Student Support Unit

Your support needs

You'll need to submit evidence to get help with your studies.

What we help you with

We give confidential advice and information to disabled students about options for disability-related study support.

Our Advisors can:

  • assess your study support requirements
  • refer for an assessment of a specific learning difference – find out about a referral for a Special Learning Difference Assessment
  • liaise with academic and support staff regarding support recommendations
  • request reasonable adjustments such as adjustments to exam arrangements, extensions for assignments or other ways to take an assessment
  • provide advice and assistance with applying for Disabled Students' Allowances (DSA)
  • implement the recommendations in your DSA report, including allocating you to a mentor or a support worker
  • liaise with your GP, Counsellor, or Health Care Team, if necessary
  • speak to other staff about accommodation support needs.

We provide support to students with a wide range of disabilities. See our reasonable adjustments information for disability examples.

Submitting evidence for your condition

 PLEASE NOTE:

We understand that, due to the current Covid-19 health crisis, obtaining medical evidence has become more difficult. Because of this the Student Support Unit will consider medical evidence on an individual basis, so please do send us whatever feels relevant to your support needs.

Visual impairment, blind

Doctor/consultant letter.

Mobility difficulty (including paralysis, back problems, scoliosis, chronic pain, or using a wheelchair)

Doctor/consultant letter

Mental health difficulties (including depression, anxiety, eating disorders, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), bipolar affective disorder, personality disorders, or psychosis)

We can only accept evidence from a GP or a professional from a mental health team (e.g. psychiatrist, CPN, AMHP, social worker, psychologist). You may wish to show your GP or mental health professional this email to ensure the letter provided covers all the information we need, or alternatively ask them to fill out the Disabled Students Allowance form (attached).

If you are registered with the Health Centre on campus, and have spoken to a GP there about your condition, you can then request a letter through the Health Centre website: https://www.unimed.co.uk/

You will need to pick the letter up from the Health Centre and you may need to make an appointment if you have not spoken to your GP about the issue you require evidence for.

Our service is open to students who have a mental health condition that has a ‘substantial’ and ‘long-term’ negative effect on your ability to do normal daily activities (including learning). Long term means that it has been lasting or is likely to last at least 12 months.

We ask therefore for evidence which provides information on the 3 aspects listed in bold in the above paragraph, so please do make sure your evidence provides information on:

- Your mental health diagnosis

- Its impact on your ability to carry out day-to-day activity

- How long you have been experiencing (or are likely to experience) these mental health difficulties.

Hearing impairment, deaf

Doctor/consultant or audiologist letter: An audiogram is not sufficient without a letter from a doctor/consultant or audiologist to explain the audiogram.

Health conditions (including arthritis, epilepsy, diabetes, cystic fibrosis (CF), narcolepsy, repetitive strain injury (RSI), cancer, HIV, hepatitis, multiple sclerosis (MS), Crohn’s disease, lupus, or CFS/ME)

Doctor/consultant letter

Dyslexia, dyspraxia, dyscalculia (maths-specific weakness) or dysgraphia (writing difficulty, such as slow writing or writing that is difficult to read)

Post-16 diagnostic assessment: This should be done by a chartered or educational psychologist or specialist teacher. It should indicate that a specific learning difficulty such as dyslexia, dyspraxia, dyscalculia or dysgraphia has been identified.

Diagnostic assessment from before you were 16: We might be able to use an earlier assessment but it will depend on how it was done and what it says. Send it to us so we can advise you further.

Dyspraxia: alternative evidence. Instead of a report from a chartered or educational psychologist, we can also accept an occupational therapist’s report or a doctor/consultant letter identifying dyspraxia.

Dysgraphia: alternative evidence. A report from a chartered or educational psychologist.

JCQ (school) records: If you have JCQ (Joint Council for Qualifications) records, send them to us with your other evidence. JCQ records are not enough for reasonable adjustments on their own but if they are all you have, please send them so we can advise you further.

Autism spectrum conditions (including Asperger's syndrome or high-functioning autism)

Diagnostic report from an autism specialist or a doctor/consultant letter stating that an autism spectrum condition has been identified: If you believe you have an autism spectrum condition and do not have a diagnostic report, contact the Student Support Unit or your own doctor to find out if there is a diagnosis on your record and to discuss options.

All disabilities

Disabled Students’ Allowances (DSAs) needs assessment report: If you have already applied for Disabled Students' Allowances and attended your DSAs needs assessment meeting, you will have received (or will soon receive) your DSAs needs assessment report. This will make specific recommendations for reasonable adjustments to teaching and assessment, and we can use it as evidence of your disability/condition. We can also accept a DSAs needs assessment report from a previous course (at this or another university) as evidence.

ADD or ADHD

Diagnostic report from an AD(H)D specialist or a doctor/consultant letter indicating that an attention deficit condition has been identified: If you believe you have ADD or ADHD and do not have a diagnostic report, contact the Student Support Unit or your own doctor to find out if there is a diagnosis on your record and to discuss options.

Send your documents

To enable us to organise support for you, send us your evidence and a completed Consent Form.

You can:

  • send an email to disabilitysupport@sussex.ac.uk
  • drop them into us
  • attend one of our drop-in sessions, which run daily from 10am to noon and 2pm to 4pm, where you can talk to a Disability Advisor about your support needs.