Specific Learning Difficulties (SpLD)

Specific Learning Difficulties (SpLD)

We are very pleased to welcome students with Specific Learning Difficulties (SpLD). SpLD includes things like dyslexia, dyspraxia/DCD, dysgraphia, dyscalculia, and ADHD.

If you have an SpLD and require help or assistance in practical or academic matters, please contact the Advisory Service as soon as you can.

The team can advise you on a range of matters, including special exam arrangements and the Disabled Student Allowance (this allowance can help you cover any equipment or support costs you may have).

In addition, the Advisory team will liaise with and offer advice to academic schools to ensure that a support package is in place to give you the most appropriate means of help you throughout your time at university. All information is confidential, and will only be passed on to relevant members of staff with your approval.

If you have or suspect you have an SpLD, you are advised to make contact with the team for more information and advice by:

⬇️ Read more below.


We are pleased to welcome you to Student and Academic Services. This leaflet has been produced to provide specific information about the Disability and Specific Learning Difficulty (SpLD) Support provided by the Advisory Service at Abertay.

We aim to support you if you disclose a disability or SpLD and will offer continued advice and guidance throughout your studies. We would hope to build a positive working relationship with you in order to help you to achieve your goals and to ensure that the university is an accessible and inclusive environment for you to study in.

We provide support for a wide range of conditions including; Specific Learning Difficulties, mental health and medical conditions, physical disabilities, sensory impairments, autistic spectrum disorders and also temporary disabilities.



You can choose if/when you wish to disclose a disability or SpLD. Although the decision not to disclose is fully respected, we would encourage you to disclose any condition which impacts on your studies, in order to ensure that you have access to additional support and receive appropriate adjustments throughout your studies. It is best to inform us of any diagnoses as soon as possible in order to ensure that support is in place in time for the start of your course; however you are welcome to approach an advisor at any time during your studies.



It is important to us that we maintain students’ confidentiality, as we recognise that it can be daunting to disclose personal information. Please be assured that our service complies with the Data Protection Act and falls under the Student and Academic Services Code of Confidentiality, which ensures that we would never share any information without your consent unless absolutely necessary.


Meeting with an Advisor

There are two ways in which you can meet with an advisor to discuss your personal circumstances. We offer a ‘drop in’ service Monday to Friday from 13.00 – 15:00, which means you can book a short 15 mins telephone/online appointment via Abertay Connect up to 2 days in advance or you can call SEZ on 01382 308833 to make a booking. A longer appointment can be arranged as required.



Services Available

Student Support and Development Plans

With your permission we can prepare a short plan for your teaching staff which informs them of your support requirements in classes, e.g. lecture materials to be provided in advance of classes.

SpLD Screening Assessment

We offer screening appointments which can take up to 30 minutes. You will be asked to complete a number of tasks in order to obtain a profile of your abilities. Should the screening assessment positively indicate dyslexia or another SpLD, we will arrange for a full assessment to be carried out at the University by a Chartered Educational Psychologist.

Specialist Study Support

You may find it helpful to access specialist study support, for example due to a SpLD or other condition which may impact on your study skills. Specialist advisors are available to meet with you on a one-to-one basis, e.g. to assist with coursework and examination preparation.

External Agencies

We work with a range of specialists from various organisations who can offer specialist advice and support to students, e.g. students disclosing an autistic spectrum disorder, sensory impairment or a physical disability.

Access to Learning Resources

We can support students to obtain university materials in their preferred format, e.g. enlarged lecture slides and tutorial materials.

Examination and Class Test Arrangements

We can put in place additional examination or class test arrangements where appropriate. Support includes; extra time, access to a computer, separate accommodation, readers, scribes, access to assistive software and rest breaks. We encourage students to discuss their requirements with an advisor as soon as possible to ensure that adjustments can be put in place. Unfortunately we may not be able to put exam support in place for students who approach the service too close to exam periods.



We require supporting evidence in order to assist you in receiving university support and/or applying for disability funding. The format of the evidence required will vary depending on your condition, but it may, for example, include a medical letter or a diagnostic report from an educational psychologist. If you do not have evidence of your disability/SpLD please speak to us about how we could help you to obtain this.


Disabled Students’ Allowance

Where you incur additional costs as a result of being a disabled student, you may be eligible to apply for the Disabled Students’ Allowance (DSA). This allowance is open to UK funded students; it is not means-tested and will not be added to any student loans etc that must be paid back. You will be required however to provide receipts to confirm that the funding has been spent as recommended. Full and part-time students are eligible, but part-time students must be studying at least 50% of a full-time course.

The DSA includes various components:

Large Items allowance

You may be recommended equipment in order to help support your studies, e.g. computing and printing facilities, assistive software, digital recorders, and ergonomic equipment.

Non-Medical Personal Help

You may require support from a person in order to undertake your studies, e.g. support worker, BSL interpreter, study skills advisor, note-taker and/or a proofreader.

Basic Allowance

You may require help towards basic student costs, e.g. print paper, ink cartridges, photocopying and university printing.


You may be eligible to receive funding for travel costs if you are unable to access public transport due to your disability.

If you would like to discuss your eligibility and the process of applying for DSA, please contact us to arrange an appointment.

Further information and Resources

Abertay Student and Academic Support Services.

SAAS Disabled Students.



If you have any queries about Disability and Specific Learning Difficulty support, you can contact the Advisory Service by emailing advisory@abertay.ac.uk.


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