Disabilities and Dyslexia Service (DDS)
The London Met Disabilities and Dyslexia Service (DDS) offers advice, information and support for students with a disability, a Specific Learning Difficulty (SpLD) such as Dyslexia or Dyspraxia, students who are Deaf or hard of hearing, blind or partially sighted students, students with chronic long-term health conditions and students with mental health difficulties.
What we provide
- Bespoke, informed, professional guidance and ongoing advice for students and prospective students with a range of disabilities, SpLDs and medical conditions
- Screenings and advice to students wishing to investigate whether they may have a SpLD
- Referral for a diagnostic assessment where appropriate
- Recommendations for reasonable adjustments, in line with the Equality Act (2010) in order to ensure that students are enabled to participate as fully as possible in the academic and social life of the University. This can include adjustments to arrangements for teaching, examinations, the physical environment and methods of communication
- Assistance with setting up non-medical help (such as note-takers, campus support, mentors, interpreters and SpLD one-to-one support)
- Advice and guidance on the funding available to disabled students (such as the Disabled Students' Allowance and funding for disabled EU and International students)
- Tailored training, advice and guidance for staff supporting disabled students
Discussing your needs
London Met makes anticipatory adjustments where possible (eg in course design and by improving access to buildings) but we understand that everyone’s needs are different. Therefore once you have received your offer of a place you should register with DDS as soon as possible to help us ensure we have got all the support you might require for the start of your course.
We need you to provide medical evidence of your condition in order for us to assess the appropriate support. All evidence must be in written English or transcribed by a certified transcription service and authenticated as such
|For disabilities, Deaf or hard-of-hearing students, blind or partially sighted students, and students with a chronic long-term health/mental health condition.||A recent (no more than 12 months old) report or letter from your GP, consultant or other qualified specialist. It should state any diagnosis, how long you have had it and when you were diagnosed; any treatment or support you are currently receiving. If you are likely to require special examination arrangements, the medical letter must state what they should be (eg extra time, rest breaks etc) and why this is required.|
|For Specific Learning Difficulties (eg Dyslexia or Dyspraxia).||A report, produced since you were age 16, from an Educational Psychologist.
Information relating to physical or mental health constitutes sensitive personal data. Under the Data Protection Act (1998), explicit permission from the data subject (ie the student) must be sought before this type of information is passed on to a third party unless there is a legal obligation to provide the information. Please ask your Disabilities and Dyslexia Adviser if you have any questions concerning the data we keep, or the terms of the Data Protection Act. Please note that we will not speak to your parents/legal guardian about you without your express permission.
Who will you share my information with?
DDS may need to disclose information about your disability with certain people in order to help support you. This information will only be shared where necessary and on a ‘need to know’ basis. We define ‘need to know’ as sharing sufficient information to help set up support and only with people involved in that process. We always ask that the people with whom we share your information respect your confidentiality and do not pass your information onto anyone else unless they are also involved in your support.
Those with whom the DDS may share your information can include (but is not strictly limited to): your Diversity Coordinators, Personal Academic Tutors, the Examinations Office, your School and funding body. DDS may also share student data with other university departments, such as the Careers Service, for recruitment, statistics, and monitoring purposes.
DDS may also need to request and/or share further information about your additional support needs from individuals and/or agencies outside of the University such as your GP, Consultant, Mental Health Support Team, Educational Psychologist, previous education provider, or funding body (eg Student Finance England) where appropriate. This is in order to ensure we are able to support you whilst studying at university. We respect your confidentiality and assure you that any information shared will be handled in a sensitive and discreet manner.
The Disabled Students' Allowance (DSA)
The Disabled Students' Allowance (DSA) from Student Finance England can help to pay for the extra costs you may incur as a direct result of your disability, Specific Learning Difficulties, chronic long-term health condition or mental health difficulty. DSAs are paid on top of your Student Finance and do not have to be repaid. The allowance can help with the cost of having a person to support you, such as a note-taker or specialist tutor; items of specialist equipment; travel and other course-related costs. DSAs cover the cost of specialist equipment and support and do not have to be repaid. They are non-means tested and will be in addition to your Student Finance. Most full-time and part-time students who satisfy the eligibility criteria for obtaining ‘Home’ funding from Student Finance England should be eligible to apply for DSA. ‘Home-status’ postgraduate students may also be eligible.
For students who are ineligible for the DSA, such as international students, please contact the DDS when you are thinking of applying to London Met so we can discuss possible sources of disability-related funding.
Applying for DSA
You should apply for this as soon as possible. You can apply for the DSA before you start your course. You will need to complete an application form and send this to the relevant funding body along with the appropriate evidence confirming your disability. They will then reply to confirm whether you are eligible. If you are eligible you will need to have a needs assessment at an access centre. We have an assessment centre located on site. For further details of the onsite assessment centre or to book a needs assessment at the centre please see Contact Associates. A report will then be sent to your funding body who will write to confirm what they will fund. Once you receive this you can order equipment and organise specialist support.
You DDS Adviser can guide you through the DSA application process. Get in touch if you have a question or need support with the application.
The funding bodies
For specific information for your particular funding body, please follow the links below.
- Student Finance England - for an overview of the DSA process please see the SFE factsheet.
- Student Awards Agency for Scotland
- Student Finance Northern Ireland – Disability Support
- Student Finance Wales
- NHS - please apply for DSA via your online BOSS account
- Research Council
Diagnostic testing for dyslexia
Dyslexia is a Specific Learning Difficulty (SpLD) which mainly affects reading and spelling ability. There is a range of support available for students with a Specific Learning Difficulty at London Met. The DDS offers students a free computer based screening test and can refer students to an Educational Psychologist for a full diagnostic assessment. Read our three-step SpLD assessment process.
Get in touch with DDS to book a screening test appointment or to see a DDS Adviser to discuss your concerns.
To make an appointment please contact us by telephone or email:
+44(0)20 7133 2188
or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can also make an appointment through the Hubs or Reception at the Student Services Reception located in the Learning Centre. You will receive a confirmation email to your university email address confirming the location, date and time of your appointment. A few days before your appointment, you will also receive a reminder text message the day before your appointment.
Cancelled and missed appointments
DDS appointments are in high demand. If you can't make your appointment, contact DDS in advance to cancel so we can offer the appointment slot to another student.
If you repeatedly miss appointments without cancelling, your use of the service may be terminated.
Where can you meet an adviser?
We have appointments Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm at the following locations:
- Holloway Road - Learning Centre, 2nd Floor
- Old Castle Street, Calcutta House
What will happen in my first appointment?
Your DDS Adviser will talk to you about how your disability or difficulty impacts on your studies. The adviser will go through your documentary evidence and suggest appropriate adjustments for your studies. Your DDS Adviser can help you apply for and organise Disabled Students' Allowances. You may also be referred for a dyslexia screening test or to another service within the university. Appointments are booked for 1 hour. If you need more time to discuss your university adjustments, you may need to rebook for another day.
Students are expected to interact with all staff members in a respectful and honest way in accordance the University's Student Charter. Bad language, threatening behaviour and raised voices will not be tolerated and may result in the termination of your use this service.
Information for practitioners
The information below is designed to assist disability practitioners, particularly needs assessors, who are compiling Assessment of Needs reports. Please view our current rates chart.
Final Needs Assessment Reports – We would prefer these to be emailed to DDS.
If you have any queries please contact us on:
+44(0)20 7133 2188
Special Examination Arrangements
Guidelines on Special Examination Arrangements for students with a disability or difficulty.
What are Special Exam Arrangements?
London Metropolitan University aims to ensure that all students have the opportunity to demonstrate the achievement of learning outcomes in examinations and that any barriers presented due to their disability are removed. The DDS put in place a range of bespoke adjustments which will ensure that equitable exam conditions are provided for students with a disability or difficulty.
Who can apply for Special Exam Arrangements?
If you have a diagnosed disability or difficulty that is likely to impact upon your exam performance then you can apply for Special Exam Arrangements. This includes;
Students with a disability as defined under the Equality Act
Students with a Specific Learning Difficulty (SpLD)
What type of arrangements will I be given?
Students are assessed according to their needs and in light of the supporting medical evidence. Arrangements are bespoke and will vary from student to student. Arrangements may include some of the following;
Use of a computer
25% extra time
A scribe or amanuensis
Additional time for rest breaks
The arrangements will reflect your normal method of working will aim to ensure barriers to exams presented by your disability are removed. They are not designed to give you an advantage or impact upon the integrity of the exam.
How do I apply?
Students should register with the Disability and Dyslexia Service (DDS) so that all aspects of support can be considered, including appropriate special examination arrangements. Contact the DDS well before the examination period as you will need to meet with a Disability Adviser to be assessed. In the appointment, your Disability Adviser will review your documentary evidence and discuss appropriate examination arrangements with you.
You will need to provide the following;
Recent (within the last 12 months) medical evidence outlining the nature of your diagnosis and the impact on your studies
A post 16 Educational Psychologists diagnostic report for SpLD
How will I know when I have my Special Exam Arrangements?
Special Exam Arrangements are stated in your Internal Needs Assessment Report (INAR) which can be viewed on e-vision and are automatically sent to the exams office.
Deadlines for Special Exam Arrangements
Students must apply for their arrangements ahead of the exam periods. Students must also submit an M1 form ahead of each examination period confirming that you will be sitting forthcoming exams and that you require your special arrangements to be put into place. Do not worry, the DDS will send an email reminder to submit your M1 form.
You will need to submit your M1 forms to the exams office for 16/17 by;
January exams – submit by 12th December 2016
May exams – submit by 20th April 2017
Retake period – submit by 5th July 2017
In addition to this you will also need to ensure that you have been assessed and submitted suitable medical evidence to the DDS by;
January exams – 28th November 2016
May exams – 6th April 2017
Retake period – 21st June 2017
However, if for whatever reason you do not make the deadline for the forthcoming exams you should still go to DDS to be assessed as your provision will then be in place for your future exams.
How long do the arrangements last for?
If you have a permanent disability or difficulty, your arrangements will remain in place for the duration of your programme at the University.
If you had an arrangement as an undergraduate and you are returning as a postgraduate or to another mode or course of study, you will need to reapply. You may need to provide new supporting evidence.