Student Officers You Can Talk To
Balraj is launching a campaign on hidden disabilities in recognition of the fact that not all disabilities are visible. If you would like to contribute to his campaign or provide any suggestions on what you would like to see from his campaign, please get in contact!
Disabled Students Officer
Annas' role is to give a voice and support those who have a disability, whether physical or psychological. If you want to talk about any issues you’re experiencing as a disabled student or ways in which we can help improve the student experience, please contact Annas.
Disabilities - Hidden Disabilities
Under the Equality Act 2010, a person has a disability if they have a physical or mental impairment, which has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on their ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities. Anyone who has HIV, cancer or multiple sclerosis is automatically treated as disabled under the Act.
There is a range of support available on campus and beyond to help you achieve your academic potential and enjoy your time as an Aston student.
Not every disability is visible! Do not be afraid to speak up for the support you deserve…
Information about the accessibility of the campus can be found below.
Aston University - The Enabling Team
The Enabling Team provides a confidential advice and support service for students who experience a range of disabilities, medical conditions, and additional needs. This support includes advice on finding funding for disability related support and arranging diagnostic assessments for dyslexia and other specific learning differences.
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org regardless of any fear or stigma and they will help to maximise your university experience without any barriers associated.
A step-by-step guide of how to register with The Enabling Team
Please note: If you don’t have any evidence of your disability or just want to discuss what support might be available, you can still get in touch with the Enabling Team for an initial discussion.
- Contact the Enabling Team by email on EnablingTeam@aston.ac.uk or by phone on 0121 204 4007. The phone number is for the Hub Reception who can put you through to a Disability Advisor or take a message.
- You will be sent a form to fill in. You should send the completed form to the Enabling Team along with evidence of your disability.
- Your Disability Advisor will then discuss this with you in more detail and put together a list of ‘Support Recommendations’.
- Your Disability Advisor will send those recommendations to you to make sure you’re happy with them.
- Once agreed and with your permission, your Support Recommendations will be sent to relevant staff such as your Module leaders so that they know how to support you properly and to ensure you can fully access your course.
If your needs change at any time, you can contact your Disability Advisor to discuss adjusting your Support Recommendations.
Hidden Disability Conditions
Asthma is where your airways tighten and swell and may produce extra mucus. This causes breathing difficulty and triggers coughing, wheezing and a shortage of breath.
- Asthma UK Helpline: 0300 222 5800
- Chat with Asthma nurse team via WhatsApp: 07378 606 728 (9am - 5pm, Monday - Friday)
Autism is a condition that causes difficulties with social skills, repetitive behaviors, speech and nonverbal communication.
- National Autistic Society: 0808 800 4104 (10am - 3pm, Monday - Friday)
Chronic pain is pain that is continuing and tends to last longer than six months. Pain can continue even after the injury or illness has healed or been corrected.
Ulcerative colitis is a chronic disease related to the large intestine, where the lining of the colon becomes inflamed and tiny open sores occur, or ulcers. This is a result of the immune system’s overactive response.
Diabetes is a disease that affects your body’s ability to produce or use insulin. There are two main types of diabetes: Type 1 and Type 2.
A degenerative disease of the brain and spinal cord (central nervous system). This can cause communication problems between the brain and the rest of your body.
Rheumatoid arthritis is a long-term condition that causes pain, swelling and stiffness that usually affects the hands, feet, and wrists.
- National Rheumatoid Arthritis Society - Freephone: 0800 298 7650
- National Rheumatoid Arthritis Society - Email email@example.com
Mental Illness (Depression, ADHD, Bipolar)
Mental Illness (Depression, ADHD, Bipolar)
Mental illnesses are health conditions involved in the changes of thinking, emotion, or behaviors. Mental illness can be associated with distress and/or problems functioning in social, work or family activities.
- Samaritans - 24-hour Helpline:116 123
- Mind - Telephone 0300 123 3393 (9am - 6pm)
Disorders that involve struggle in learning to read or understand words, letters, and other symbols, but does not affect general intelligence.
Deafness means complete loss of the ability to hear from one or both ears; this is profound hearing impairment.
- The Deaf Health Charity, Sign Health: If you need immediate support, Text DEAF to 85258
Cancer is a condition where the cells in specific parts of the body reproduce and grow uncontrollably, these cells can invade and destroy organs and healthy tissues. There are different types of cancer such as, Breast, Lung, Prostate, and Bowel that affect so many people.
Hidden Disability Awareness | Getting Diagnosed
Coping with Loneliness
A BBC Hosted podcast with a very inspiring disabled 22 year old ex-student, speaker, and disability blogger, Chloe Tear, where she speaks about coping with loneliness as a disabled student.
Accessibility for Disabled Students
- All the teaching and a range of recreational facilities are on one site at Aston Triangle in the city centre of Birmingham along with residential accommodation (which is managed and owned by UNITE).
- There is a Tesco Express, Rymans Stationary, Wok & Go, Greggs and a Costa Coffee on Aston Street and the city centre is a short distance away and easy to access from campus.
- Although we have tried to make the University as accessible as possible the Main Building does not have electronic door opening along the corridors which may make the building difficult to navigate for some users without assistance.
- The main campus has a large accessible toilet with a wash and dry toilet, changing bed, overhead hoist and manual hoist. Access is purely for those students who require personal care or have trouble accessing general public toilets. We also have a number of accessible toilets throughout the campus.
- To support students in an emergency students complete an personal emergency evacuation plan (peeps). We have Evac tracks which can take large electric wheelchairs and trained fire safety officers to assist students should evacuation of a building be require.
- Sensory (Visual impairment and hearing impairment) the University has the Loop system and we can advise on specialist support. Our Library can support students with accessible resources.
- All students are individual and the support we may be able to provide is tailor made for the students based on evidence and working with the student. We can provided information on Tools for Learning and our Library has in house support and works closely with students. We also have our own team of in house support.
- There are some external funding bodies that may be able to provide assistive technology and in some cases human support. This will depend on the programme you are on and how it is funded. Disabled students Allowance and Access to Work. You can find more information below.
- The University Counselling and Mental Wellbeing Team can support you with techniques to help alleviate stress and anxiety or will sign post you to the right person for your needs, and The Martin Luther King Centre have a number of events available for all students regardless of religious affiliation and they run a pastoral support drop-in service called ‘Listening Ear’.
- It’s important to remember that you need to let the Enabling team know as soon as you can if you feel that you may need support to access your course fully. It’s all confidential and you can contact the team at any time during your studies: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Programs to Apply For
Disabled Students Allowance
If you are disabled, have a long-term illness or mental health condition you can apply for disabled students’ allowances. You can get the allowances on top of your other student finance. You will not need to repay DSAs. More information can be found here or by contacting one of the organisations listed in this section.
Access to Work
- Talk to your employer about changes they must make in your workplace
- Get extra help from Access to Work, including mental health support
Personal Independence Payment (PIP)
Personal Independence Payment (PIP) can help you with some of the extra costs if you have a long-term ill-health or disability on a day-to-day basis.
Find more information and advice on Citzen's Advice
Who Else to Talk To
Disability Rights UK
Disability Rights UK is a charity organisation run by and for people with lived experience of disability or health conditions. They provide high quality information by and for disabled people including students in further and higher education. They have a range of factsheets and resources.
A disability equality charity who provide practical information and emotional support when it’s most needed and campaign to create a fairer society. Scope's helpline provides free, independent and impartial advice and support on issues that matter to disabled people and their families.
Get help and advice from likeminded students: