to disclose your disability or Specific Learning Difficulty to us as soon as possible. Failure to do so may affect our ability to make certain adjustments that you may require.

Support in your Studies

Key contacts

Disability Advisers within the Disability Service are key staff within the University dedicated to the provision of information, support and guidance for disabled students.

Disability Advisers work closely with staff throughout the University to ensure recommended supports are put in place. These staff are:

  • Academic Disabled Student Coordinators in academic departments
  • Disabled Student Coordinators in non-academic departments

Individual Learning Plan

Through an Individual Learning Plan (ILP) for each disabled student, we aim to offer a package of academic and personal support tailored to meet individual needs. ILPs are regularly reviewed and can be altered at any time should individual circumstances change. Each ILP is devised during a meeting between the student and their Disability Adviser and signed by both.

A copy of the signed ILP is given to the student and, with the student’s signed permission a second copy is passed to the relevant contact in the student’s subject area. The information from the ILP is then shared with other staff with whom the student will come into contact to ensure requirements are taken into consideration.

Reasonable Adjustments

A range of supports tailored to meet a student’s individual needs are noted on an ILP. These could include for instance ‘permission to record in lectures’.

Assessment/Examination Arrangements

A range of assessment arrangements to meet a student’s individual needs are noted on an ILP and aim to minimise disability-related disadvantage in examination and assessment situations. These could include for instance ‘extra time’.

To receive assessment arrangements, students must register with the Disability Service and have a ILP in place.

It is important to meet with a Disability Adviser as soon as possible. For some students this can be arranged prior to the start of their course but if this is not suitable students should arrange an appointment with a Disability Adviser shortly after starting their studies. There is high demand for appointments especially during the weeks close to examination dates, so students should make sure to contact us early to agree support provision and put it in place.

Network Software 

All computers that students use in QMU have assistive software installed. Texthelp ReadandWrite software supports literacy, Mindmanager software supports mindmap construction and SSOverlay software addresses visual strain. Microsoft Office also has several supportive features within its applications.

Assistive Technology

The Assistive Technology Room, located in the Learning Resource Centre, provides access to computers with specialised hardware and software. Facilities in this room are dedicated for the use of disabled students only.

Equipment in this room includes computers, scanners, print/copy facilities, CCTV system, height adjustable tables and coloured paper.

Software in this room comprises network software and Audionotetaker (for audio-editing)

The Assistive Technology Room is a restricted access area.  To use it students must register with the Disability Service. 

The Effective Learning Service

The Effective Learning Service is located in the Learning Resource Centre and provides support to develop study skills and academic writing to all students. For more information click on the link below:

The Effective Learning Service

Disability Related Links

Dyslexia

Dyspraxia

 Autistic Spectrum Conditions

Mental Health Difficulties

Visual Impairment / Blind

Hearing Impairment / Deaf

Make an Appointment by contacting Student Services or Attend a Drop In Session

Email studentservices@qmu.ac.uk

Phone 0131 474 0000 and ask for ‘Student Services 

Attend Student Services Reception and ask for an appointment

Drop In          

  • Monday 12.00 – 1.00 pm with Linsey  
  • Tuesday 3.30pm - 4.30pm with Julie MacRitchie
  • Wednesday 1.00pm – 3.00 pm with Jo Jebb
  • Thursday 3.30pm - 4.30pm with Julie MacRitchie
  • Friday 12.00 – 1.00 pm with Linsey Irvine

Disability Statement

Queen Margaret University is committed to equality of opportunity and believes in a culture of diversity and inclusion. We offer flexible educational programmes to suit many different groups of students.

We aim to offer an accessible curriculum, which can be adapted to meet individual needs in an environment where consideration is given to enabling everyone to participate in all aspects of academic and social life.

Disability Service

To make an appointment with a Disability Adviser please email us or Visit Student Services Reception in person. We also offer a number of drop-in sessions.

Drop - In Times:

Friday 11 a.m. - 1 p.m. with Jo Jebb (Health Sciences)

Friday 11 a.m. - 1 p.m. with Linsey Irvine (ASSaM)

Show Contacts

Disability Service

Linsey Irvine & Julie MacRitchie Disability Service Advisers
Disability Adviser for School of Health Sciences
Linsey Irvine Disability Adviser for School of Arts, Social Sciences and Management
Julie MacRitchie Disability Support Adviser