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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, 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 also offer screening for Autism related conditions and refer students for diagnosis, as appropriate.

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 service managed by the DRC's Assistant Disability Advisers. Drop-ins 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
  • Borrowing an item from the Loan Pool of equipment
  • 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 (alternative 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 call the DRC on 01223 332301 or email disability@admin.cam.ac.uk and we should be able to advise whether you should come to a drop-in or book to see an Adviser.

You cannot book a drop-in - drop-ins operate at the following times on a first come first served basis.

Drop-ins will operate at the following times:

Monday 12-1pm

Tuesday 12-1pm

Wednesday 12-1pm and 3.30-4.30pm

Thursday 12-1pm

Friday 12-1pm

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.