Getting ready for university

There are steps that disabled students can take to smooth the transition to university. You can help by supporting your son or daughter to work through the following steps to get themselves ready.

Disclose any disability at application 

When your son or daughter is applying to university, they will be asked to disclose a disability on their application form. We strongly advise that students do disclose any disability so that they can receive advice on how they can be supported. Please be assured that disclosure will not affect the offers process, which is based on academic merit. Disclosing a disability will not positively or negatively affect a student’s chances of receiving an offer from the University. If your son or daughter did not disclose at application but would like to disclose now, they should contact Disability Services for further advice. We welcome and encourage disclosure at any point, from application right through to the later stages of a degree. The sooner a student discloses, however, the sooner they will receive advice and support. For this reason, early disclosure is strongly encouraged.

Complete the online Applicant Questionnaire for disabled students 

If your son or daughter receives an offer to study at the University, they will be invited to complete the online Applicant Questionnaire (AQ) for disabled students. The purpose of the AQ is to tell us what we need to know so that we can provide further advice. As part of completing the AQ, students are asked to scan and send (or post) evidence of their disability to Disability Services.

The AQ, asks applicants to reflect on how they have been supported in the past – at GCSE or A-level, for example. You can help your son or daughter to recall these details and also encourage them to plainly report (rather than downplay) the effects of their disability. Following receipt of the AQ, students will receive further advice.

Contact the Accommodation Office about any special accommodation requirements

If your son or daughter will have special accommodation requirements, they must contact the Accommodation Office directly. Further information is available on the Accommodation Office web pages

Apply for Disabled Students' Allowances (DSAs) 

DSAs are grants (not loans), which may fund study support for disabled students depending on their individual circumstances and on eligibility criteria set by their funder. We advise all UK home disabled students to apply for DSAs to find out what can be funded.

The DSAs forms are not overly complicated but it may be helpful for you to support your son or daughter to complete them.

Key advice for all applicants with disabilities 

All parents, supporters and disabled applicants should read our key advice on applying to the University and our key advice for applicants with offers.

Contacting Disability Services 

Students will receive general advice following submission of their Applicant Questionnaire (see above) and may receive more specific advice in due course, depending on their individual circumstances. If students have particular queries or would like further advice or would like advice before submitting the AQ, they can email: disability-services-advice@bristol.ac.uk. We encourage students to contact us themselves, rather than via their parents or supporters; please support your son or daughter to contact us directly.