Additional support and disability advice

Students smiling and socialising in a cafe

Help and advice

Advice and support for any University of Portsmouth student or applicant who discloses a disability or additional learning need

The Additional Support and Disability Advice Centre (ASDAC) is committed to supporting students and applicants who disclose a disability or require additional support for their academic studies.

ASDAC provides a confidential service for all students with additional learning needs and can give you advice on academic support. They can also discuss what reasonable adjustments you may require and refer you to appropriate agencies for support.

Contact ASDAC, in confidence, if you have a condition that might impact on your ability to access the campus, curriculum, teaching, learning, assessments and any other University service. It’s best to contact them as soon as possible after you accept an offer. Their staff can guide you through the whole process.

ASDAC Service delivery during Covid 19 Pandemic

Operating under the University’s COVID 19 guidance, our current office hours are Monday – Thursday, 10.00am – 4.00pm and Friday, 10.00am – 3.00pm (closed for lunch between 12.30pm – 1:30pm). Whilst we continue to offer support remotely, in essential cases we will endeavour to meet you on a face-2-face basis. We will discuss how we can offer you ongoing support or explore your concerns with remote learning.

If remote support is a concern or not something you wish to access at this point – take a look at our online resources through the ASDAC Moodle site. The resources may contain enough information to help you decide if you need further support or are comfortable with the support of this site at present.

If you do wish to come into the office, we want to reassure you that we are taking every precaution to keep you and the staff safe. A Perspex screen in our reception area protects all staff, students and visitors who wish to make an appointment in person and there is access to sanitiser station. Everyone is expected to wear a mask when visiting the building unless you are exempt in accordance with the Government guidance. We have rooms where 2 metre social distancing for staff and a student/visitor can meet. No one other than persons who wish to make an appointment, or have an appointment, are allowed on our floor and staff operate in teams on a three week rotation. This is all in place to respect the health and safety of students and staff.

You can contact ASDAC on 02392 843462 or email asdac@port.ac.uk for further advice.

Introduction to ASDAC

Who we are

Hi, my name is Stephen Petty and I am the Senior Disability Coordinator at the University of Portsmouth. I am going to give you a brief introduction to the Additional Support and Disability Advice Centre known as ASDAC for short.

To help us understand your needs, we would like to know a little bit about you. We want to know what you find challenging and the support you have had in the past. The University supports independent learning and so you may experience a change in the support you had previously. We can guide you through the processes to get the right support from the start of your course. 

We can offer advice and guidance on adjustments for study. This might include exams support, or the use of technology to compliment your learning.

We can advise on the type of evidence you might need. What is required can sometimes be confusing and we would advise you contact us early in the application process to find out more.

We can advise you on the Disabled student’s allowance. If you are eligible we would expect you to apply for this and we can guide you through the process.

We also have access to a number of specialist tutors who have experience and professional qualifications in teaching in Higher Education. Our specialist tutors will be able to advise on study skills, technology and software that will complement your independent study.

We also want to introduce Access Portsmouth. This is an independent assessment centre located at the University of Portsmouth. They have a good understanding of the University and how it operates. Claire Sorfleet and Richard Capper are the assessors and they can carry out Study Needs Assessments as part of the DSA process. They will make disability related recommendations associated with Academic support that can be funded by the Disabled Students Allowance. This might include specialist tuition or technology to support your learning. Applicants and students can contact ASDAC if they would like guidance on booking a Study Needs Assessment.

We do encourage you to contact us early, so we can guide you through the additional process that will prepare you for study. This is normally at the point you make Portsmouth your firm choice.

You can find additional information on our webpages. If you have any questions, do ask a member of the ASDAC team. We look forward to speaking with you today.

Support and guidance offered by ASDAC

  • We have our own dedicated access centre, Access Portsmouth, where you can be assessed for your DSA-funded support
  • Confidential advice from disability professionals, whether you are applying from the UK, the EU or internationally
  • Advice on funding to cover disability-related support costs such as the Disabled Students’ Allowance, degree apprenticeships and other additional funding
  • Discussion and agreement on reasonable adjustments
  • Liaison with other University services and facilities, such as the library
  • Advice on on note-taking, mentoring and other support services
  • Access to specialist study skills and strategies tutors, and assistive technology tutors, on a 1-to-1 basis or in groups
  • Liaison with external services such as Autism Hampshire and Clear Links – here is a short introductory video from Autism Hampshire about starting University

Tell us about you

If you need additional support resulting from a disability or specific learning difference, complete our short questionnaire and we will contact you to advise further.


Our events

You can find events run by ASDAC to compliment your study at the University of Portsmouth.

Study Skills Virtual Cafe

On Tuesdays at 11:00am and Thursdays at 3:00pm, join us online for an informal introduction to learning and to meet other University of Portsmouth Students. Use the links below to sign up:


Additional funding for disabled students

If you are eligible, you should apply for additional funding as soon as possible before arriving at university. The process can take time, so the sooner you apply, the greater your chance of having everything ready when you start your course.

Disabled Students' Allowance

If you have a disability, medical condition or specific learning difference such as Dyslexia, you may be eligible for the Disabled Students’ Allowance (DSA). The support you get depends on your individual learning needs.

The Disabled Students' Allowance (DSA) is not means tested.

It is a good idea to apply for DSA before you arrive at university as the process can take up to 3 months to complete. The sooner you apply, the more likely you will have the support you need at the start of your course..

Funding from the DSA can help you with:

  • travel costs
  • assistance with your with academic needs
  • specialist equipment, such as a computer

Local funding authorities

Appropriate evidence is required when you apply for the Disabled Students’ Allowance. Make sure to check your eligibility and evidence requirements with your funding body:

If you are a Global student or applicant due to start a course not qualified for DSA (such as a Degree Apprenticeship), please contact us to discuss alternative options.

Apply for a grant or scholarship

The Snowdon Trust is a charity dedicated to providing grants to disabled and sensory impaired students in the UK.

About 100 grants are awarded each year ranging from £250 to £3,000. They cover support costs for sign language interpreters, note-takers, computers, specialist software and wheelchairs.

The Snowden Trust also provides the Snowden Masters Scholarships, in partnership with the Global Disability Innovation Hub. The Scholarships aim to support and accelerate disabled students with the ability to create change, influence others and become leaders and role-models.

The Student Health Association

The Student Health Association administers the Student Disability Assistance Fund which helps Higher Education students with disabilities in full-time or nearly full-time studies. It cannot help with fees or general living expenses. Priority is given to those who cannot obtain statutory funding. Maximum awards are £500.

You can find out more on the following link: The Student Health Association.

How to provide medical or diagnostic evidence

It is best to let us know about your disability and how it affects your life at university at the earliest opportunity.

You can contact us at any point. We are here to listen, understand your disability-related needs and find the best ways to support you.

Evidence of disability

We encourage you to provide us with evidence to help us determine the type of additional  support you might need. The type of evidence required will depend on your disability.

Please note: evidence not written in English must be translated and accredited.

A letter from your doctor or a consultant confirming your disability, and how it affects you, your studies and everyday living. This may also be used by external funding bodies when you apply for additional disability related funding. The letter should:

  • identify your condition, impairment or ongoing symptoms
  • state whether the condition will be short or long term (over 12 months) and how it will impact your day-to-day activities as a student
  • identify any medication and treatment, with any relevant side-effects

If you are looking to access additional academic support for a specific learning difference, we require you to provide a diagnostic assessment. The sooner you do this, the more likely all your support will be in place when you start your course.

You can get a private assessment through the following organisations:

  • The British Psychological Society (BPS) – the BPS has an online directory of chartered psychologists you can use to find a psychologist local to you to assess your learning difference
  • The British Dyslexia Association – their diagnostic assessment guide outlines the steps you will need to be assessed through their service
  • The Professional Association of Teachers of Students with SpLDs (PATOSS) – their online directory can be filtered to show teachers near you

This site uses cookies. Click here to view our cookie policy message.

Accept and close