Last term TOG student ambassador, Julia, have a really useful inight into the resources available to applicants with a disability. Now she is detailing the support available once you start Oxford:
Provisions at University
Disabled Students’ Allowance (DSA)
If you have a long-term health condition, you may be eligible for Disabled Students’ Allowance if you can provide medical evidence (even without a specific diagnosis). When you apply for DSA you will need to send in forms and medical evidence through student finance and will be contacted to find out if you are eligible or not. You will be asked to attend an assessment, which is just to find out what would be helpful for you to assist your academic studies. Things you may receive include meetings during term time with a specialist mentor, assistive technology, extended library loans, and possible other provisions. This is something offered at all universities in the UK for students eligible for student finance.
Disability Advisory Service (DAS)
The DAS is a service at the university employing permanent staff who students can get in touch with to receive help or advocacy within the rest of the university, specialist support, or other advise if you are not sure where to turn in the university for support with your disability. They are also available to students who don’t identify as having a disability, but may be dealing with a health condition.
Contact them at: email@example.com
Oxford Students’ Disability Community (OSDC)
This is the student-run campaign for disabled students at Oxford SU. I am the current chair of this campaign and lead a committee of dedicated students with disabilities to improve provisions and education on disability in the university, as well as socials. We can also help signpost students to resources. We have a public Facebook page, a community Facebook group, as well as secret Facebook support groups for students with specific disabilities including mental health conditions, gynecological conditions, and Specific Learning Difficulties. For more information, or if you wish to get in touch or involved, you can email firstname.lastname@example.org
College – Welfare & Disability Coordinators
Every college has Welfare provision – from JCR/MCR representatives in Welfare or Disabilities, to fulltime staff that offer welfare and disability support. JCR/MCR reps can help advocate for issues within your college and represent your views on issues relating to disability in your JCR/MCRs and may run socials – many will be peer support trained. The full time staff can help ensure your welfare and disability provision is sufficient, and aid you in your needs in college, such as accommodation or clarifying/advocating for you to your tutors.
Lastly, when you join the university you have to register with your college’s GP surgery. For wider issues regarding disability or health conditions, it is useful to register quickly and develop a good relationship with a GP you trust in Oxford.
Don’t be afraid to get in touch, using the OSDC email, if you have any more questions! Disabled students can thrive at Oxford, and there are lots of resources that can help you.