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Access and disability

Student Services Hub

Lecturer and student

Our team of advisers are based within your Student Services Hub and can provide information, advice and guidance on a range of topics from accommodation and funding to exam stress and wellbeing. Drop us a line or pay us a visit.

New students

If you have a disability, specific learning difficulty, long term medical condition or mental health condition you can register with the Student Wellbeing and Inclusivity Service (SWIS) before your arrival so that we can consider your support needs.

Before support can be put in place we will need:

  • Supporting evidence of your condition from the relevant professional. You may already have this available but if you still need to obtain evidence you may wish to use our Disability Evidence Form (.pdf) and provide this to your chosen professional.
  • Your consent to disclose information - Confidentiality Agreement Form (.pdf)
  • You may also wish to apply at this time for individual exam arrangements - Individual Exam Arrangements Form (.pdf)

We encourage you to contact us about your support needs before you arrive on campus however if this has not been possible please do come and see us during Welcome Week.

Supporting you

We recognise that students may have very different needs and we strongly advise you contact us to discuss these. You will have a named adviser who can provide on-going information, advice and guidance throughout your studies.

Our services include academic and learning support and financial support.

The Support Desk has specialist advisers available to see you in a quiet and confidential space.

  • Access Forum

    The Access Forum is a discussion and action forum for all those with an interest in promoting access issues at Colchester, Southend and Loughton campuses.

    We work closely with Organisational Development and Estates and Campus Services to ensure our University is welcoming and accessible to all.

  • Departmental Disability Liaison Officers (DDLOs)

    Every department at our University has a designated DDLO. The DDLO has an awareness of disability issues and knowledge of your subject area and departmental structure.

  • Dyslexia and specific learning difficulties (SpLD)

    If you think you may have dyslexia or a SpLD contact us.

    Dyslexia is a specific type of learning difficulty that primarily affects the skills involved in accurate and fluent word reading and spelling. Characteristics of dyslexia include difficulties in areas such as the awareness of the sound structure of spoken words, verbal memory and verbal processing speed.

  • Physical, hearing or visual impairment

    We will work with you to establish the support you require if you have a:

  • Other disabilities and long-term medical conditions

    You don't have to disclose to the University if you have a disability or long-term medical condition but we encourage you to tell us. We are a confidential service, if you want to discuss things you can contact us. We won't advise anyone else without your consent.

    We will work with you to establish the support you require. This may include:

  • Mental health

    Mental health can vary from person to person and can range from a person's ability to deal with the day to day worries and stresses of life to more serious long-term conditions.

    Mental health difficulties are very common and it is thought that 1 in 4 people will experience a mental health problem every year.

    If you are experiencing difficulties with your mental health or are worried about the mental health of a flatmate or friend then contact us.

  • Non-medical helper providers

    If you're a student in receipt of Disabled Students’ Allowance funding you may well be recommended support (i.e. Specialist Study Skills Tutor or Specialist Mentor) from a Non-Medical Helper (NMH) provider. You and your provider may need to know about our procedures on campus or if you're able to book a room for your support.

  • Health and Safety

    The Health and Safety team provide fire safety information and advice specific to disability, including Personal Emergency Evacuation Plans (PEEPs). PEEPs are individual plans put in place for people with mobility impairments which could affect their ability to evacuate campus buildings in the event of an emergency.

Students' Union support

The Students' Union have an elected group of student members responsible for taking questions forward on behalf of disabled students and campaigning issues.

The elected group members consist of the:

  • Disabled Students Committee
  • Disabled Students Officer, and
  • the Equality and Diversity Officer

Equality, diversity and inclusion policy

Our Organisational Development team have a major responsibility for progressing disability issues at our University. Their equality remit includes:

Positive about disabled people logo


Collage of letters

If you think you may have dyslexia or a Specific Learning Difficulty (SpLD), or if you have already been diagnosed, our Student Services Hub can provide you with advice and support to help you with your studies.

Mental health

Students in a lecture hall

Sometimes life at university can be difficult. You may feel homesick, worried about money or pressures of study, or that you are 'not fitting in'. These feelings are common but can develop into mental health problems. If you feel like this we can help you.

Financial support

Students walking to Ivor Crewe lecture hall

You may be eligible to apply for funding to help cover the costs incurred for additional support and resources as a result of your diagnosed disability or mental health condition. Find out what financial support could be available to you.

Academic support

Students in library

Once you are registered with the Student Services Hub, we can help to put in place support and arrangements for your day to day studies and exams. Find out what academic and learning support you could be eligible to receive.