skip to content

Disability Resource Centre

DRC
 

The DRC is here to support you while you are studying at the University of Cambridge. You can contact us at any point during your studies.

There are lots of reasons to get in touch –

  • You may find that you face new difficulties during your studies, facing the first time away from home and new demands academically.
  • You may wish to attend a screening for Autism related conditions or find out about how to be assessed for a Specific Learning Difficulty.
  • You may be facing mental health difficulties or long term illness for the first time.
  • The strategies that you used in school to adjust for your disability no longer work.

A discussion with your Disability Adviser may help identify new strategies or support for you so that you can enjoy your time here and get the most out of it.

The DRC Advisers are here to support and advise you:

Helen Duncan and Ken Ewing support all students who have Specific Learning Difficulties (SpLDs) such as dyslexia, dyspraxia and AD(H)D.

Sally Ivens, Deb Taylor, Rachel Demery, Aless McCann, John Harding and Eleanor Girt-Izod support all students who have a disability other than an SpLD. This includes long-term health conditions such as asthma or Crohn's disease; mental health conditions; mobility impairments; visual impairments and students who are Deaf or hearing impaired.

Joanna Hastwell is our Autism Adviser supporting students with autism spectrum conditions alongside the other Disability Advisers. We offer support, advice and guidance for students with autism.

Current students are able to book an appointment with their Disability Adviser during term time on the DRC Appointment page on Moodle.  Outside of term time current students should contact their Disability Adviser or email the DRC to discuss any questions or concerns they may have.  

Offer holder students should contact the DRC to discuss any questions they have prior to commencing their studies

Support available at the DRC

  • information and advice on disability issues
  • specialist 1:1 study skills sessions
  • guidance and advice on assessment for Specific Learning Difficulties 
  • guidance on assessments for disabilities
  • assistance with funding applications
  • the loan of specialist equipment
  • human support (eg note-taker or mentor) through the Non-Medical Assistance Scheme
  • liaison with your College and Department

You can contact the DRC at any point from before you apply to Cambridge to your final year of study for advice and guidance

Drop-in service

The DRC offers a drop-in appointment service managed by the DRC's Assistant Disability Advisers. Drop-in appointments are designed to allow students to discuss matters which can be dealt with in a short meeting of no more than 15 minutes. These sessions can cover:

  • A quick question about your support
  • A query about human support (non-medical help)
  • Academic-related funding queries (e.g. DSAs, Reasonable Adjustments Fund, International Disabled Students' Fund)
  • Signposting to other sources of support
  • A quick query about your existing examination access arrangements
  • Signposting for issues with assistive technology, software or equipment

Drop-ins CANNOT cover the following matters:

  • Revisions to your Student Support Document (SSD)
  • Complaints or Appeals
  • Academic matters not related to disability
  • AMAs (adjusted modes of assessment enquiries)
  • Distress/mental health issues
  • Non-academic funding issues (e.g. PIP, Access to Work)

If the matter requires more detailed input from a Disability Adviser you will be referred on. If you are unsure email the DRC and we should be able to advise whether you should come to a drop-in or book to see an Adviser.

Current students are able to book a drop-in appointment with an Assistant Disability Adviser through the DRC Appointment booking system on Moodle during term time and outside of term as well.  Offer holders can email the DRC to discuss booking an appointment with an Assistant Disability Adviser.

In situations where a student is engaged in a formal complaint or appeal against the University or a College, the DRC is unable to act as the student’s advocate or to represent their case. We are able to advise and signpost on to sources of support (for example, the Students’ Unions’ Advice Service) and to provide factual information related to the student’s disability (for example, a letter which outlines the nature of the student’s disability, impact on study and support which has been established or recommended).  However, as a department of the University, we are unable to act on the behalf of a student in action taken against or by the University (or Colleges); this role can only be properly taken by advisers who are independent of the University or Colleges.