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Disability Resource Centre


What is a Student Support Document?

A Student Support Document (SSD) is a summary of recommendations in supporting and teaching an individual disabled student.  It consists of recommendations specific to the student, College and subject studied, which are concise and focussed. An SSD is an advisory, summary document and does not replace a conversation with the student or the adviser.

An SSD is a live document and can be updated and redistributed throughout the period of study.

Who gets a Student Support Document?

Disabled students will need to return materials to us as well as the relevant consents for sharing the data before we can proceed.  Due to the continuing annual increase in the numbers of disabled students, the limited advisory resources available, and the high demands on the service, the DRC may not be able to produce an SSD for every student. Priority will be given to students with significant support requirements. 

Disabled students who just require adjustments in College may have a summary email rather than a Student Support Document.

How are Student Support Documents put together?

It is put together by the student and their Disability Adviser based on  medical evidence, Student Information Form and any other available assessment materials.   They will be accompanied by best practice guidance specific to the condition disclosed by the student. Examples can be found below.

Please bear in mind that while these are put together by a team of DRC experts they cannot be aware of all the various combinations of courses and activities required. Adjustments included as reasonable on the Code of Practice for disabled students may not be listed individually on the SSD.  If you feel the adjustments recommended will not work in the context please get in touch.

How are they distributed?

The DRC has agreed contacts in Colleges and departments and the SSDs are sent to those contacts who then distribute them onwards as agreed by the student and indicated on the SSD. Distribution strategies vary across the University and are not under the control of the DRC, although we are happy to advise.

So I have a Student Support Document – what next?

If you are a member of staff, please

  • review the document and check whether any distribution is required, and if so by who to whom
  • ensure you understand the elements relevant to your role with the student and how to implement them

If you are a student, then

  • do refer to your SSD in communication with others
  • do remember that your tutor and DoS (for undergraduates) or your supervisor (for postgraduates) has a role in co-ordinating support for teaching and learning

What do Student Support Documents look like? We have provided two fictious exemplars below

- Lily, an undergraduate student with mental health difficulties

- Ivan, an undergraduate student with a Specific Learning Difficulty