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Disability and Dyslexia Service

Information for New Students

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 recent 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 DSA no longer pays 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.
For up to date information about the Disabled Students’ Allowance scheme still funds please speak to one of our advisers, or your DSA needs assessor.

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 low household income then they will be eligible to apply for a £200 award from QMUL.  This can be processed upon receipt of an application accompanied by a valid ‘DSA2’ letter from their funding body 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 applying for a £200 award towards the cost of a computer provided through the Disabled Students’ Allowances can be found here.

Information for DSA needs assessors DSA QAG Certificate Image

QMUL's DSA-QAG NMH Provider Accreditation Certificate is available here. [PDF 1,340KB]

Queen Mary University of London - NMH Rates

Period covered - 01/09/2019 through to 31/08/2020

The table below shows NMH rates. The grayed out cells indicate that the institution does not offer these services.  Please also refer to QMUL's Disability and Dyslexia Service policy on accommodating third party NMH [PDF 238KB]

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.

The table below shows NMH rates. The grayed out cells (also without costs) indicate that the institution does not offer these services.
  Standard Rate (in-person) Distance Learning only (in-person, in-home Remote Delivery (e.g. Facetime/Skype or similar) Only
Band 1 Support Assistants Net VAT Total Net VAT Total Net VAT Total
Practical Support Assistant                  
Library Support Assistant                  
Workshop / Laboratory Assistant                  
Sighted Guide                  
Proof Reader / text checker                  
Band 2 Enhanced Support Assistants                  
Study Assistant                  
Examination Support Worker                  
Note Taker                  
Band 3 Specialist Enabling Support                  
Communication Support Worker                  
Lip Speaker                  
Specialist Note taker (Deaf/Hard of Hearing students) including Electronic Note Taker and Speech to Text Reporter                  
Specialist Note taker (VI students) including Braille                  
Specialist Transcription Service                  
Mobility Trainer                  
Band 4 Specialist Access and Learning Facilitators                  
Specialist Mentor – Mental Health                  
Specialist Mentor – AS                  
Specialist 1:1 Study Skills Support - SpLD £52.00 £0 £52.00 £52.00 £0 £52.00 £52.00 £0 £52.00
Specialist 1:1 Study Skills Support - AS                  
BSL Interpreter - includes Interpreter for the deaf or Deafblind People                  
Assistive Technology Trainer                  
Specialist Support Professional for Deaf students                  
Specialist Support Professional for students with Vision Impairment                  
Specialist Support Professional for students with Multi-sensory impairment (MSI)                  

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

Specialist Mentoring support

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 one of our Disability Advisers (Mental Health).  

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 Disability and Dyslexia Service on 020 7882 2756.  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 differences 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:

  • Examination Access Arrangements
  • Library concessions, e.g. a waiver on some library fines
  • A ‘cover note’ for students with specific learning differences, which advises academic colleagues on best practice when marking the coursework and examination papers of students with specific learning differences
  • 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 Francis 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 a further CCTV system located within the Whitechapel Library.


SensusAccess is a self-service, alternate media solution for educational institutions. SensusAccess allows students, faculty, staff and alumni to automatically convert documents into a range of alternate media including audio books (MP3 and DAISY), e-books (EPUB, EPUB3 and Mobi) and digital Braille.  For more information about SensusAccess please see here.

QMUL has a license for SensusAccess which can be used by students registered here, allowing print-impaired students to independently convert documents into formats they find more accessible.


QMUL does not offer any free printing for disabled students.  A variety of text-to-speech programs are installed on our network (please see above for more details) which enable students to access electronic materials, reducing the need to print for disability-related reasons.

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 Faculties and Humanities and Social and Sciences and the School of Medicine and Dentistry both have an ‘opt-out’ policy on using Q-review. 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 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

Simon Jarvis, Head of Student Wellbeing

Simon joined Queen Mary University of London (QMUL) as Head of the Disability and Dyslexia Service in August 2008, and was appointed as Head of Student Wellbeing in May 2020. Simon is also ultimately responsible for other student facing wellbeing services at Queen Mary including Student Life and the Advice and Counselling Service, and retains overall leadership for the Disability and Dyslexia Service.

Simon has previously worked in a variety of roles within the disability sector of Higher Education, including disability adviser, assistant manager at a DSA-QAG registered Assessment Centre and as a freelance DSA needs assessor.

Simon is also the Principal Safeguarding Officer for Professional Services at QMUL.

Room 3.06A, Francis Bancroft Building
Tel:  020 7882 2765

Sintya Bokaa N’kalende, Disability and Dyslexia Service Frontline Support Officer

Sintya started working for Queen Mary University of London in 2019, and joined the Disability and Dyslexia Service in February 2020. Sintya previously worked in a similar role within secondary schools in North London providing  various support to disadvantaged students and their families. Sintya has a strong safeguarding background working extensively in a multiagency environment for the past 7 years .

Room 3.06, Francis Bancroft Building
Tel: 0207 882 2756

Ashleigh Brownsmith, Disability Advisor (Assistive Technologies), Deputy Head of Disability and Dyslexia Service

After graduating from the University of Derby with a degree in Computer Studies, Ashleigh worked within the private sector as a software engineer, developing EPOS software and large database systems, before taking up a role at Queen Mary University of London (QMUL) in 2004.  Since then he has held a number of posts within the Disability and Dyslexia Service, in which he has gained a great deal of experience in supporting students.  More recently Ashleigh completed a Masters degree in Online and Distance Education, a significant element of which related to supporting disabled students.

Room 3.06D, Francis Bancroft Building
Tel:  020 7882 2764

Lucia Evans, Disability Adviser (Specific Learning Differences)

Lucia worked as a student learning advisor at the British School of Osteopathy for five years before moving into the area of welfare and disability for another two years. She has supported students with a variety of disabilities and health issues, including SpLDs and went onto specialise and complete her Post-graduate Certificate in Teaching Adult Dyslexic Learners in Higher and Further Education. She joined QMUL in August 2017.

Room 3.02A, Francis Bancroft Building
Tel: 020 7882 2758

Melanie Parsons, Disability Adviser (on Maternity leave)

Melanie has previously worked as a Learning Support Assistant at Anglia Ruskin University, where she helped support students with a variety of disabilities. She then relocated to London taking on an advisory role within student complaints and appeals at the University of the Arts and in 2011 she moved into a similar role here, at Queen Mary University of London (QMUL). During this time she undertook a PG Certificate in Teaching Adult Learners with Specific Learning Differences, which has led to her interest in taking up her current position.

Room 3.06E, Francis Bancroft Building
Tel:  020 7882 2757

James Ross, Disability and Dyslexia Service, Assistant Disability Adviser

James started working for Queen Mary University of London in 2014, in Library Services. In 2017 he joined the Disability and Dyslexia Service as Frontline Support and Guidance Officer and now holds the position of Assistant Disability Adviser. James has experience of working within higher education with disabled students, students with specific learning differences and students with mental health conditions, providing administrative and academic support.

Room 3.06, Francis Bancroft Building
Tel: 0207 882 2756

Sadie Setchell, Disability and Dyslexia Service Frontline Services Manager

Sadie took up her post as administrator for the Disability and Dyslexia Service at Queen Mary University of London (QMUL) in May 2007 having previously worked in a similar role within Higher Education at the DSA-QAG registered North London Assessment Centre and has been providing administrative support to students with a variety of disabilities for the last six years.

Room 3.04, Francis Bancroft Building
Tel:  020 7882 2756

Leanne Walker, Disability Adviser (on Maternity leave)

Leanne began working in the welfare to work sector in 2009 as a disability employment advisor, where she trained and supported disabled individuals into secure employment.  She decided to take a career break and left the UK to travel, working at The University of Melbourne as a consultant during this time.  In 2015, Leanne returned to the UK, where she joined QMUL.  She is currently undertaking a postgraduate (Level 7) AMBDA accredited course, to qualify as a dyslexia assessor and tutor. 

Room 3.06F, Francis Bancroft Building
Tel:  020 7882 6941

Shagufta Fayyaz, Specialist One to One Study Skills Tutor

Shagufta Joined Queen Mary University of London (QMUL) as a Specialist study support tutor in Jan 2017. She has completed her BSc (HONS), MSc, PG Cert and is currently studying PGCILT at London school of hygiene & tropical medicine (LSHTM). She also teaches at LSHTM, where she participated and published papers in various research projects.

She has developed her expertise in SpLD over the past 10 years having worked in similar roles in various Higher Education and Further Education institutions as a Specialist tutor, assessor, mentor and Lecturer in Additional learning support.

Shagufta also previously worked in the private sector in Canary wharf, providing 1:1 specialist support to staff with SpLD and disabilities.

Room 3.02D, Francis Bancroft Building

Kate Leadbetter, Specialist One to One Study Skills Tutor

Prior to taking up her role at the university, Kate worked as an English teacher in the Adult and Community Learning sector.  In 2017, she was awarded AMBDA FE/HE and an Assessment Practising Certificate, which qualified her to assess and teach dyslexic learners.  She then worked freelance as a study skills tutor for HE students with SpLDs at a number of London universities before joining Queen Mary in 2018. 

Room 3.02, Francis Bancroft Building

Pru Lunberg, Specialist One to One Study Skills Tutor

Pru took up her post as Dyslexia Tutor at Queen Mary University of London (QMUL) in early 2007. She has a professional background including years working as a teacher of ESOL/EFL, working in the theatre, and working in fundraising. Since completing a postgraduate teaching certificate, she has worked with students with specific learning differences in a variety of other Higher Educational establishments within the greater London area. She currently works half the week here at QMUL, and half the week at Goldsmith’s College, University of London. She supports students studying a wide range of subjects.

Room 3.02B, Francis Bancroft Building

We also have a dedicated team of mentors, and providers of Non-Specialist Human Support.

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