Support at Brunel
The support we can offer is tailored to your individual needs. We can help you apply for funding, organise extra time in exams, arrange adaptations to campus accommodation and much more.
A £250 million investment of our campus has seen massive changes in the university’s physical environment, and the needs of disabled students have played an important part in this development. Our accommodation, academic and teaching areas and social spaces are accessible to students with mobility difficulties. We had an audit of our facilities carried out by DisabledGo, now called AccessAble, and we have annual surveys through them to ensure that we can constantly improve on the accessibility of all of our facilities.
Equally we work hard on making all our electronic information accessible and keep on top of all the new assistive technologies that can support the experience of a student with disabilities or learning difficulties.
As a disabled student you can apply for a room that meets your individual needs - en-suite, centrally located, wheelchair-accessible or equipped for those with a hearing impairment. Other adaptations can be made to rooms if necessary. All these rooms are allocated fairly, according to need. View the Accommodation Office's information for prospective disabled students wishing to live on campus.
We have designated bays all over the campus for blue badge holders. If you don’t have a blue badge but need to park on campus because of a disability, we can arrange a vehicle permit for you even if you live within two miles of the university. We can also arrange free car parking for personal assistants.
We encourage all students to plan their time in order to meet deadlines. However, sometimes, for reasons outside your control, you may find it impossible to meet a deadline.
If this happens you need to contact your academic department and fill in a ‘mitigating circumstances form’. If the reason is related to your disability, the Disability and Dyslexia Service can write a letter to support your case.
Exams and other assessments
Exams should be a fair test of your knowledge and what you’re capable of doing. For some disabled students, the usual exam format may not be suitable and, if this is the case, adjustments can be made. Adjustments are not designed to make exams easier; they simply allow you to show what you can do without being hindered by the assessment format itself. Typical adjustments might be:
- Extra time (usually 25% but can be more)
- Rest breaks
- Personal time reminders
- Exam papers in different formats (enlarged font, coloured paper, electronic copy)
- Use of computer, software and/or hardware
- Separate room
- Use of a scribe or reader
To ensure we are being fair, we always ask for evidence of a disability before making exam adjustments.
You may have difficulty physically writing notes, or struggle to remember what is being said for long enough to write it down, or maybe you make lots of notes but can’t read them back afterwards. Most of our lecture rooms now have Panopto, a system that allows lectures to be recorded. However, you may also need other types of support that might include:
- Lecture handouts provided in advance of lectures (where not available through Blackboard Learn)
- Use of a portable recording device
- Use of a portable note taking device
- Use of a note-taker
- Use of a sign language interpreter
- Transcription of audio material used in sessions.
All computers on campus have specialist software to support those with dyslexia or a visual impairment. There is also a dedicated Assistive Technology Centre (ATC) which provides a quiet working area for disabled students to use.
Brunel Asperger Social Group
The Brunel Asperger Social Group provides a friendly, welcoming place for students with Autistic Spectrum Disorders to enjoy social activities and workshops with their peers.
Workshops provide the chance to talk about common issues and to support and help each other. The group discuss agreed topics or hear from speakers who offer relevant advice and guidance on issues relating to autism.
At present the group meets every other Tuesday from 2-4pm in the Meeting House. To find out the exact dates and for any other query, please email firstname.lastname@example.org and use Asperger Social Group in your subject. One of our specialist advisors will contact you back as soon as possible.
The library supports disabled students by:
- Giving one-to-one help using the library
- Arranging extended loans
- Photocopying items for you to collect from the issue desk (online requests)
- Collecting books for you to pick up the next day (online requests)
- Loaning reference books (in exceptional circumstances)
- Loading coloured paper into the photocopier for you
- Allowing you to authorise someone else to borrow items on your behalf
Some students may find some placements difficult because of their disability. Our placement office can arrange support for you so it’s a good idea to think about this in advance.
Speak to us and your personal tutor before you go on placement so that any necessary adjustments can be made.