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The University of Southampton
Student Disability & WellbeingPart of Student Services

Frequently Asked Questions

Due to the Covid-19 outbreak, Enabling Services and First Support will now be using Microsoft Teams to contact students for all appointments. Please see below for further details.

What is Enabling Services and what types of support are available?

Enabling Services offers a variety of support for students with disabilities, mental health conditions, and specific learning difficulties. We can offer support right from your arrival such as helping you to settle in, meeting our team, providing practical support and drop-in sessions. During your studies, we can provide ongoing specialist support that could include 1:1 tutorials, study skills advice and workshops and tutorials, learning support, wellbeing workshops, drop-in sessions, short-term counselling, and mentoring. Please see the Disability and Study Support sections of our website for more information on the types of support that are available.

How can I get in contact with Enabling Services?

You may be able to get an answer to your query by contacting us over the phone, via email, online chat or through the Wayfinder app. However, if you have been unable to find an answer to your question, our Student Support Drop In is available on Tuesdays and Thursdays between 12pm - 3pm (pre-bookable slots).  

The aim of Drop-In is to give information and advice. You can find out more by visiting our dedicated Student Support Drop-in webpage.  

What support do you have at Winchester School of Arts (WSA)?

All student appointments are delivered online through Microsoft Teams to minimise risk to student and staff health & safety and to minimise waiting times. Full guidance on how to access your appointment is provided at the time of booking. Face to face bookings will be considered only where an online appointment is not possible for reasons related to your disability or circumstances. To request a face to face appointment you will need to provide evidence which will be assessed by our team of specialist practitioners. Please note however that face to face appointments will only be offered where government guidelines allow.

If you have a face-to-face appointment or if you are invited to attend our face-to-face Student Support Drop-in, you can take the shuttle bus to Highfield campus. The shuttle bus service is free on presentation of a valid student ID card, full details can be accessed here.

Study Skills Support: Study Skills Support is currently available through MS Teams - you can book your session through our Study Skills booking page.

First Support: First Support provide support to students experiencing significant difficulties. To arrange an online appointment email

If you have a face-to-face appointment or if you are invited to attend our face-to-face Student Support Drop-in, you can take the shuttle bus to Highfield campus. The shuttle bus service is free on presentation of a valid student ID card, full details can be accessed here.

Study Skills Support: Study Skills Support is currently available through MS Teams - you can book your session through our Study Skills booking page.

First Support: First Support provide support to students experiencing significant difficulties. To arrange an online appointment email

I have an appointment scheduled on Microsoft Teams. How do I use this?

Due to the Covid-19 outbreak, Enabling Services and First Support will now be using Microsoft Teams to contact students for all student appointments. All students with a university email address will have access to Microsoft Teams, providing internet access is available. Please see the guidance document at the bottom of the page on how to use Microsoft Teams.
In exceptional circumstances, if there is a reason you are unable to access Microsoft Teams for your student appointment, please email

I have a long-term disability and might need extra support. How can I get this support in place?

In order to put in place reasonable adjustments, we require evidence of your medical condition from a medical practitioner i.e. GP or consultant. Once we have received this, we can arrange a Student Support Appointment with one of our specialist practitioners where reasonable adjustments and entitlement to the Disabled Students Allowance can be discussed, along with additional exam recommendations if necessary. You can find out more by visiting the Disability section of our website.  

What are Additional Exam Recommendations (AERs) and how do I apply?

Coronavirus update

For the most up-to-date information about AERs and remote assessment, please see the latest guidance.

Students with a disability, mental health condition or specific learning difficulty, such as Dyslexia or Dyspraxia may be eligible to receive additional arrangements for exams and timed assessments. Arrangements are made according to individual need and can include extra time, use of a word processor, rest breaks and smaller exam rooms.

If you think this may apply to you, please send Enabling Services a copy of your medical evidence or evidence of your SpLD and arrange a student support appointment. During your student support appointment you will meet with a specialist practitioner who will make appropriate recommendations to your Faculty based on your individual needs. If you have already met with an Enabling Service practitioner for your Student Support Appointment you do not need to do so again unless you are moving from undergraduate to postgraduate study. For more information on additional exam recommendations please visit our Disability and SpLD and Study Support web pages.

What is the Disabled Students allowance and how do I apply?

As a student with a disability, long term health condition, mental health condition or Specific Learning Difficulty (SpLD), you may be eligible for additional funding for services and equipment through Disabled Students' Allowances (DSAs). You can find out more about DSA and how to apply on our dedicated DSA section of our website.

What is mentoring and how do I access a mentor?

Mentor support may be available for students with Disabled Students' Allowance who have long-term health conditions, including mental health conditions. The support that mentoring offers is tailored to suit a student’s individual needs and includes help with organisation, planning, and management of your study time. For more information please contact Enabling Services.

I’ve heard that I can be reimbursed £200 towards the cost of my computer following my Needs Assessment and the recommendation for additional computer software. How do I organise reimbursement?

Please refer to the information outlined on the DSA section of our website.

Where can I find more information to support my transition to University?

Enabling Services run a transition programme for students who are starting at the University of Southampton who have a disability, long-term health condition, mental health condition or Specific Learning Difficulty.

The programme contains essential information about the support available to help you with your learning and every day living. A core element of the programme is the opportunity to meet with a specialist practitioner to discuss your needs so that these can be put in place before your course begins.

What should I do if I think I might have Dyslexia?

Step One: if you think you may have a Specific Learning Difficulty (SpLD) such as Dyslexia, you can request an online screening questionnaire from Enabling Services. Once you have completed the questionnaire it will be reviewed by a specialist practitioner who will advise if you show any signs of an SpLD and recommend if a post-16 full diagnostic assessment is appropriate. 

Step Two: if it is recommended that you take a post-16 diagnostic assessment you will be given information on how to find an assessor. Diagnostic assessments take around three hours and range between £400 and £600 in cost. Please note assessments must be carried out by a specialist teacher/assessor with a current Assessing Practising Certificate (APC) or psychologists registered with the Health and Care Professional Council (HCPC). Enabling Services can provide diagnostic assessments free of charge to current students with a household income below £30,000. Please contact Enabling Services for more information if you think you are eligible.

Step Three: send your post-16 diagnostic assessment report to to arrange a student support appointment and discuss your support recommendations. A post-16 diagnostic assessment report may give you access to Disabled Students Allowance and/or additional exam recommendations.  


I need help with my coursework – where should I go?

Enabling Services run bookable specialist Study Skills Support sessions for practical study advice. Enabling Services study skills support is desgined to support students who may have a specific learning difficulty (SpLD) such as Dyslexia.

Please note that Study Skills runs on a first come first served basis and can be booked via our dedicated Study Skills support webpage.

In addition to this, we also run a series of study skills workshops that may help you. Please visit our Events Page for more information.

The Academic Skills Hub (SASH) also offer Study Support appointments and have a range of study advice and resources available on the Academic Skills Hub website.

If the reason you need help is due to extenuating circumstances we’d suggest you consider applying for special considerations. Further information can be found on the dedicated Special Considerations web page.

What is Assistive Technology?

Assistive Technology (AT) facilities are available at each campus throughout the University. These facilities are available upon the recommendation of an Enabling Services specialist practitioner.

The study spaces in these areas are equipped with computers with assistive software, scanners, printers and other assistive aids. Find out where our Assistive Technology facilities are located by visiting the AT section of our website.

How do I book a slot at the Assistive Technology Suite?

Access to the ATS is upon recommendation from one of our Specialist Practitioners through a Student Support Appointment. Once you have been granted access, you will need to book your slot via the Library website. Please note, each slot is for two hours in duration.

I need immediate help/to speak with somebody urgently - what should I do?

If you need urgent support due to a wellbeing issue for yourself or a friend/fellow student please contact view the Immediate Support page and choose the most appropriate service for your needs.

If emergency assistance is required then please call the emergency services on 999 on 111.

Outside of office hours (18:00 to 08:00, all weekends, Bank Holidays and University closure days) Student Services, in conjunction with University Security, provide an Out of Hours service for very urgent situations. The security guards are first aid trained. Tel: +44 (0)23 80592811.

What is the First Support Team and what do they do?

If you are experiencing personal or emotional difficulties and feel uncertain about what to do next, then First Support can provide the time and space for you to talk with one of the team and explore options for support. First Support can be contacted during office hours (9:00 – 17:00) to arrange support for students who may be facing significant difficulties in their life. To contact the team call 023 80599 599 and press option 2 or email .



I am feeling low. What should I do?

Most people feel low from time to time and the student community is no different. You may choose to take a look at the NHS self-help resources on our website, including NHS bookletsonline workshops and useful websites for tips on how to manage your wellbeing

You may also wish to talk to someone about how you are feeling, and explore what types of support you can access. Contact the Student Support Hub at .  

Some people also choose to speak to their GP (doctor) if they have been feeling low for an extended period of time. Not yet joined a doctor’s practice? Find out how you can register with a GP.  

I am concerned about my friend or another student – what should I do?

If you are concerned about a friend or student please have a look at the Worried about Someone Else section of our website for some helpful advice about what to do in urgent and non-urgent situations, and contact numbers for services that can provide support.

This guide on the Student Minds website also has some helpful tips and advice.

How can I access counselling?

Personal problems may impact your ability to study and achieve your potential at University. Counselling is an opportunity for you to discuss any concerns or issues you may have in a supportive and safe environment. Your counsellor will work with you to help you understand what is going on for you and to find a positive way forward.

Please visit the Counselling webpage for more information about the University Counselling Service, and other local counselling services.

Can I access counselling through the University whilst I am abroad?

The University Counselling Service is currently offering online support only. It is important to note that the law differs between countries, when working face to face the applicable law is determined by which country the counselling takes place.

However, it is possible for the counsellor and student to be located in different legal systems and subject to different laws when working online. This creates uncertainty about which legal system applies. Therefore we are unable to work outside the jurisdictions of the United Kingdom. This means we cannot offer students counselling overseas in any context.

What are Special Considerations and how do I apply?

If you believe that either illness or other personal circumstances have affected your academic performance during the academic year or have prevented you from meeting deadlines, you may wish to apply for Special Considerations. Information can be found on the dedicated Special Considerations page. You will need to complete a Special Considerations form and submit this to your Student Office.

Written documentary evidence to support the facts (for example a medical certificate or GP/consultant letter, or a statement from your Personal Academic Tutor) is advised but you may be able to self-certify. Enabling Services can only offer a supporting statement only in some circumstances.

I’m having difficulties with a member of the academic staff what should I do?

Whilst Enabling Services are able to provide wellbeing support for students we are unable to give advice on issues relating to difficulties in relationships with academic staff. The Students' Union provide academic help and support in this area. Please refer to their website for further information.

You could speak to your Academic Course rep, which you can find in the Students' Union section of your Faculty Blackboard Hub.

If you find that these difficulties are having a negative impact on your studies or wellbeing please contact the Student Support Hub at

What workshops do Enabling Services offer?

Enabling Services run a variety of workshops, designed to support students' wellbeing and studies. Our workshops are free to access/attend and can be booked via our events page or the Library Academic Skills Hub website.

On the Enabling Services website, there is a collection of self-paced online wellbeing workshops and courses which you can complete.

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