Student Wellbeing

Disability Support

Disability Support

We are committed to providing a friendly and accessible service for disabled students so that you may study effectively and make full use of the opportunities at Newcastle University.


Advice, information and guidance is available to disabled applicants and students at all stages of your university career. In addition, we liaise with academic Schools over students' support requirements and external agencies where appropriate.

The Student Health and Wellbeing Service and your School will work to support you throughout your time at Newcastle, and engage you as a partner in your learning. As part of this learning partnership you will need to participate in the support that is offered to you to make it work. In particular, if you feel that your support requirements change at any time, then it is important that you let us know so that they can be reviewed to meet your needs. We also liaise with academic Schools over students' support requirements and external agencies where appropriate.


Support is available to students with disabilities and long-term medical conditions, along with those who have caring responsibilities for those with disabilities. Conditions include:

  • unseen long-term health conditions - eg Epilepsy, Diabetes, Migraine, severe Asthma, Arthritis, Cystic Fibrosis, Cancer, HIV, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Irritable Bowel Syndrome
  • physical conditions - may use mobility equipment such as a wheelchair or crutches on a regular basis or this may fluctuate from day to day
  • sensory conditions - eg visual or hearing impairment, Autism Spectrum Condition
  • specific learning difficulties - eg Dyslexia, Dyspraxia, Dyscalculia, ADHD
  • The Disability Team provides assessments and recommends to schools the academic adjustments students with mental health disabilities require. They also provide advice and facilitate access to practical support for students with ongoing mental health disabilities and significant vulnerabilities, with the aim of enabling them to engage with their studies in a safe and effective way. With student consent, they will liaise with external mental health partners, to help maintain student mental wellbeing and aid any transition into and out of University.

  • students who have caring responsibilities - this includes looking after a family member, partner, or friend who may be ill, disabled, have a mental health condition, or is misusing alcohol or drugs

Disability support adjustments

  • advice, information and guidance for new applicants at any stage of your application
  • advice, information and guidance throughout all stages of your university degree
  • exam concessions
  • an individual Student Support Plan (SSP)
  • transitional and social support
  • advice and information for academic staff

If you require support please contact us and we will arrange an appointment for you to meet with an adviser to discuss your support needs.

University applicants can fill out this form to provide additional information to the team.

Disability support links

Other useful links

Providing Evidence

Prospective students

Providing evidence in advance of your course starting helps us to ensure you have the support you need. Information can be emailed to us or sent to the postal address below. 

Please find further guidance below regarding providing appropriate evidence for your specific needs.

Contact Us

You can submit your medical evidence to us by using the following team email address or by using the postal address below.  You can also submit evidence by handing this into the help desk at Level 2 King's Gate, we ask that you do not submit original copies. 


If you have a general query or you are unsure which team you need to contact please use our web contact form and an appropriate member of the team will get back to you.

Disability Team
Student Health and Wellbeing Service 
Newcastle University
King’s Gate – Level 2
Newcastle upon Tyne

0191 208 3333

Make An Appointment

Book an appointment by email

If you would like to arrange an appointment to discuss your support needs with a Disability Practitioner you can email the team directly using: 

Book an appointment by telephone

You can contact us via the telephone on 0191 208 3333 and a member of the team will arrange a suitable appointment time for you.  

Request an appointment using our web enquiry form

Please complete a web enquiry form and we will be in touch with you.

Attend a drop-in session

For students with enquiries about a specific learning difficulty, we offer drop-in sessions at King’s Gate every Wednesday between 1pm and 4pm and every Friday between 11am-2pm during term-time.  At these times, please go to the Level 2 Helpdesk, Student Services, and book into the next available slot. You will then be able to meet with a Disability Practitioner for a brief discussion of your needs, and advice and guidance. 

Prospective students and external queries

Any other enquirers, such as prospective students or members of staff, please send your enquiry via the online web form

DSA Funding

Disabled Students' Allowances (DSA) is a non-means tested grant available to U.K. disabled students who are applying for, or are attending, a course of Higher Education.

Most international disabled students and those studying non-degree courses cannot usually access DSAs as there are specific eligibility conditions related to residence in the UK which have to be met to qualify for this funding.

DSAs cover some additional study-related costs that students will incur because of a disability, ongoing medical condition, mental health condition or specific learning difficulty. The extra costs may include specialist equipment, a non-medical helper or travel costs.

At Newcastle University we want you to have the best learning experience possible. We also want to support you to develop independent or enhanced learning and study skills. We strive towards an inclusive and accessible learning environment. If you have individual adjustment needs we will ensure you have access to an assessment where decisions about support are made on a case-by-case basis.

Applying for DSAs 

We would encourage you to contact your funding body to start your application for Disabled Students' Allowances (DSAs) as soon as you can (UK students only). Please note for PhD students, both you and your course must meet certain eligibility criteria and it is worth checking these with your funding body before you make your application. 

Our Advisers can help with this process and they can assist with any questions that you may have:

• students from England should contact Student Finance England
• students from Northern Ireland should contact Student Finance Northern Ireland
• students from Wales should contact Student Finance Wales
• students from Scotland should contact the Student Awards Agency for Scotland
• students from the Republic of Ireland should contact
• students funded by NHS Student Bursaries can find an online application form at NHSBSA
• students in receipt of Research Council funding UK Research and Innovation (UKRI)

Useful tips

• apply as early as possible; don't wait until you've been offered a place at university
• you need to give proof of your disability or health condition to the funding body. This may be a letter from your Doctor or specialist
• if you have a specific learning difficulty, such as dyslexia, you'll need to provide a 'diagnostic assessment' from a psychologist or a suitably qualified specialist teacher.

Following your application

Once you have applied for a DSA and your eligibility is confirmed, you will be asked by your funding body to attend a Study Needs Assessment, which must be carried out by an accredited Assessment Centre. You can find your nearest centre using GOV.UK. This appointment can be carried out before the start of your course.

Following your Study Needs Assessment, a report will be produced that outlines recommendations for appropriate adjustments. This is sent to your funding body, who will then contact you to identify what they are able to fund and how to arrange your support. For further information please refer to GOV.UK.



Accessibility Tools for Online Learning


Ally is a tool that is integrated into Canvas which enables you to download alternative formats of your course content so that you can access the information you need in the way that you need it.  

While some formats meet very specific accessibility needs such as electronic braille, others may be useful in particular situations. For example, if you are on the go or have a lot of course materials to read you may prefer the audio version. If you like to read using a mobile device then the HTML or ePub version for use with eBook readers may be more suitable for you.  

Find out more about the alternative formats available  including a useful table to help you decide which format to download.  

You can also find further instructions covering how to download Canvas course files and pages in the Canvas  student FAQs 

Immersive Reader 

If your lecturer has created content using Pages in Canvas then you will be able to use the Microsoft Immersive Reader. This is a really useful tool to enhance your reading experience.  

Immersive reader is also available in a number of Microsoft applications including Teams, Office365 (Word and Outlook), OneNote and Microsoft Edge. Further information about Immersive Reader can be found on the Microsoft website

Make it Accessible with SensusAccess 

Make documents that sit outside of Canvas accessible with SensusAccess. Convert PDFs, JPEGs and other files into an e-book, text file, audio or braille. You can combine more than one .JPG into a single file. Full information on the  Academic Skills Kit website.  

Video Captions Accuracy


The University aims to provide machine generated captions for pre-recorded videos and live videos stored for 14 days or more, made using centrally supported services, primarily ReCap (Panopto), Zoom, Microsoft Stream, Microsoft Teams and Microsoft PowerPoint. The captions will appear as text at the bottom of the video which you can switch on and off.   

The accuracy of machine generated captions varies depending on the audio quality, topic and speaker. Therefore, you should not rely solely on the captions when viewing video content and use them alongside other learning resources such as accompanying PowerPoint slides and wider readings to ensure you understand the topic and terminology used.   

If you require accurate captions as part of your reasonable adjustment please contact If the video provided as part of your programme for 2021-22 does not have the captions you require please contact the content creator.