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Accessibility and Disability Resource Centre


The University of Cambridge’s policy in relation to reasonable adjustments for disabled students is set out in its Code of Practice: Access and Inclusion for Disabled Students

Non-Medical Help (NMH)

Please note that the current DSAs guidance (section 1.8) states that 'DSAs support should not be recommended where support is available from another source e.g. the institution' and also stresses that ‘the assessor should not state how support that is required from the institution should be delivered, or the level required.’ If assessors identify the need/barrier to learning, we will identify the most appropriate way to meet that need. 


For students applying for DSAs for the 2016/17 academic year onwards, the University of Cambridge will, where appropriate, provide non-medical help for the following tasks, previously funded under DSAs

  • Practical Support Assistant
  • Library Support Assistant
  • Scribe
  • Workshop / Laboratory Assistant
  • Proof Reader/text checker
  • Reader
  • Study Assistant
  • Examination Support Worker
  • Note Taker
  • Specialist Transcription Services 

From September 2016, The University of Cambridge will also provide the following Band 4 non-medical help (NMH) tasks as part of its standard provision of NMH support:

  • Specialist Mentor
  • Specialist One to One Study Skills Support

No quotes are required for these tasks as they are part of the University’s standard provision It is therefore not necessary to indicate hours of support required for these tasks as the University of Cambridge will make that assessment with the student.


The following non-medical help (NMH) tasks are not provided by the University of Cambridge. For the following tasks Needs Assessors should provide quotes in the usual way:

  • Sighted guide
  • Communication Support Worker
  • Specialist Note taker
  • Mobility Trainer (Orientation)
  • BSL Interpreter
  • Language Support Tutor for D/deaf students
  • Assistive Technology Trainer


The University of Cambridge does not currently provide:

  • Personal Computer equipment
  • Long-term equipment loans
  • Free IT training for DSAs awarded software
  • Lecture capture or audio recording as standard. Students should sign a recording lecture agreement before recording any lectures.


 Inclusive Teaching and Learning approaches

Information is available here:


Taxis (The ADRC does not recommend individual Taxi firms)

The ADRC does not recommend individual firms. Current firms identified by SFE as being on their approved supplier list are:

Panther taxis

For quotes from this firm please contact Paul Clare at, or call +44 (0)1223 715715 and ask to speak to Paul Clare, making it clear that you wish to discuss a DSAs account. 


University of Cambridge – academic context

The University of Cambridge is a Collegiate University. Each undergraduate applies to a College, and will live in and be part of college life. Graduate students apply to and work in Departments/Faculties but have membership of Colleges. Each college is a separate legal entity, with separate finances and infrastructure to the University and other Colleges. Undergraduate students are taught both in College and in departments and faculties of the University. Graduate students are taught/conduct research in departments and faculties.



Each College manages its own accommodation; therefore exact type and availability of accommodation will depend on which College the student is attending and on their level of study.  Undergraduates, in the main, are accommodated in their College for the duration of their course. Graduate accommodation may be located elsewhere within the city, outside of the main College site. Most college websites publish costs of rooms. The ADRC does not hold this information.

Needs Assessors should contact the individual college to request information relating to accommodation, as Colleges are independent legal entities and manage their own accommodation.



Undergraduate teaching takes place in both the student’s College and the department.

Hours of formal teaching and study can vary significantly between subject areas. Most time-tables are not published or confirmed until September at the earliest each year, and therefore the ADRC cannot supply this information to NACs. The ADRC does not have direct access to time-tables or teaching load (we currently request this information once a student has been recommended DSAs funded NMH support). College supervision timetables will not be arranged until the start of the new academic year. Information may be available directly from departments/faculties.


Assistive Technology, hardware and software

Students at the University of Cambridge may apply to College or university hardship funds for support in funding the £200 hardware contribution, but these funds are means-tested and not automatic

There are multiple providers of computing services to students within the University of Cambridge. Colleges provide their own computing infrastructure within College, some departments and faculties have their own computing infrastructure and there is a Managed Cluster Service (MCS) where students can go to study in specific rooms during specific hours only. The latter are not suitable for using voice assisted assistive technology.

There are some assistive technology applications available on the general Managed Cluster Service machines (a network of machines for general use across the University and most Colleges) - . However, this software is not currently available for students’ personal use on their own computing devices. The University and Colleges are currently reviewing options in this area and so continuation of DSAs funded assistive software is advisable.

The University Information Service’s Assistive Technology Service gives information on free software available here: The University provides introductory group sessions to some assistive technology only, but this resource is limited. These are not full training sessions or set-up sessions, but a chance for staff and students to see if particular software might meet their needs. The service can also provide alternative formats for printed materials.

Microsoft Office 365 is available for all University students



The University of Cambridge has over 140 libraries within departments, faculties, colleges and associated institutions. Currently, when required, PDFs of books are requested from publishers. The University Library also has e-Books facilities and information on how to find and use e-Books.  Support available includes:

  • Extended loan periods for books
  • Permission to take in food and drink
  • Access to printed materials in alternative formats
  • Fetching of books from open shelves
  • Receipts for photocopying and printing
  • Assistance with electronic catalogues
  • Reserved seating
  • Ability for support workers to use the library and collect materials on student’s behalf
  • Libraries directory available for checking accessibility
  • Support in other libraries may vary due to available resources.


If you have any questions, please contact us