Help and advice
Advice and support for any student or applicant who discloses a disability or additional learning need
The Additional Support and Disability Advice Centre (ASDAC) supports students and applicants who disclose a disability or require additional support for their academic studies.
We provide a confidential service for all students with additional learning needs, and can give you advice on academic support.
We 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 us as soon as possible after you accept an offer - our staff can guide you through the whole process.
Our opening hours are Monday to Thursday 9.00am – 4.00pm and on Friday, 9.00am – 3.00pm.
You can contact ASDAC on +44 (0)23 9284 3462 or email firstname.lastname@example.org 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 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
Protecting and sharing your information
You can use your Student View to consent to share your reasonable adjustment and disability information, or inform us of any new information relating to your academic support needs.
When you log into your Student View you will see a new area called Additional Support and Disability Advice with an option called 'My Consent'.
Reasonable adjustment information will default to consent to share being given, but disability information will not. You have the option to change these settings by selecting 'Grant Consent' - this will make your details viewable to relevant University of Portsmouth staff. If you select 'Revoke Consent' this will mean that your information is not visible to the nominated staff and the adjustments will not be put in place.
More information is available in our guide to updating your information on Student View.
Who can see my personal details?
If you give Consent to Share, the following nominated staff will have access to your reasonable adjustments information where applicable:
- Senior and personal tutors
- Course leaders
- Module coordinators
- MyPort administrators
- Health and safety
- Timetabling staff
- Security administrator
- Student Housing team
- Fire Officers Estates
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.
From the very moment I stepped foot in Portsmouth the entire ASDAC team has been very supportive, giving me the necessary tools and directions which in one way or the other has enabled me to complete this course successfully. The fact that I have been able to complete the course alone is a miracle.
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 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:
- Student Finance England
- Student Finance Wales
- Student Finance Northern Ireland
- Student Awards Agency for Scotland
- Student Finance.ie (Eire)
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 via the Disabled Students' Allowance, you will need 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