Disabled Students in Education (cont.) – Medical Evidence
You may be asked to provide ‘medical evidence’ relating to your disability, especially if you need to apply for extra funding. Your advisor can tell you what evidence you may need to provide and how to get it. There are a number of different kinds of evidence and, in spite of the term ‘medical evidence’ they are not all provided by a medical practitioner.
If you are dyslexic then you will require a report from an educational psychologist or other professional who is specifically qualified to assess for Specific Learning Disabilities. This report usually needs to have been written fairly recently and to be an assessment of you as an adult. Your disability advisor or needs assessor will be able to advise on whether any reports you have will fulfil the criteria.
For a mental health or medical condition, you may need evidence from a GP or specialist you are working with. It is important to tell your doctor or specialist what you plan to study and ask them to write how your condition is likely to impact on the course of study you have chosen. For example, if you have a visual impairment then you may need the doctor to say a little about the condition such as that it affects your ability reading on screen or from paper, affecting concentration and may lead to fatigue.
If you have a particular concern about how you will manage a part of the course because of some aspect of your impairment then do ask your doctor to refer to that in your medical evidence.
Costs of medical evidence
You will often be asked to pay for a letter from your doctor and will be expected to meet this cost but if you require an educational psychologist’s report then this cost is often met by your university or college from their discretionary fund. If you were to pay for an assessment yourself then this is costly – between £450 and £600.
Some colleges and universities can offer dyslexia screening which give an idea if you are likely to have dyslexia. This is important as it could save you from a costly and time consuming test if you are not dyslexic.