Reasonable Adjustments for Disabilities and Long-term Conditions

Long-term support for students with a disability or ongoing physical or mental health condition.

UCL is responsible for anticipating and implementing ‘Reasonable Adjustments’ for students with a disability. We do this by working with you to set up a ‘Summary of Reasonable Adjustments (SoRA)’.

A disabled person is defined in the Equality Act (2010) as someone with "A physical or mental impairment which has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on their ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities." 

  • Normal day-to-day activities include mobility, manual dexterity, physical co-ordination, continence, ability to lift, carry and move everyday objects, speech, hearing, eyesight, memory or ability to concentrate, learn or understand, and perception of risk or physical danger.
  • Substantial means more than minor or trivial e.g. it takes much longer that it usually would to complete a daily task like getting dressed.
  • Long term means likely to last for 12 months or more. 

How to apply

UCL’s Student Support and Wellbeing (SSW) team can help you to set up a Summary of Reasonable Adjustments (SoRA).

Step 1: Tell us about your disability, long-term condition, neurodivergence or learning difference
  • Let us know when you apply to UCL or during pre-enrolment so that we can put in place the support that you need as soon as possible. We will then send you an invitation to complete an Applicant Support Questionnaire.
  • Alternatively, you can contact the SSW team at any stage during your studies to request an appointment.
Step 2: Make an appointment
  • An SSW adviser will contact you via email or phone within 10 working days to invite you to an appointment to discuss your support in more detail.
Step 3: Provide medical evidence
  • You will be asked to provide medical evidence to ensure that your request for a SoRA is aligned with the Equality Act (2010) – you should send this to your SSW adviser in advance of your appointment so that they can prepare for your meeting. Providing Supporting Evidence includes more information.
Step 4: Discuss your SoRA with your SSW adviser

At your appointment, your SSW adviser will discuss your circumstances, experiences and expectations, and the types of support that are available. This may include the following topics:

  • Your SSW adviser can also talk to you about any concerns you might have about confidentiality. Confidentiality and Looking After Your Data includes more information.
  • Your adviser will ask if you would like to include a short personal statement in your SoRA, explaining the impact of your condition on your learning and what approaches to support are most helpful to you. This is optional, but it can help your Department to support you more effectively.
  • Your adviser will consult your Department’s guidance on the types of adjustments that are suitable for your subject area to help ensure that your SoRA aligns with the activities that you will be undertaking on your programme e.g. if you will be doing lab work, clinical exams, field trips, placements, examinations, take-home papers, coursework, exhibitions, etc.
  • Your adviser may liaise with UCL Information Services (ISD), UCL Estates and/ or the UCL Library in order to arrange your adjustments. You may also be referred for non-medical support such as specialist tuition, mental health mentoring, note-taking support, etc.
  • In some cases, SSW may need to work with external providers, for example to source equipment or engage with note takers. The time frames for working with external providers are often outside of SSW’s control – letting us know about your circumstances before your programme starts will allow us to put in place the support that you need as early as possible.
  • You may also be asked to complete an application for Exam Adjustments if you need support to sit online or in-person Controlled Condition Exams or Take-Home Papers.
  • Your SSW adviser can also talk to you about any concerns you might have about confidentiality.
Step 5: Confirm your SoRA on Portico
  • Your SSW adviser will let you know when your SoRA is available on UCL’s student record system, Portico. You will need to accept the SoRA in Portico in order to activate your adjustments and make them visible to your Department.
Step 6: Receive confirmation from your Department
  • Once your SoRA is activated, your Department will be able to view it and work out how to make adjustments to individual modules and assessments. Your Department should contact you within 10 working days to confirm arrangements, and may invite you to a meeting to discuss your support.
  • If your Department has any queries about your SoRA they should contact the Student Support and Wellbeing team for advice.
  • If you are taking modules in another Department, they will also be able to see your SoRA and make appropriate arrangements.
Step 7: Work with your Department to ensure your SoRA is supporting you effectively
  • Your Department has a dedicated SoRA Contact. You can get in touch with them for any issues related to your SoRA, including help to understand how your SoRA works, what practical academic support may be available to you, how your SoRA is being implemented, etc. Your SoRA Contact can also liaise between your Department and the SSW team to clarify any uncertainties around your SoRA if these arise.
  • If you are having difficulties with the implementation of your SoRA in your Department, you can write to your Faculty Tutor for help and advice.
Step 8: Engage with support and keep your SoRA up to date
  • Agreeing a SoRA is just the start of our support for you. Make sure that you make full use of all the support offered to you and stay in contact with the SSW team throughout your studies as they can help to ensure that your SoRA is up to date and supporting you effectively.
Step 9: Request regular reviews
  • You can request a review of your SoRA as and when you feel it is necessary. Regular reviews are beneficial for all students but are particularly important if you have a condition which fluctuates or changes over time.
  • Your SoRA is designed to support you on a specific programme of study. If you change programmes or start a new programme (e.g. you progress to a Masters or PhD) you must get in touch with the SSW team to revise your SoRA