A Description of Disabilities

A Description of Disabilities

ADHD

What is ADHD?

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is characterised by distinct behaviour, specifically inattention, hyperactivity and impulsiveness or a combination of these.   

Symptoms of ADHD in adults might include:
• Good negotiating skills
• Continually starting new tasks before finishing old ones
• Poor organisational skills
• Creative, inventive, innovative and divergent thinkers
• Mood swings
• Inability to focus or prioritise
• Willingness to take risks but might do so without considering consequences
• Difficulty keeping quiet and speaking out of turn
• Difficulty meeting assignment deadlines, revising and engaging in examinations
• Difficulty adapting to and navigating new environments
• May be associated with feelings of depression
• Keen to take part
• Sharp observational skills but can nevertheless lack attention to detail

Examples of support available to students with ADHD at the University of Worcester
• Assistance (as appropriate) to apply for Disabled Students Allowance which will enable students to access a whole range of support, including the support mentioned below plus equipment
• 1-to-1 specialist academic tutorial support
• Access to a qualified Mental Health Advisor
• Assistance with note-taking in lectures and seminars
• Alternative arrangements in exams
• Invitation to an early 2-day induction to assist in the transition to university

Additional information and useful websites

The SCIPS web resource provides Strategies for Creating Inclusive programmes of study. Searchable by disability and/or subject.

www.scips.worc.ac.uk/uk/disabilities/adhdadd.html

Adult Attention Deficit Disorder – UK
This organisation describes itself as the ‘one stop shop for anything relating to adult ADHD in the UK’
www.aadd.org.uk/

ADHD Family Support Group
www.psychnet-uk.com/

SKILL – This Is the National Bureau for students with Disabilities.
www.skill.org.uk/

Contact details for the University’s Disability and Dyslexia Service

Address
Disability and Dyslexia Service
Woodbury Building 162
University of Worcester
Henwick Grove
Worcester
WR2 6AJ

Tel  01905 85 55 31

Fax  01905 85 55 50

Minicom  01905 85 55 14

Email  disability@worc.ac.uk

Aspergers

What is Asperger Syndrome?

Asperger Syndrome is a form of autism, which is a lifelong disability that affects how a person makes sense of the world, processes information and relates to other people.  Autism is often described as a 'spectrum disorder' because the condition affects people in many different ways and to varying degrees.

Asperger syndrome is mostly a 'hidden disability'. This means that you can't tell that someone has the condition from their outward appearance.  People with the condition tend to have difficulties in three main areas:

• Social interaction – difficulty with social relationships, e.g. appearing aloof and indifferent to others
• Social communication – difficulty with verbal and non-verbal communication, e.g. not fully understanding the meaning of common gestures, facial expressions or tone of voice
• Imagination - difficulty in the development of interpersonal skills and imagination, e.g. having a limited range of imaginative abilities, possibly copied and pursued rigidly and repetitively

While there are similarities with autism, people with Asperger syndrome have fewer problems with speaking and are often of average, or above average, intelligence. They do not usually have the accompanying learning disabilities associated with autism, but they may have specific learning difficulties. These may include dyslexia and dyspraxia or other conditions such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and epilepsy.

With the right support and encouragement, people with Asperger syndrome can lead full and independent lives.

(Extracts taken from The National Autistic Society and SCIPS websites - 2009)

Examples of support available to students with Aspbergers at the University of Worcester

  • Assistance with applications for the Disabled Students Allowance
  • Opportunity to attend a university induction a few days early in a small group environment 
  • 1-to-1 specialist academic support sessions tailored to meet individual need
  • Extra time allowance in exams
  • Loan of computer equipment if needed

Additional information and useful websites:

The SCIPS web resource provides Strategies for Creating Inclusive programmes of study.  Searchable by disability and/or subject.
www.scips.worc.ac.uk/disabilities/autism.html#bottom2

The National Autistic Society website is very useful as it includes extensive information about autism and Asperger syndrome and the services available.
www.nas.org.uk/asperger

SKILL – This Is the National Bureau for students with Disabilities.
www.skill.org.uk/

Contact details for the University’s Disability and Dyslexia Service

Address
Disability and Dyslexia Service
Woodbury Building 162
University of Worcester
Henwick Grove
Worcester
WR2 6AJ

Tel  01905 85 55 31

Fax  01905 85 55 50

Minicom  01905 85 55 14

Email  disability@worc.ac.uk

Dyslexia

What is Dyslexia?

Dyslexia is a specific learning difficulty which mainly affects the development of literacy and language related skills. It is likely to be present at birth and to be lifelong in its effects. It is characterised by difficulties with phonological processing, rapid naming, working memory, processing speed, and the automatic development of skills that may not match up to an individual’s other cognitive abilities. It tends to be resistant to conventional teaching methods, but its effects can be mitigated by appropriately specific intervention, including the application of information technology and supportive counselling.

(British Dyslexia Association October 2007)

Examples of Support Available to students with dyslexia at the University of Worcester

  • Access to a dyslexia assessment service
  • Assistance with applications for the Disabled Students Allowance (DSA)
  • 1-to-1 specialist academic support sessions tailored to meet individual need
  • Extra time allowance in exams 
  • Option to record lectures 
  • Loan of computer equipment and specialist software if needed

Additional information and useful websites

SCIPS is a web resource that provides Strategies for Creating Inclusive programmes of study.  Searchable by disability and/or subject.
www.scips.worc.ac.uk/

Nursing Student Leaflet – this is an on-line account from a nursing student from the University of Worcester.  Based on her own experience, she gives tips and strategies on how to manage on your nursing work placement if you have dyslexia.
www.worc.ac.uk/documents/Advice_For_Students_With_Dyslexia_-_A4.pdf

The British Dyslexia Association
Offers support and advice for people with dyslexia.
www.bdadyslexia.org.uk

University of Worcester Study Skills Resources and workshops are available to all students throughout the academic year.  More information can be found on their web pages.
www.worcester.ac.uk/studyskills/

SKILL – This is the National Bureau for students with Disabilities.
www.skill.org.uk/

Contact details for the University’s Disability and Dyslexia Service

Address
Disability and Dyslexia Service
Woodbury Building 162
University of Worcester
Henwick Grove
Worcester
WR2 6AJ

Tel  01905 85 55 31

Fax  01905 85 55 50

Minicom  01905 85 55 14

Email  disability@worc.ac.uk

Dyspraxia

What is Dyspraxia?

Developmental dyspraxia is an impairment or immaturity of the organisation of movement. It is an immaturity in the way that the brain processes information, which results in messages not being properly or fully transmitted. The term dyspraxia comes from the word praxis, which means 'doing, acting'.  Dyspraxia affects the planning of what to do and how to do it. It is associated with problems of perception, language and thought.

Dyspraxia is thought to affect up to ten per cent of the population and up to two per cent severely.  Males are four times more likely to be affected than females.  Dyspraxia sometimes runs in families. There may be an overlap with related conditions.

Examples of Support Available to students with dyspraxia at the University of Worcester

  • Assistance with applications for the Disabled Students Allowance
  • 1-to-1 specialist academic support sessions tailored to meet individual need
  • Extra time allowance in exams 
  • Option to record lectures 
  • Loan of computer equipment and specialist software if needed

Additional information and useful website(s)
The SCIPS website is a resource that provides Strategies for Creating Inclusive programmes of study.  Searchable by disability and/or subject.
www.scips.worc.ac.uk/

The Dyspraxia Foundation.  This organisation offers support and advice to people with dyspraxia.
www.dyspraxiafoundation.org.uk

University of Worcester Study Skills Resources
www.worcester.ac.uk/studyskills/

SKILL – This Is the National Bureau for students with Disabilities.
www.skill.org.uk/

Contact details for the University’s Disability and Dyslexia Service

Address
Disability and Dyslexia Service
Woodbury Building 162
University of Worcester
Henwick Grove
Worcester
WR2 6AJ

Tel  01905 85 55 31

Fax  01905 85 55 50

Minicom  01905 85 55 14

Email  disability@worc.ac.uk

Epilepsy

What is Epilepsy?

Epilepsy is a tendency to have recurrent seizures.  A seizure is caused by a sudden burst of excess electrical activity in the brain, causing a temporary disruption in the normal message passing between brain cells. This disruption results in the brain’s messages becoming halted or mixed up.

There are many different types of seizure and each person will experience epilepsy in a way that is unique to them.   Depending on the nature of a seizure a person may be fully conscious or lose consciousness completely.
Poor memory will be a significant feature for many people with epilepsy.  Most people have Epilepsy that is well controlled with medication.  

Examples of Support Available to students with Epilepsy at the University of Worcester

  • Extra consideration of living arrangements
  • Help with managing stress (increased stress can trigger epilepsy)
  • Arrangement of note-taking support if concentration is effected (eg recording lectures)
  • Assistance (as appropriate) to access Disabled Students Allowance
  • Key staff awareness of what to do in the event of a seizure

Additional information

What to do if someone has a seizure at the university
You should always call a first aider who can be on hand within minutes and is the appropriate person to apply any first aid treatment.   For internal calls dial extension 5566 and for external calls dial 01905 85 55 66. 

Useful website
Epilepsy Research UK  gives more specific information about what you can do in the event of different kinds of seizures
www.epilepsyresearch.org.uk/about_us/leaflets/lflt4.htm

Epilepsy Action is a website packed with lots of useful information and the page below deals specifically with Higher Education
www.epilepsy.org.uk/info/education/highereducation

SKILL – This Is the National Bureau for students with Disabilities.
www.skill.org.uk/

The National Society for Epilepsy

Contact details for the University’s Disability and Dyslexia Service

Address
Disability and Dyslexia Service
Woodbury Building 162
University of Worcester
Henwick Grove
Worcester
WR2 6AJ

Tel  01905 85 55 31

Fax  01905 85 55 50

Minicom  01905 85 55 14

Email  disability@worc.ac.uk

Hearing impairments

What is a Hearing Impairment?

If someone has a hearing impairment, this means they will have some form of hearing loss. 

There are four types of hearing loss:

  • Conductive hearing loss (the conduction pathways for sounds to reach the inner ear are affected)  usually affects all frequencies of hearing evenly and do not result in severe loss
  • Sensorineural hearing loss (from damage to the delicate sensory hair cells of the inner ear or the nerves which supply it). These hearing losses can range from mild to profound and they often affect the person's ability to hear certain frequencies more than others 
  • A mixed hearing loss refers to a combination of conductive and sensorineural loss and means that a problem occurs in both the outer, middle and the inner ear
  • A central hearing loss results from damage or impairment to the nerves or nuclei of the central nervous system, either in the pathways to the brain or in the brain itself

People with hearing impairments depend on their eyes to  “hear”  by lip reading, speech reading or using British Sign Language (BSL) or Sign Supported English (SSE). People who are BSL users may have English as their second language.

Examples of support available to students with hearing impairments at the University of Worcester

  • Assistance with applications for the Disabled Students Allowance
  • Use of Induction loops in lecture and seminar rooms
  • Option to use radio transmitter/receivers within lectures
  • Use of hearing aids (digital or analogue)
  • Access to subtitles and /or transcripts for video material
  • Accommodation in halls with appropriate visual and vibrating fire alarm systems
  • Use of BSL or SSE interpreters during teaching sessions
  • Use of support workers to take notes in teaching sessions so students can concentrate on lip reading the tutor
  • Weekly support from a Teacher of the Deaf to assist in understanding notes
  • Support from an Assistant Disability Coordinator (Sensory Impairments) to co-ordinate support and give extra information to staff

Additional information and useful websites

Basic awareness
If you are with someone who can lip read (only 3 out of 10 words are visible on the lips).

If you are in conversation with someone who has a hearing impairment, remember to:
1. Look directly at the person.
2. Keep the normal speech rhythm but slow down slightly.
3. Use facial expression, body language and gesture where appropriate.
4. Keep your head fairly still when speaking.
5. Ensure that your mouth is not hidden behind a hand, beard, or  cigarette and that you are not chewing.
6. Remember that shouting does NOT help. Increased volume cannot compensate for an inability to access certain sound frequencies.

If a sign language interpreter is working with a deaf person, always face and speak to the deaf person.

Websites
SCIPS is a web resource that provides Strategies for Creating Inclusive programmes of study.  Searchable by disability and/or subject.
www.scips.worc.ac.uk/uk/subjects_and_disabilities/educ/educ_hearing_impairments.html

Royal National Institute for Deaf People (RNID) - Offers a range of services for people who are deaf or hard of hearing and provides information and support on all aspects of deafness, hearing loss and tinnitus.
www.rnid.org.uk/

Deaf Direct – An organisation offering information, advice and guidance on any topic related to hearing loss.  Offers services to people in Worcestershire, Herefordshire and Oxfordshire.
www.deafdirect.org.uk/

SKILL – This Is the National Bureau for students with Disabilities.
www.skill.org.uk/

Contact details for the University’s Disability and Dyslexia Service

Address
Disability and Dyslexia Service
Woodbury Building 162
University of Worcester
Henwick Grove
Worcester
WR2 6AJ

Tel  01905 85 55 31

Fax  01905 85 55 50

Minicom  01905 85 55 14

Email  disability@worc.ac.uk

Physical difficulties

What are Physical Difficulties?

Physical disabilities affecting students can take many different forms. They can be temporary or permanent, fluctuating, stable or degenerative, and may affect parts of the body or the whole of it. They can affect mobility, dexterity speed and stamina e.g. chronic fatigue syndrome.

Examples of support available to students with physical difficulties at the University of Worcester

  • Assistance with applications for the Disabled Students Allowance
  • Accessible en-suite accommodation on campus with level access showers equipped for wheelchair users
  • Adjacent rooms in halls of residence for personal assistants (funded by the student’s Social Services) 
  • Where possible, teaching rooms located centrally to reduce the distance between teaching sessions
  • Personal Emergency Evacuation Plans (PEEPs) to assist students egress during emergencies 
  • Blue badge parking spaces for disabled students and visitors 
  • Wheelchair accessible toilets situated in all main buildings
  • Dropped kerbs on all main routes around the campus
  • Automatic doors  throughout most main routes of the campus
  • Use of voice dictation software
  • Trolley bags to carry books and materials
  • Ergonomic seating and workstations (through Disabled Students Allowance)
  • Support workers to assist with note taking and accessing resources within the library

Additional information and useful website(s)

SCIPS is a web resource that provides Strategies for Creating Inclusive programmes of study.  Searchable by disability and/or subject
www.scips.worc.ac.uk/challenges/mobility.html#teaching

Scope is a UK organisation with a focus on support for people with Cerebral Palsy
www.scope.org.uk/information/

The NHS gives information on Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.
www.nhs.uk/Conditions/Chronic-fatigue-syndrome

The Spinal Injury Association is an organisation giving support and advice to people with spinal injuries
www.spinal.co.uk/

SKILL – This Is the National Bureau for students with Disabilities.
www.skill.org.uk/

Contact details for the University’s Disability and Dyslexia Service

Address
Disability and Dyslexia Service
Woodbury Building 162
University of Worcester
Henwick Grove
Worcester
WR2 6AJ

Tel  01905 85 55 31

Fax  01905 85 55 50

Minicom  01905 85 55 14

E-mail  disability@worc.ac.uk

Visual Impairment

What is a Visual Impairment?

The term visual impairment covers a whole spectrum of people from those who are only slightly affected (tunnel vision or blurred vision) to the very small proportion who are totally blind and cannot distinguish light from dark.

A visual impairment is a loss of sight which is irretrievable and may be partial or whole. This can be a result of disease, trauma, or a congenital or degenerative condition that cannot be corrected by conventional means, including glasses, medication, or surgery.
It can also cause difficulty with orientation and  judging speed or distance.
Hearing and verbal instructions become the primary source of information.

Examples of support available to students with visual impairments at the University of Worcester

  • Assistance with applications for the Disabled Student’s Allowance
  • Use of assistive technology such as screen magnification software or screen reading software
  • Access to other types of magnifiers such as Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) or hand held or portable magnifiers. CCTV is a desktop video magnifier which can display pages of books in a magnified form on an inbuilt monitor (usually a computer screen size)
  • Alternative formats for print material such as Braille, large print and tactile diagrams
  • Access to assistive software on all student networked computers
  • Support workers to assist with notetaking, reading print and accessing library resources
  • Mobility/orientation training to become familiar with campus
  • Invitation to 2 day pre semester induction course to assist with transition
  • Access to an Assistant Disability Coordinator (Sensory Impairments) to coordinate support

Basic awareness

  • When speaking to someone with a visual impairment mention their name first so they know you are talking to them or give them a light tap on the shoulder
  • Remember they cannot read facial expressions or body language. Use the tone, pitch and volume of your voice instead
  • If you need to guide someone offer your arm; do not lead or propel them
  • When offering a seat to someone with a visual impairment verbally guide them or physically guide their hand to the back of the chair

Additional information and useful websites

SCIPS is a web resource that provides Strategies for Creating Inclusive programmes of study.  Searchable by disability and/or subject.
www.scips.worc.ac.uk/uk/challenges/visual.html

Royal National Institute of Blind People
This is the main organisation in the UK to offer advice, guidance and support to blind and partially sighted people.
www.rnib.org.uk

Guide Dogs for the Blind
This organisation provides guide dogs and other mobility services to blind and partially-sighted people. 
www.guidedogs.org.uk/

ABAPSTAS (The Association of Blind and Partially Sighted Teachers and Students) This is a national organisation of visually impaired people which focuses on education and employment issues.
www.abapstas.org.uk/

National Talking Newspapers and Magazines
This organisation provides national newspapers and magazines in multiple formats for visually impaired and print disabled people
www.tnauk.org.uk/

SKILL – This Is the National Bureau for students with Disabilities.
www.skill.org.uk/

Contact details for the University’s Disability and Dyslexia Service

Address
Disability and Dyslexia Service
Woodbury Building 162
University of Worcester
Henwick Grove
Worcester
WR2 6AJ

Tel  01905 85 55 31

Fax  01905 85 55 50

Minicom  01905 85 55 14

Email  disability@worc.ac.uk