Frequently asked questions about disability and mental health support

On this page you will find answers to the most frequently asked questions about the disability and mental health support at Kingston University.

What do you mean by disability?

The UK's Equality Act (2010) defines disability as a "physical or mental impairment which has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on a person's ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities".

Many students who don't think of themselves as disabled can access support from the Disability and Mental Health Service – most of these students have an unseen medical or mental health condition.

If you're unsure whether or not we can support you, get in touch with us.

I'm worried about telling the University I've got a disability. What should I do?

We understand some students or prospective students may be reluctant to disclose a disability to the University due to concerns around being treated differently. Please be assured this is not the case. By law universities cannot discriminate against a student or prospective student for a disability-related reason.

Who will you tell about my disability?

We won't tell anybody about your disability unless you have provided us with consent to do so. All students who register with the Mental Health and Disability Service must consent to share information with selected members of staff and teams within the University in order to receive support.

Kingston University is committed to ensuring equality of opportunity for all its students and has a responsibility to make reasonable adjustments so all students can access their studies. The Disability and Mental Health Service will only share information about you that relates to meeting your support needs within the University. The exception is when there is a clear danger to your health and safety or that of someone else in the University.

All students have a right to confidentiality under the Data Protection Act. If you wish to refuse consent to share information regarding your disability, you can do so at any time. You will need to contact and complete the relevant form.

After giving your consent, you can withdraw it at any time. However, you should take into account that this will impact the support you receive, as it will result in staff being unaware of your needs.

Why should I register with the Disability and Mental Health Service?

If you need disability support at Kingston University, such as exam support or support from your lecturers, you will need to register with the Disability and Mental Health Service.

If you received exam support, such as extra time or rest breaks, prior to attending University these will not automatically be put in place. If you would like to receive exam support, you will need to have a Summary of Support Needs (SOSN) in place before the deadline for the relevant exam period.

If you have any questions please get in touch with us.

I think I have a Specific Learning Difference such as Dyslexia or Dyspraxia but I've never been tested. What can I do?

The Disability and Mental Health Service can fund Dyslexia, Dyspraxia and Dyscalculia assessments for eligible current students. To arrange an assessment, please get in touch with us.

We are unable to provide assessments for offer holders or applicants to the University. If you would like to have an assessment before your enrolment, we recommend you seek a private diagnostic assessment.

Alternatively, you can wait until you have enrolled at the University and then get in touch with our team who can support you with obtaining an assessment.

I think I have AD[H]D. How can I receive an assessment?

The Disability and Mental Health Service is unable to support students seeking a medical diagnosis of AD[H]D. We recommend you speak with your GP about a referral for a further medical assessment.

The University is able to provide an educational assessment for AD[H]D, which will be sufficient to provide support throughout your studies. This is not a medical diagnosis and cannot be used to receive ongoing medical support such as medication.

If an educational identification of AD[H]D is found during your assessment, we recommend you make an appointment with your GP to discuss an onward referral for a medical diagnosis.

I think I have Autism Spectrum Condition (ASC). How can I receive an assessment?

The Disability and Mental Health Service does not provide screenings or diagnostic assessments for autism spectrum condition. If you are seeking a diagnostic assessment for autism spectrum condition, we recommend you speak to your GP about an onward medical referral.

How do I complain or appeal?

At Kingston University we aim to provide you with the best experience possible by creating excellent and supportive learning environments and high standards of service delivery. While we don't expect things to go wrong, we accept that sometimes things do. In order for us to put things right, we need you to let us know as soon as you experience an issue.

To find out more information, view the University's Student Complaints Procedure.

The Disability and Mental Health Service want to ensure you have the support you need. If you have any concerns about the service or support you have received, get in touch with our service in the first instance and we will be happy to look into the issue for you.

How do I get personal care support?

Personal care support needs to be arranged through your home social services. We recommend applying for this as early as possible as it can take a long time to arrange.

If you do require personal care support at University, it is always best to let the Disability and Mental Health Service know. This way our team will be able to arrange any other support you may need whilst studying at Kingston.

Is it too late to register with the Disability and Mental Health Service after I've started my course?

Students can register with the Disability and Mental Health Service at any point during their studies. We would always recommend getting in touch with our team as soon as you are able and as early into your degree as possible, but we understand this may not always happen.

If you are coming to the end of your course and think it may be too late to access support, we still recommend you get in touch with us to see what options are available.

What if I've got a temporary illness or injury?

The Disability and Mental Health Service is only able to support people who have a disability as defined by the Equality Act. If you have a short-term illness that lasts or is likely to last less than one year, then you should get in touch with your personal tutor and faculty to find out how they can support you.

Do I have to renew my exam support each academic year?

Modified Exam Arrangements (MEAs), such as extra time or rest breaks, are recommended through your Summary of Support Needs (SOSN). This can be viewed under the personal details section on OSIS.

Once your SOSN is in place it will cover you for the duration of your studies and does not need to be renewed.

If your support needs change during your studies then please get in touch with the Disability and Mental Health Service. We will then work with you to update your SOSN.

What is a Summary of Support Needs (SOSN)?

A Summary of Support Needs (SOSN) is a document written by the Disability and Mental Health Service. It details the reasonable adjustments recommended for your course.

The recommendations in your SOSN will be based on the medical evidence you have provided, combined with the information you have submitted on your Support Needs Questionnaire. Once your SOSN has been written and you have provided us with 'Consent to Share', your SOSN will be sent to your faculty. They will then implement the adjustments we have recommended.

Your SOSN will be valid for the duration of your studies and only needs to be updated if your needs change. If you feel your SOSN needs to be updated, please contact us.

Current students can view their SOSN on OSIS under the disability section of ‘Your Personal Details'. If you have any questions about your SOSN please Contact Us.

How do I get a car parking space?

The University has limited car parking facilities. Therefore, parking spaces are subject to availability on the day and specific car parking spaces are not reserved for students or staff.

Students must register with the parking team at the University to ensure they do not receive a PCN, regardless of whether they are a Blue Badge holder or not. If you are a current student AND a Blue Badge holder, you can apply for a Blue Badge parking permit via the parking page on My Kingston.

If you are not a Blue Badge holder, but have a disability related reason for requesting a parking permit, we still might be able to help. Send us your medical evidence outlining why you require to park on campus. We will review your application and let you know if we can request a parking permit for you.

We will also require the following information:

  • Your full name
  • Your student ID number
  • Car registration
  • Campus location

The Disability and Mental Health Service can only assist with requests for car parking permits for current students. For visitor or staff car parking, please contact the campus or residential reception at 020 8417 9000.

How do I apply for mitigating circumstances?

All claims for mitigating circumstances are managed and processed by the faculty and not by the Disability and Mental Health Service.

For more information, visit our page on mitigating circumstances and extensions regulations.

Contact us

Telephone: +44 (0)20 8417 7314

There are even more ways to get in touch on our Contact us page.