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The University of Southampton
Enabling ServicesPart of Student Services

Information for staff

Information for staff about certain disabilities is included here. Resources and information are available for staff who are supporting students with study support needs or mental health problems. If you cannot find what you are looking for, please contact us for advice.

Please remember that there is a legal obligation under the Equality Act 2010 for the University to make reasonable adjustments which ensure students are working on a level playing field regardless of their disability/health condition.

If for some reason the adjustments recommended by Enabling Services are not possible to put in place, please contact Enabling Services at the earliest opportunity so that we can discuss what adjustments may be appropriate. Unless the faculty contacts us we will assume that all student support recommendations shared with faculties are being followed.

For information on the reasonable adjustment process at the University of Southampton, please click here.


Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS)

Chronic fatigue syndrome, also known as myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME), is a serious condition which causes persistent exhaustion that significantly impacts everyday life and does not go away with sleep or rest. It is estimated that around 240,000 people in the UK have CFS.

Asperger's syndrome

This condition falls within the autistic spectrum disorders (ASD). Common features include high intellectual ability, fairly good communication skills and "normal" appearance. People with Asperger’s syndrome may also experience obsessive thoughts and/or compulsive behaviours.


Epilepsy is a condition that affects the brain and causes repeated fits or seizures. Seizures are the most common symptom of epilepsy. The severity of seizures varies for each individual. Some people experience a trance-like state and others can lose consciousness and have convulsions.

Hearing impairment

Hearing impairment is extremely variable. Hearing may or may not vary with the pitch of the speaker's voice. Students who lip-read can find unfamiliar accents challenging. Disability awareness training for staff working with the student can be arranged on request.

Mobility impairment

Mobility impairment refers to the inability of a person to use one or more of his or her extremities, or a lack of strength to walk, grasp, or lift objects. Mobility impairment may be caused by a number of factors, such as disease, an accident or a congenital disorder, and may be the result of neuro-muscular and orthopedic impairments.

Visual impairment


Sight loss is extremely variable. Many visually impaired students benefit from having lecture slides, documents and handouts provided electronically. Lighting conditions can affect a visually impaired person dramatically. This is something to bear in mind in the teaching environment. Disability awareness training can be arranged for staff working with the student.


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