The evidence we need to make recommendations for your support
You must provide us with evidence of your disability so we can make recommendations for your support.
We will use your evidence to decide on reasonable adjustments to your teaching and assessment.
We will also consider your course requirements and how you have been supported in the past.
Evidence for each disability
|Disability/condition||Evidence we can consider|
|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 Students' Health Service or your own doctor to find out if there is a diagnosis on your record and to discuss options.|
|Autism spectrum conditions (including Asperger 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 Students' Health Service or your own doctor to find out if there is a diagnosis on your record and to discuss options.
|Dyslexia, dyspraxia, dyscalculia (maths specific weakness) or dysgraphia (writing difficulty, such as slow writing or writing that is difficult to read)||
Dyslexia, Dyspraxia, Dyscalculia or Dysgraphia
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.
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.
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
Instead of a report from a chartered or educational psychologist, we can also accept a doctor/consultant letter identifying a physiological reason (such as RSI or the ongoing effects of a hand injury) why you may not be able to write quickly or legibly.
|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.|
|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.|
|Mental health difficulties (including depression, anxiety, eating disorders, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), bipolar affective disorder, personality disorders, or psychosis)||Doctor/consultant or psychiatrist letter.|
|Mobility difficulty (including paralysis, back problems, scoliosis, chronic pain, or using a wheelchair)||Doctor/consultant letter.|
|Visual impairment, blind||Doctor/consultant letter.|
These types of evidence are usually enough to support recommendations for reasonable adjustments.
Be aware that:
- We consider each student’s situation on a on a case-by-case basis.
- All evidence must be in English; evidence in other languages must be provided as a certified translation.
- Evidence should indicate that your disability/condition is ongoing. Specifically, that it has lasted (or is predicted to last or may well last) 12 months or more. However, some conditions, such as cancer or HIV infection, are disabilities from the point of diagnosis. If you are not sure if your condition is a disability, contact us so we can advise you. It is helpful if your evidence indicates how your disability/condition may affect your studies. If you are asking your doctor/consultant for evidence, show them our Guidance for GPs writing medical evidence (PDF, 244kB) so that the evidence you get will be useful.
- Prescriptions are not acceptable as evidence.
If you do not have acceptable evidence
If you have evidence which is different from the documents listed, submit what you have. We can tell you the next steps, including how to get new evidence if necessary.
If you do not have any evidence or do not know how to get evidence of your disability, please contact us for advice.
How to send us your evidence
- by post: Disability Services, University of Bristol, LGF Hampton House, Bristol BS6 6JS;
- or scan and email it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Include your full family name and date of birth. If you have any questions, contact us.
Evidence to apply for DSAs
If you are applying for Disabled Students’ Allowances (DSAs), your funder (such as Student Finance England) will also need evidence to decide if you are eligible for funding. The evidence your funder needs may not match what the University needs to make recommendations for reasonable adjustments.