Disability and SpLD

We are all different and each have our own unique ways of learning, at the University of Cumbria we offer students an individualised SPLD action plan designed to give you the extra support you need to excel in your studies.

What We can Offer

We aim to provide a supportive environment that allows all individuals to flourish, and actively encourage applications from disabled people. We are committed to widening participation and provide a range of services to enable those with disability or specific learning difficulty (SpLD) to access their chosen course. To accomplish this, we offer:

We are mindful of the on-going external changes to funding such as DSA which will be increasing the level of adjustments required to promote accessibility to courses and premises. Please see our university Disability Baseline Statement detailing our current level of anticipatory reasonable adjustments. This document will be updated on an annual basis.

Some students make a special declaration that establishes their need for accessibility provision. But lots of us find that, from time to time, we need some help with accessibility to equipment, hardware or software. The university provides a variety of assistive software and has collated over 100 free accessibility apps for anyone to use, and also provides specialist hardware on each campus such as larger keyboards and mice, and adjustable height desks.

Applying to Study at the University of Cumbria

You are encouraged to declare your disability/SpLD on your UCAS application. When you declare these details on your UCAS form, the university’s admission team will forward them to our Disability Services team who will send you brief details about our support services and information about applying for Disabled Students Allowance.

If you accept an offer with us, you will be contacted with a link to an online questionnaire to tell us about your support needs. The team will work with you to prepare for your arrival and discuss how to access your support and adjustments when you arrive. You will receive this information and the link around June if you are applying for a September start.

If you would like to request adjustments to attend our recruitment events (open days/ interview days / applicant days), or you would like to discuss your specific needs at any time during the process, please complete and use the short form. Please ensure that you read the information below on our recruitment days and on applying to professional courses before you send in the form. Please return your form to .

Attending Recruitment Events

Open days:  All of our recruitment activities, such as open days and interview days, take place in fully accessible buildings. If you require further specific adjustments, please contact us and inform us of what you require using this short form and send it to disabilityservices@cumbria.ac.uk.  Please note that the service does not always have specialist advisers available on these days, but if you wish to discuss your support or needs in relation to the course, please do let us know via the short form and we will contact you.

Interview days: If you are attending an interview day as part of your application, you may be expected to participate in a range of activities, such as short tests, auditions, group discussions and one to one interviews. Our recruitment team will send you details.

If you are required to take tests as part of an interview day, for example, literacy tests for teaching courses, extra time will be available on the day. To access this, please bring a GP’s letter or an educational psychologist assessment as evidence of your needs. If you require further adjustments, such as a reader for a test or a British Sign Language (BSL) interpreter, please contact us by completing the short form or emailing us.

Applicant Days: If you are on a non–interview course and we make you an offer, you will be invited to an applicant day. Disability Services generally have specialist advisers available at these days. Please note this is in an open plan environment with other services. If you feel that you would benefit from a lengthier and confidential one to one discussion about your disability or support needs, please do use the form to request this.

If you require specific adjustments, such as a reader for a test or a British Sign Language (BSL) interpreter, please contact us in good time using the form. Please include a description of your needs and the date, time, type of event and the campus you will be attending. We will need at least 10 working days’ notice in order to discuss your needs and arrange support.

Discussing Support for your Course

A Pre Entry Support Options Meeting is available with a specialist adviser to explore how the various services available will support your individual needs on your course. We will discuss individual adjustments that you may require due to your disability. The meeting can be arranged via telephone, Skype, email or face to face and are sometimes available on the same day as the recruitment event you are attending.

In advance of your appointment, we ask you to complete a disability/SpLD questionnaire and send it to us along with any evidence you may have. If you have already accepted a place and not yet informed us of your disability, please use the questionnaire to inform us of your needs and let us know you are coming so that we can prepare for your arrival.

Accepted a place and not yet contacted us to inform us of your disability?

Please complete the questionnaire and send to  to let us know about your needs.

You may also book a pre-entry support options meeting at www.uoclibrary.simplybook.it/v2/. When you enter the site, select book now followed by:

These meetings are for 30 minutes in the first instance.

Please note these appointments may have restricted availability, for example November to May and if you encounter difficulties please do email us.

Professional and Vocational Courses

We will provide reasonable adjustments in relation to assessment methods, learning and teaching provision, allowing you to demonstrate the required skills and/or meeting specific learning outcomes. Please note that these courses include professional competencies and/or vocational learning outcomes, therefore we may be unable to make adjustments for these requirements.

You are strongly advised to research your chosen profession and to read course information in relation to the learning outcomes in order to ensure that you are aware of any specific requirements. Individual tailored guidance is available to discuss adjustments in supporting your professional and academic development within a pre-entry support options meeting.

University Residential Accommodation

The university has a range of adapted accommodation such as a fully accessible ground floor room for wheelchair users, a room with a visual fire alarm for deaf/hearing impaired students and special medication fridges. Contact the Accommodation service for more details.


If you do have any further questions, feel free to get in touch with the Student and Staff Services department. Click here to find telephone numbers for each of our sites, or alternatively send us an email.