What is a disability?

The word disability can mean different things to different people – there may be support available to you even if you don’t consider yourself to be disabled.  

The Equality Act 2010 defines disability as: “a physical or mental impairment that has a ‘substantial’ and ‘long-term’ negative effect on your ability to do normal daily activities”.

In an educational setting, long term means a condition that has lasted, or is expected to last at least twelve months. This means that we support students with conditions including:

  • Specific learning difficulties including dyslexia, dyspraxia, dyscalculia, and attention deficit (hyperactivity) disorder
  • Physical or mobility difficulties
  • Sensory disabilities including vision loss and hard of hearing
  • Mental health problems including depression, anxiety disorders, eating disorders, obsessive compulsive disorders, psychotic illnesses, and personality disorders
  • A long term health condition such as diabetes, epilepsy, chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, cardiovascular disease, and rheumatoid arthritis
  • A progressive condition such as HIV, cancer, multiple sclerosis, muscular dystrophy, motor, neurone disease, and lupus
  • Asperger syndrome and autistic spectrum disorders (ASD).

If you have a temporary illness (that is expected to last less than 12 months), or you have an injury (for example a broken bone) that might impact on your studies, you should contact your course director to let them know.

While you wouldn’t be able to register for support through DDS (due to the short term nature of the condition or injury) you can contact us for advice – we will be happy to put you in touch with the right person.

International students

Any student with a disability, regardless of nationality, can register for support with DDS and have access to LSBU’s assistive technology, equipment, and services. 

However, if you are considered an international student for fees purposes, you may not be entitled to further external funding, for example DSA (Disabled Students’ Allowances). 

How to get support

Find out more about how to get support.

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