Specific Learning Difficulties Support
Support servicesTo create an educational environment offering improved and equal access to all.
Specific Learning Diffculties Support is here to support students with Dyslexia, Dyscalculia, Dyspraxia and ADHD during their time at the University.
Some of the services are free of charge and others are funded by the Disabled Students’ Allowance (DSA).
If you require information in an alternative format, please contact us in person at Keynes Hg7-9 or by telephone on +44 (0)1227 823158 (Medway in G0-05, or telephone 01634 888969)..
Student Support is here to offer you full support during your time at Kent.
What help can I get for Specific Learning Difficulties (SpLDs)?
- Inclusive Learning Plans (ILPs) are developed by the advisers within the Student Support and Wellbeing team, to set out reasonable adjustments to enable students to access programmes of study, and ensure appropriate assessment and examination arrangements are put in place. You can find out how the process works in our Inclusive Learning Plan - guidance for students (PDF) document.
- Access to assistive software on campus
- Specialist support with study skills
- Funding for support may be available through Disabled Students’ Allowance
- Support with completing a Disabled Students’ Allowance application
- Assistance with liaising with your academic school about specific support required
- To access this support, you will need to register with us and provide evidence of your specific learning difficulty
- To discuss the support available, contact us and ask to see a SpLD adviser
Evidence, screenings and assessments
To access support for specific learning difficulties at University of Kent, you will need evidence of your specific learning difficulty. The evidence required is usually a full diagnostic report by a Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) registered psychologist or a Specific Learning Difficulties Assessment Standards Committee (SASC) registered specialist teacher assessor. For ADHD, medical evidence from a specialist practitioner may be accepted instead.
What if I haven’t got a full diagnostic report?
- Current students can arrange to have a screening for specific learning difficulties through Student Support and Wellbeing by contacting us .
- Screening appointments usually include a computer screening and an appointment with a SpLD Adviser carried out in two one hour appointments.
- If appropriate, you can then be referred for a full diagnostic assessment for specific learning difficulties (please note that a financial contribution towards the cost of this assessment may be required, depending on your circumstances).
When do I need to start this process and how long will it take?
- You are advised to book screening appointments as soon as possible, ideally in the autumn term.
- Exam access arrangements for the summer term must be confirmed with Student Support and Wellbeing before the spring term deadline.
- Please note that the university uses external assessors, so assessment appointments are limited by assessor availability.
- The full diagnostic assessment with a specialist teacher assessor or educational psychologist takes between three and four hours.
- Specialist teacher assessors and educational psychologists have up to one month to complete the diagnostic report following the assessment.
- Prospective students may wish to arrange their own full diagnostic assessment for specific learning difficulties before coming to university.
- Local specialist teacher assessors with assessment practicing certificates may be sought through the Professional Association of Teachers of Students with Specific Learning Difficulties (PATOSS).
- Check that your specialist teacher assessor or educational psychologist holds a practicing certificate that is current at the time of the assessment (see SASC or HCPC listings to check registration) and is aware of SASC DfES guidelines.
- If you have any questions about this, please contact us.
Disabled Students’ Allowance
Disabled Students’ Allowance (DSA) provides funding for technological support for students with specific learning difficulties. Depending on student needs, this may include equipment and assistive software, such as mind mapping programmes, speech-to-text software, text-to-speech software and notetaking programmes. DSA also provides funding for assistive technology training, and one:one specialist support, such as study skills tuition.
How can I apply for Disabled Students’ Allowance?
- Check if you are eligible for Disabled Students’ Allowance.
- The Disabled Students’ Allowance application process is as follows:
- Apply for Disabled Students’ Allowance (sending the form and your post-16 diagnostic report)
- Receive a letter from Student Finance England accepting your evidence and confirming that you can book a Study Needs assessment.
- Attend a Study Needs assessment to find out what equipment and support you need.
- Receive a letter from Student Finance England indicating the support that will be funded and providing the contact information for arranging your support.
- The Disabled Students’ Allowance process (from application to receipt of equipment) can take up to 14 weeks to complete, so we recommend that students apply for this as soon as possible, ideally before coming to university.
- If you would like help with applying for Disabled Students’ Allowance, please contact us .
One-to-one study skills support for students with Specific Learning Difficulties
Specialist study skills tutors offer one-to-one sessions to help students improve their study skills and build independence.
Study skills tutors can provide support with:
- Time management techniques to help manage your workload
- Planning strategies for organizing written assignments, such as essays and lab reports
- Research techniques for finding academic resources online
- Reading strategies for making your research effective
- Note-taking skills to improve the structure of your notes
- Communicating with your academic school/tutor/adviser yourself (eg. assistance with writing emails)
- Editing strategies for checking written assignment work
- Learning conventions of spelling, grammar and punctuation
- Identifying how to use citations and references to avoid plagiarism
- Using assistive software to support reading and writing
- Improving your presentation skills to enhance confidence
- Developing revision and memory strategies to help prepare for exams
- Finding other sources of support in Student Support and Wellbeing
Study skills tutors cannot:
- Change your deadlines
- Make requests to your department on your behalf
- Provide a proofreading service
- Act as counsellors