Our Policy for Applicants with Additional Support Needs Our Policy for Applicants with Additional Support Needs

Objectives

The underlying objective of the University's admissions procedures is to facilitate the entry of those applicants who will engage with and contribute to the intellectual and cultural vitality of the institution.   The objectives of the additional procedure supporting the admission of students with disabilities are:

  • To identify those students who require "reasonable adjustments" to access the learning, residential and social opportunities offered by the University and to ensure that they are provided with any information and advice which would help them make an informed choice of programme and institution.

  • To enable Student Support Service staff to make contact with applicants and, where appropriate, Schools, to ensure that the necessary package of adjustments is clearly identified and put in place for the start of the programme.

  • To ensure that there are no disability-related factors which would make it unlikely, despite the provision of "reasonable adjustments", that applicants could meet the learning outcomes of the particular programme(s) for which they have applied.  In relation to Health and other programmes which also lead to professional registration, this would include consideration of the impact of the disability on applicants' ability to meet the additional requirements of the relevant professional bodies i.e. Fitness to Practice.

  • To identify non-trivial health and safety issues, particularly in relation to laboratory or fieldwork elements of a programme.

  • To alert applicants to any actions they need to take before taking up their places including applications for funding for disability-related costs for which they may be eligible.

The procedure

Applicants are encouraged by UCAS and on all University of East Anglia (UEA) applications forms to disclose their disabilities, although they have a legal right to choose not to do so. 

When a student declares a disability, the admissions teams decide whether or not they wish to make an offer on academic grounds or offer an interview.  If the decision is not to make an offer of a place or invite to interview then the normal admissions processes continue without any action in relation to the disability.  If the decision in principle is to make an offer or interview, then the application is referred to the Disability Co-ordinator in the Student Support Service.

The Disability Co-ordinator will consider the application on a case-by-case basis and will not normally prevent the admissions process continuing for students with disabilities within a similar time frame as applies to other applicants to the course.  However, there is likely to be a small number of cases where, for reasons of disability and/or for the purpose of clarifying or adding to the information provided, some delay in the process may be necessary.  In such cases, the Student Support Service will communicate with the applicant and Admissions staff to keep them informed.

The Disability Co-ordinator or other appropriate member of the Student Support Service staff may wish to make contact directly with the applicant to discuss their academic, daily living and any other disability issues including funding.  Sometimes this may take place in person.  In some cases, this discussion will be for the purposes of identifying "reasonable adjustments" and helping students prepare for a smooth transition to University life.  In others it may be material to reaching a judgment about the applicant's capacity to meet the learning outcomes of the programme with "reasonable adjustments".

Although such cases are extremely rare, it is possible that the Disability Co-ordinator may conclude that it is not possible to provide "reasonable adjustments".  This is because the Disability Co-ordinator has assessed that the applicant would be unable to meet the learning outcomes of the programme after taking into account all available information and advice from other professionals as appropriate.  In that event, the Head of Admissions will be advised that it would not be appropriate to offer a place. 

An explanation of the reasons for rejecting the application will be given to the applicant in writing by the Head of Admissions; the Student Support Service will advise on the wording of the letter.  Any alternative options that are available will be recommended to the applicant (e.g. deferral of place or course change).  All correspondence should be explained in writing.  A written record of the applicant's response should be kept. 

If the applicant does not accept the decision and still wishes to pursue the application, then the case should be referred for a final decision to the Academic Registrar  who may consult the Head of Admissions, the Disability Co-ordinator and, if appropriate the University Health Physician.  The applicant would have recourse to the Admissions Complaints procedure in the usual way.

For specific programmes of study (All courses in Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, MPharm Pharmacy and all PGCE courses) there are additional health requirement checks for professional bodies.  In order to assess your needs you are required to complete a health questionnaire for the UEA Occupational Health Service (OH).  All medical and sensitive personal information you provide will be held in confidence by the OH service.  The School will only be informed of the need to make adjustments if it is relevant to your educational needs or patient safety and with your full involvement.  You are required to have full clearance to start or complete the course.