The Disability Discrimination Act, 2005 places a statutory duty on all public authorities and Higher Education institutions to promote disability equality. By law, all universities are required to have due regard to the following needs when carrying out all functions:
▪ The need to eliminate unlawful discrimination and harassment.
▪ Promoting equality of opportunity between disabled people and others.
▪ Taking steps to take account of a person’s disability, even if it involves treating disabled people more favourably than other people.
Aston University recognises that promoting equality will improve facilities and services for everyone. Our aim is to make equality a central part of the way that the university operates by putting at the heart of all that we do. This includes policy making, service delivery, learning, teaching and employment practice.
The Disability & Additional Needs Unit (DANU) co-ordinates support for students at Aston University who have physical, sensory or hidden disabilities, mental health or specific learning difficulties. They offer a totally confidential service and can give advice on disability-related issues plus practical support. Danu is staffed by friendly people who want to give students the best possible opportunity to achieve their full potential.They can also provide information and liaise with other support services such as Social Services if necessary.
The term Specific Learning Difficulty (SpLD) refers to a number of diagnoses including:
Dyslexia- This is the most common SpLD affecting at least 5-10% of the entire population. It affects the learning process in one or more of the following skills: reading, writing and spelling.
Dyspraxia- This is often known as clumsy child syndrome- though problems can persist throughout adulthood. People with dyspraxia may have difficulties in daily activities which require co-ordination.
Dyscalculia- This like dyslexia but with numbers. It affects the ability to acquire arithmetical skills. It is thought to be linked to dyslexia.
Dysgraphia- This is a writing disorder which is characterised by poor handwriting, wrong or odd spelling and inappropriately sized and spaced letters.
Attention Deficit/ Hyperactivity Disorder (AD/HD) The core symptoms of AD/HD in adults are inattention, impulsivity and hyperactivity. It is believed that 2-4% of adults have AD/HD.
SpLDs are not linked to intelligence. They are specific, not general learning difficulties. For example, with the right strategies in place, a dyslexic students potential to succeed is just as great as a non-dyslexic student.
Any students that feel they may have an SpLD are strongly encouraged to make an appointment to speak to a member of DANU staff. They can talk through any difficulties and advise students of their options. We want to give all students the best chance of success.
Students who have previously been diagnosed with a specific learning difficulty may be eligible for extra support such as extended loans form the library, larger screen monitors, extra time in exams, (usually 25%) and use of a computer in exams if required.
Further support may be available from the Local Education Authority, (LEA) This is know as Disabled Students Allowance and students with additional needs will be encouraged to apply for this. This is a non-means tested grant that students will not have to pay back. It can pay for things such as:
▪ Photocopying, printing, cartridges
▪ A personal printer and scanner
▪ A Dictaphone for use in lectures or when revising
▪ A personal note taker
▪ Weekly support from a study skills teacher
New applicants are encouraged to contact DANU as early in the application process possible, so they can ensure that any support required is in place. If a disability has been declared on the UCAS form or Postgraduate application form, students will be contacted by post and sent a questionnaire asking for more information about their particular needs.
Current students may contact DANU in the strictest confidence at any point during their time here. Please note that application for Disabled Students’ Allowance and organisation of some services can take several weeks, so please make contact early as possible.
The DANU office is located in room G16 on the Ground Floor of the Main Building, between Registry and DolcheVita.
For further information please visit http://www1.aston.ac.uk/current-students/studentsupport/danu3/