Disability and Dyslexia Service

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Information for new students and Disabled Students Allowances Study Needs Assessors

Information for Study Needs Assessors can be found here.

Information for Students

The Disabled Students’ Allowances (DSA) scheme has been subject to the most radical and far-reaching reforms in its history over the past two years.

From September 2015 students have been expected to pay the first £200 toward the cost of any computer paid for through the DSA and from the start of Academic Year 2016/17 the DSA will no longer pay for what was previously known as ‘Bands 1 and 2’ support, e.g. note-taking, laboratory support, etc. for students making new claims for a DSA.

These changes apply primarily to students claiming DSA through Student Finance England, but Research Council funded students are subject to similar guidance and the expectation here is that other DSA funding bodies, including the NHS Student Bursaries, will follow suit.

If you are student funded by Student Finance Wales, Student Finance Northern Ireland, or the Student Awards Agency for Scotland, please ask your needs assessor for specific advice about what your DSA may or may not cover (or email us).

More information for students funded by Student Finance England can be found here.

What does Queen Mary University of London provide for students who need to pay £200 toward their DSA funded computer equipment?

If a student has been assessed by the Student Loan Company as having a household income of less than £42,600 then they will be eligible for a £200 award on receipt of an application and with the production of a valid ‘DSA2’ letter from Student Finance which confirms that they will be expected to pay this amount toward their computer.

Students will only be able to apply for this award after they have enrolled at the university.

More information about this can be found here.

Information for DSA needs assessors

Queen Mary University of London - NMH Rates

Period covered - 2016/17 Academic Year

The table below shows NMH rates. The greyed out cells indicate that the institution does not offer these services. Also, for some services, there may be more than one provider. Where this is the case, each provider is listed, along with their rates.

Click here for information about NMH support provided by Queen Mary University of London.

Note: NMH Support Rates shown per hour in the table below.

Band 3 Specialist Enabling SupportNetVATTotal
Communication Support Worker   Please refer to Randstad for their London region rates for this form of support
Electronic Note taker   Please refer to Randstad for their London region rates for this form of support
Specialist Transcription Services   Please refer to Randstad for their London region rates for this form of support
Mobility Trainer   Please refer to Randstad for their London region rates for this form of support
Band 4 Specialist Access and Learning Facilitators   
Specialist MentorSee below. We work with Equality Focus and the University Mentoring Organisation.
Specialist One to One Study Skills Support£52.00£10.40£62.40
BSL Interpreter   
Language Support Tutor for deaf students   
Assistive Technology Trainer   

(All of our support workers are paid above the level of the London living wage).

Specialist Mentoring support

The Disability and Dyslexia Service have working arrangements with two providers of Specialist Mentoring support: Equality Focus and the University Mentoring Organisation. These organisations have worked closely with the university’s Mental Health Co-Ordinator and the Head of the Disability and Dyslexia Service to ensure that QMUL students with mental health issues and conditions on the autistic spectrum receive the highest quality of specialist mentoring possible, whilst also ensuring that these students are ultimately working toward independence in line with our employability remit.  We have been able to offer both organisations physical space on campus to deliver support to our students who have this element of DSA funded support. This support is delivered in confidential office space so that the mentoring is always provided on a one to one basis.

If you are assessing an existing or new QMUL student and you plan to recommend specialist mentoring we would strongly recommend you make contact with our Mental Health Co-ordinator, Niall Morrissey on n.morrissey@qmul.ac.uk or 020 7882 7359.

Specialist Mentoring providerHourly charge
Equality Focus£57.95 (ex VAT - £69.54 per hour with VAT)
University Mentoring Organisation£65.50 (ex VAT - £78.60 per hour with VAT)

Other forms of NMH support

At Queen Mary University of London academic departments (i.e. schools and faculties) provide scribe support in examinations and examination support workers, in line with our anticipated duties under the Equality Act. As such, there is no charge for this form of support through the DSA.

We do not employ or offer any internal NMH in the following areas:

Band 1 Support Assistants
Proof Reader
Band 3 Specialist Enabling Support
Communication Support Worker
Electronic Note taker
Specialist Transcription Services
Mobility Trainer
Band 4 Specialist Access and Learning Facilitators
BSL Interpreter
Language Support Tutor for deaf students
Assistive Technology Trainer

If needs assessors require quotes for these areas of NMH support (with the exception of Assistive Technology Training) in the London area please contact the service on 020 7882 2756 or via dds@qmul.ac.uk.  Please note that quotes for Assistive Technology Training should be sought from equipment suppliers or other local training providers directly.

Queen Mary University of London do not provide students with any proof-reading support through the auspices of the Disability and Dyslexia Service, although students with specific learning difficulties such as dyslexia are offered the use of a SpLD Cover Note, (see below).

Reasonable adjustments typically provided at Queen Mary University of London
Disabled students supported by the Disability and Dyslexia Service at Queen Mary University of London can expect to access the following reasonable adjustments:

  • Special examination arrangements
  • Library concessions, e.g. a waiver on some library fines
  • A ‘cover note’ for students with specific learning difficulties, which advises academic colleagues on best practice when marking the coursework and examination papers of students with specific learning difficulties
  • Being allowed to make audio recordings of lectures
  • Advocacy when making requests to Schools and Faculties

Other resources available to all Queen Mary University of London students

Assistive Technology

Queen Mary University of London has site licences for the following assistive software programs: ClaroRead Plus, MindView. These means that they are available across the university’s teaching service, i.e. on all computers based at the university.

We also have district licences for both ZoomText and JAWS, which means up to five users can access these programs concurrently. These programs are available in the Assistive Technology rooms managed by the Disability and Dyslexia Service; one in the library at Mile End and one on the second floor of the Bancroft Building adjacent to the DDS reception office. They can also be installed on other machines by request, including in the Jade Room, a computer suite available to Lincolns’ Inn Fields to students supported by DDS.

In addition to the above software, DDS also has a number of copies of Dragon Naturally Speaking which can be installed on disabled students’ computers, either as an interim while their DSA funding is being implemented or on a more permanent basis for students not in receipt of a DSA, e.g. international students.
The two main Assistive Technology rooms at Mile End have dedicated computers earmarked for blind and visually impaired students; the one in the library includes a CCTV system. We also have two Braille embossers and a further CCTV system located within the Whitechapel Library.

Lecture capture

Queen Mary University of London has an in-house lecture capture system called ‘Q-Review’, which uses the Echo 360 system. At the time of writing, around 80% of all teaching venues have this technology installed in and enhancements, including the delivery of Q-review to more venues, are planned each Summer. The Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences has moved to an opt-out policy for lecture capture beginning 2014/15. This means all the lectures taking place in Q-Review enabled rooms will be recorded automatically unless a lecturer decides to opt out. Take up is also very good in both the School of Medicine and Dentistry and the Faculty of Science and Engineering.

QM Plus

Queen Mary University of London’s virtual learning environment is called ‘QM Plus’, which is our branding on the Moodle system. The Disability and Dyslexia Service encourages staff to utilise this resource as much as possible, e.g. by uploading documents such as lecture slides in advance of lectures and allowing students to post questions to staff.

Reading Lists Online

Our colleagues in Library Services manage a resource called Reading Lists Online that allows staff responsible for teaching modules to upload the reading lists for their subject, along with a commentary on the most relevant sections of text. This is particularly helpful for our blind and visually impaired students who may require texts in an accessible format. The Disability and Dyslexia Service are currently working on a specialist project with Library Services to increase the number and scope of those reading lists available to the students that we support.   

Extenuating Circumstances

The Disability and Dyslexia Service does not think that agreeing blanket deadline extensions to coursework, projects and dissertations is in the best interest of the students we support; rather, we will work to provide students with specialist support to make sure that they can manage their workloads successfully, including meeting deadlines.
This tallies with one of the university’s key strategic aims, designed to support students’ employability:

1.2 Support students to ensure that they can succeed and match their own and the university’s high expectations for their academic and personal progress, providing both academic support and co-curricular development.

However, we recognise that on occasion there may be extraordinary reasons why students cannot meet deadlines and in instances like this we would refer students to the university’s Extenuating Circumstances (EC) procedure. NB: any EC applications must be completed by the student, although we can offer advice with this.

Named contacts for QMUL students

Staff memberResponsible forContact Details
Angele VenchardStudents with SpLDsTel: 020 7882 2758
Email: a.venchard@qmul.ac.uk
Ashleigh BrownsmithDisabled students (not SpLDs)Tel: 020 7882 2764
Email: a.brownsmith@qmul.ac.uk
Melanie ParsonsDisabled studentsTel: 020 7882 2757
Email: m.parsons@qmul.ac.uk
Niall MorrisseyStudents with mental health issuesTel: 020 7882 7359
Email: n.morrissey@qmul.ac.uk
Sadie SetchellFrontline Support ManagerTel: 020 7882 2756
Email: dds@qmul.ac.uk
Simon JarvisHead of ServiceTel: 020 7882 2765
Email: s.jarvis@qmul.ac.uk
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