Supporting students and staff with disabilities
Wadham College is committed to supporting students and staff with disabilities. We work closely with the University’s Disability Advisory Service, and with Occupational Health, to ensure we offer appropriate support both in working with individual staff and students, and in shaping the broader culture, physical and academic. Everyone at Wadham is committed to creating a fair and positive environment.
Wadham has gone above and beyond any definition of ‘reasonable’ in order to enable me to study the subject I love; providing outstanding support every step of the way… I have a physical disability and developed a severe mental illness part way through my course. Wadham has responded to both superbly, without hesitation or question.
Staff with specific disability responsibilities
The College’s Disability Leads are:
Frances Lloyd (Domestic Bursar) 01865 277963
Caroline Mawson (Senior Tutor) 01865 277948
Current students with a query relating to a disability should contact the Academic Administrator and Disability Coordinator, Mike Froggatt (01865 277946), while potential applicants to the College should contact the Admissions Administrator, Catharine Baumann (01865 277545). Any staff with queries relating to disability should contact the HR Manager, Joanne Perkins (01865 277909). All conversations will be treated in confidence.
Wadham has always had a very strong sense of community and mutual support. At my most mentally unwell, it felt like home. I have never encountered any stigma or hint of discrimination, despite my situation being relatively known. The College Nurse and Chaplain gave me excellent sustained support and friendship.
Disclosing a disability
You don’t have to disclose whether you have a disability. However, there are benefits to disclosing. If we are aware in advance of any particular difficulties you might encounter, we can provide you appropriate support and make reasonable adjustments.
If you did not disclose as part of the application process, you are strongly advised to do so once you have arrived in College by contacting either the College's Disability Coordinator or the Disability Advisory Service. All information you provide is treated confidentially, and will only be shared with tutors or other members of staff with your permission.
If you think that you have a disability when already at College - including dyslexia or a mental health condition - you can also contact the University Disability Advisory Service, Disability Coordinator or, where relevant, the College Doctor.
If you register with the Disability Advisory Service they can arrange for a Study Needs Assessment (SNA), which will inform the support you can seek.
University of Oxford Disability Advisory Service
The College works closely with the University’s Disability Advisory Service which offers confidential advice, practical support and useful information online on what to expect and how to seek help.
The College is a signatory of the University’s Common Framework on Disability and works pro-actively to improve experiences for all students and staff with disabilities.
There is some funding available to meet any additional costs arising from a disability. Home students, undergraduate or graduate, may be eligible for Disabled Students’ Allowance (DSA). These are provided by Local Authorities or the Student Awards Agency for Scotland. Some graduate funding bodies also provide an equivalent to DSA.
Please be aware that the UK government is revising the terms of the DSA and the level of support may change at short notice. The University and the College also have limited funds available to assist students with specific study-related needs. You should contact the Disability Advisory Service for up-to-date details.
Course adjustments and exam arrangements
The College (in the case of undergraduates) and University/department (in the case of graduates) are willing to consider appropriate and reasonable adjustments to both teaching and, with agreement of the University, assessment (examining) while on course.
Students with a disability, including specific learning difficulties such as dyslexia and dyspraxia, or medical condition who need to apply for special study or examination arrangements will need medical or other independent, specialist evidence to support their requests for those arrangements. Examinations arrangements are authorised by the University, but made through the Academic Office. Depending on individual needs, the kind of adjustments that may be possible include extending your period of study, providing readers/scribes or Braille texts, allowing a different mode of assessment, rescheduling of examinations, providing extra time in examinations and extensions to submission deadlines, sitting examinations in College and allowing you to use word processors in examinations.
The Bodleian Library makes available a wide range of e-books which are recommended by the University Counselling Service; these e-books, which can be accessed here, cover topics such as academic life, identity, self-care, relationships, mental health, disability and overcoming traumatic events.
The College’s Student Union has amongst its elected representatives a Disabled Students' Officer.
The Oxford University Student Union (OUSU) has a Welfare and Equal Opportunities full-time sabbatical representative, a part-time Disabled Students Officer and a liberation campaign for disabled students known as the Oxford Students' Disability Community (oxdisability.com).
Students with a disability may also find the OUSU’s Student Advice Service helpful.
Wadham took me, my mental illness, and my psychiatric hospitalisations in its stride. Wadham is the place where I have felt most at home and supported when not at my parents.