Disability

We are committed to disability equality and ensuring all students, staff and visitors have a positive experience of the learning, teaching, research and work environment.

Disability History Month

UK Disability History Month (UKDHM) is an annual event creating a platform to focus on the history of the struggle for equality and human rights.Read further information on events and activities. 

Why tell Kent that you are disabled?

  • So we can make reasonable adjustments to help you study
  • So staff understand any difficulties you may have and how to help

Types of disability

Autism

In the UK, half a million adults are thought to have an Autistic Spectrum Condition. Autism is a lifelong developmental disability that affects how people perceive the world and interact with others.

If you are autistic, you are autistic for life; autism is not an illness or disease and cannot be 'cured'.

Often people feel being autistic is a fundamental aspect of their identity. Autistic people see, hear and feel the world differently to other people, but being autistic will affect them in different ways.

More on autism support


Dyslexia

About 10% of the UK population are thought to be affected by dyslexia. It affects many more men than women. People with dyslexia have difficulties with reading, writing and spelling. They may struggle with tasks such as:

  • writing or structuring documents
  • remembering instructions
  • note taking

Potential strengths of people with dyslexia include creative and innovative thinking and good communication skills.

Support for an individual with dyslexia may include:

  • providing text-to-speech or speech-to-text software
  • allowing meetings or training events to be recorded
  • giving instructions verbally
  • providing written information on coloured paper
More on dyslexia support


Hearing impairment

Someone with a hearing impairment may have:

  • partial or complete hearing loss
  • had their impairment from birth or it may have increased gradually over time
  • a temporary or permanent impairment.

Adjustments for students with a hearing impairment could include:

  • use subtitles or provide transcripts for video
  • break up content with sub-headings, images and videos
  • let users ask for their preferred communication support when booking appointments.
More on deafness and hearing loss support


Mental health

Mental Health conditions cover a wide range of illnesses which can affect how people feel, think and behave. They can include:

  • depression
  • anxiety
  • bipolar disorder

According to the Mental Health Foundation, 1 in 4 people experience a problem with their mental health every year.

More on mental health support


Physical impairment

A physical impairment is one which limits a person’s ability to do physical activity such as walking. Physical impairments can be permanent or temporary.

Many people with physical impairments have mobility aids to assist them. The University provides reasonable adjustments for students with physically impairments which include, but are not limited to:

  • providing assistive computer equipment such as modifications to hardware or voice activated software
  • agreeing an emergency evacuation procedure if assistance is required
  • a team of support workers such as note-takers, readers, mobility enablers, amanuenses and personal assistants ​
  • provision for students who require adapted rooms or who have serious medical conditions to live in on-campus accommodation
  • special car parking bays are reserved for students who have access difficulties
  • a number of teaching rooms and seminar rooms have been specially adapted for students with disabilities.​
More on support for physical impairments


Stammering

Stammering (also called stuttering) is a speech/fluency difficulty where the person has speech blocks (getting stuck on one sound; a silent block is when nothing comes out at all), prolongations (stretching sounds out), or repetitions of sounds.

It is individual. Each person stammers differently, and this can vary from one day or situation to another. The person may also avoid words and situations because of anxiety and strong feelings about their stammering

It does not result from a personality or intellectual disorder. People who stammer have normal intelligence, competence and ability. People who stammer know what they want to say but sometimes find it difficult to physically produce speech.

Please speak to Student Support if you'd like support with a stammer.


Visual impairment

Advances in technology mean that blind and partially sighted people can now overcome many of the barriers to study that they faced in the past. 

Adjustments for a blind or partially sighted students include:

  • making alterations to the academic environment
  • supplying documents in audio or Braille formats
  • carrying out risk assessments of the University 
  • arranging a tour of the University
  • providing software or technology that magnifies onscreen text and images or converts text to sound.
More on support for visual impairment

Disability and dyslexia support

We are committed to improving access to learning at Kent.

If you have or think you might have a disability, there’s a wide range of support available.

The University’s Student Support Team is here to help with a range of disabilities, and offers the following services:

  • Applying for funding to pay for specialist equipment and helpers
  • Arranging signers, note-takers and other support
  • Helping you to find out if you have dyslexia
  • Talking to your lecturers about particular help you may need
  • Create an Inclusive Learning Plan
  • Discussing any special arrangements you need for exams

Register with and/or contact Student Support and Wellbeing.

Register now

Support for international students

International students with disabilities can request extra support throughout their time at Kent.

You can register with us and make an appointment to see our International Adviser in order to get support. Please also look at the Global Diverse-Ability blog.

The International Office offers the following services:

  • Act as the initial point of contact for international and EU students with a disability, wellbeing, and medical concerns, and neurological differences. 
  • Assess needs and create strategies for access (3-6 months prior to arrival and working within all time zones).
  • Support transition from country of origin to the UK and the University of Kent
  • Aid transition for placements such as year abroad, industry and EU partner.
  • Organise access to services provided by other sections, such as, Educational Support Assistance, Asperger’s Mentors and Specific Learning Difficulties (SPLD) tutors.
  • Co-ordinate disability related services provided by the University, such as hospitality, accommodation, security, Master's Office, IT services and the Library.
  • Organise care and therapeutic related support.
  • Work with schools to ensure academic needs are met.  

Our work is highly flexible, as we adapt to the changing needs of different types of disabilities and students with different cultural backgrounds.

More on support for international students

Productivity tools and assistive technology

View our selection of free tools, apps and software that can save you time, make it easier to access study material and increase your productivity. They are offered as good examples of types of software you might find helpful.

More on productivity tools and assistive tech

Parking support

Students with mobility difficulties or other medical conditions, who require special parking arrangements, can apply for parking permits.

Careers and Employability Service (CES)

The CES offers a wide range of support services to students with physical and sensory disabilities, mental health problems and other disabilities and health issues. View careers support on offer

The information on these pages is only a starting point and may not answer your specific questions and concerns, so please doarrange a time to speak directly to a member of staff.

Library services

The Library has a wide range of services for people with disabilities.

More on support for Library services

Student housing

We aim to ensure that all students with special requirements are offered appropriate accommodation. Please let Student Support know as early as possible if you require any alterations.

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