- Information for Students
Information for Students
RNCM welcomes disabled students, including those with neurodivergent and mental health difficulties. The Wellbeing Team provides confidential advice and guidance to support your studies.
Ways in which we can support you include:
· Signposting to study skills support
· Guidance on documenting your disability
· Provision of a suitable Personal Learning Plan
· Specific learning difficulty (e.g. dyslexia) screening on request
· Referral for psychological assessment, if appropriate (part-funded)
· Referral for medical assessment
· Advice and guidance on applying for Disabled Students' Allowances (DSAs).
For more information on access and facilities for disabled students, please contact the Wellbeing team via email: Wellbeing@rncm.ac.uk
Below are some examples of the types of conditions you support?
We see students with a range of difficulties including, but not limited to:
· autism spectrum condition (ASC)
· dyslexia, dyspraxia and other specific learning difficulties;
· mental health difficulties;
· mobility impairments;
· sensory impairments;
· unseen disabilities like epilepsy, HIV, AIDS and chronic fatigue.
- The Personal Learning Plan (PLP)
The Personal Learning Plan (PLP)
The Personal Learning Plan (PLP) is a short, summary document which identifies recommended reasonable adjustments to meet the College's responsibilities under the Equality Act 2010. It is prepared by the Head of Student Disability and Wellbeing in collaboration with the student, involving staff in Schools as appropriate.
- Understanding Disability
Understanding DisabilityUnder UK law, a disability is defined as a physical or mental impairment that has a substantial and long-term effect on a person's ability to perform normal day-to-day tasks such as studying. In general, long-term means a condition that has lasted, or is expected to last, more than twelve months. If you are unsure whether your health condition or specific learning difficulty is considered a disability or not, please contact Wellbeing@rncm.ac.uk to arrange an appointment in order to discuss this.
- Might I have a specific learning difficulty (such as dyslexia)?
Might I have a specific learning difficulty (such as dyslexia)?
Dyslexia is just one of a range of neurodivergent issues known collectively as Specific Learning Difficulties (SpLDs). Although SpLDs are present throughout life, many people are not diagnosed until they reach higher education, when the challenge of degree-level studies makes their difficulties more apparent.
Below you will find some simple diagrams of the kinds of difficulties experienced by students with SpLDs, both generally and in relation to music. If some of these feel familiar to you and you would like to discuss them further, please arrange an appointment by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Disabled Students' Allowances (DSAs)
Disabled Students' Allowances (DSAs)
If you are a home student for fees, and have a diagnosed specific learning difficulty, long-standing medical or mental health condition you may be eligible for DSAs (Disabled Students' Allowances). This is a non means-tested grant which helps to pay for any additional study-related support arising from your disability/specific learning difficulty. For further information, please contact the Wellbeing team via email: Wellbeing@rncm.ac.uk.
- Assistive technology (AT)
Assistive technology (AT)
The range of technologies to support learning is increasing all the time, and the choice can be bewildering! Students who have an identified disability may be eligible for Disabled Students' Allowances, which will carry out an assessment of need and recommend an individually tailored package of hardware and software, together with training. The kind of AT that might be provided includes:
- Text reading software (reads aloud digital print)
- Visual spatial planning software (enables planning in 'mind-map' format for essay/project planning, revision and note-taking purposes)
- Text to speech software (enables dictating what you want to write into a microphone, and the software then transcribes onto computer)
In addition to commercial AT packages, there is also a lot of open source software which is free. For useful information, including Apps and strategies for using the technology, see: http://www.lexdis.org.uk
The following software (networked across all College PCs and accessible from the desktop) can enable you to study more effectively:
CLAROREAD: Useful for having text read aloud, spellchecking, checking for alternative words with vocalised feedback, changing the screen tint etc.
MINDVIEW: Useful mind-mapping software to help with essay planning, report writing and revision; making timelines; producing Gantt charts for projects etc.
- Hidden disabilities
Not all disabilities are visible – some are hidden and not immediately obvious, such as learning difficulties, mental health as well as mobility, speech, visual or hearing impairments. Living with a hidden disability can make daily life more demanding for many people, but it can be difficult for others to identify, acknowledge or understand the challenges you face.
Be visible when you want to be
Wearing the Hidden Disabilities Sunflower discreetly indicates to people around you including staff, colleagues and health professionals that you may need additional support, help or a little more time.
A symbol for non-visible disabilities (hiddendisabilitiesstore.com)