SEN & Disabilities

We offer a variety of support formats designed to fit individual requirements for students

We work with a variety of external agencies including Sensory Services, CYP Service and local authority SEN services to ensure smooth transition, opportunities and progression for our learners.

Overview of Support

The Higher Education Disability and Support Service offers information, advice and guidance for students with a variety of disabilities, including specific learning needs, including mental health, physical and sensory requirements. The team is able to provide confidential advice and guidance to students regarding the support available through the college, and to also help those who wish to apply for Disabled Students’ Allowances (DSAs).


We proactively implement the SEND Code of Practice and the principles that it observes: enabling participation, collaboration with partners, high quality provision, inclusive practices, removing barriers to learning and preparing for adulthood.

The Higher Education Disability and Support Service (sometimes called HEDS) supports a wide range of learners and offers an accessible and inclusive service.

The specialist service offers information, advice and guidance for students with a wide range of disabilities including dyslexia, dyspraxia, ASD, ADHD, mental health conditions as well as physical disabilities

Register with the disability support service and bring a copy of your medical evidence. We can offer reasonable adjustments that include;

  • Individual Support Plans
  • HE Study+ as an interim measure for students that have been recommended either Mentoring or Study Skills
  • Extended library loans
  • Library Assistants
  • Equipment loan e.g. laptop or Dictaphone
  • Electronic copies of lecture materials in advance
  • Exam access arrangements: reader, additional time; supervised rest breaks; alternative formats; alternative locations
  • Modification and adaptations of materials
  • Support, advice and guidance for DSA (Disabled Students Allowance) in Higher Education
  • Drop-in sessions to discuss support issues

The Disabled Student Allowance

The Disabled Student Allowance (sometimes called the DSA) is a grant to help pay the extra essential costs you may have as a direct result of your disability. DSAs are not means tested and you do not have to repay them. DSAs do not cover disability-related costs you’d have if you weren’t attending a course, or costs that any student might have.

You can get help with the costs of:

  • specialist equipment, for example a computer if you need one because of your disability
  • non-medical helpers
  • extra travel because of your disability
  • other disability-related costs of studying

To apply for DSA, click here;

The team are able to provide confidential advice and guidance to students who wish to apply for Disabled Students Allowances (DSAs). The service also coordinate the HE Study+ programme which is a programme of additional academic support for all students across Higher Education running drop in sessions and workshops on academic skills development.

Booking your Needs Assessment

ATOP Ltd outreach assessment centre at Stockport College (based in Vernon 1.06) is an accredited assessment centre approved to carry out study needs assessments for disabled students. Once you have received your confirmation of DSA’s you should contact ATOP to arrange your appointment.

To book your DSA needs assessment click here;

Additional Support Information

We have professional affiliations with a number of organisations including ADEPT, BDA, PATOSS, NADP, NATED.

To have your support put in place you will need to make an appointment with us. In this meeting you will discuss your requirements and the Learning Support Team will produce an individual support plan detailing support. Additional support is available for students with:

  • Students with an EHCP (Educational Health Care Plan) or Statement of Educational Need
  • Specific Learning Difficulties (SpLD) such as dyslexia, dyspraxia and ADHD
  • Autism Spectrum Conditions including Asperger’s
  • Mental Health Difficulties such as anxiety, depression and bipolar affective disorder
  • Hearing and Visual Impairments
  • Long term medical conditions such as epilepsy, Crohn’s disease, cancer, HIV and diabetes
  • Physical disabilities including M.S, cystic fibrosis, hypermobility syndrome and carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Mobility difficulties
  • Temporary injuries such as broken bones or recovery from an operation

The Learning Support Team Can Offer

  • Specialist assessment of learning needs
  • Individual Support Plans
  • Exam access arrangements e.g. reader, extra time
  • In-class support e.g. note taking
  • Communication support for deaf learners
  • Equipment loan e.g. laptop or Dictaphone
  • Support using assistive technology e.g. screen readers, mind mapping software
  • Dedicated Learning Support Zone
  • Modification and adaptations of materials
  • Drop-in sessions to discuss support issues.