How is disability categorised?

During the UCAS application process, applicants are asked to disclose their disability or impairment using the following categories. If you choose to disclose once you officially become a student at College, you will be asked to update your personal details online. The College uses the same categories as UCAS in order to record disability on your student record. You can find out more about each category through the links below. The Disability Advisory Service works with all disabled students and does not require that everyone fits firmly within one of these categories. Don't worry if you feel none of these apply to you! This is a very broad and general list covering only the most common impairments.

  • You may have a social/communication impairment such as an Autistic Spectrum condition.
  • You may be blind or have a serious visual impairment uncorrected by glasses.
  • You may be deaf or have a serious hearing impairment.
  • You may have a long standing illness or health condition such as cancer, HIV, diabetes, chronic heart disease or epilepsy.
  • You may have a mental health condition, such as depression, schizophrenia or anxiety condition.
  • You may have a specific learning difficulty such as dyslexia, dyspraxia or AD(H)D.
  • You may have a physical impairment or mobility issues, such as difficulty using your arms or using a wheelchair or crutches.
  • You may have an impairment or medical condition that is not listed above.
  • You may have two or more impairments and/or a separate medical condition.

Specific types of impairment

Autistic Spectrum conditions

Autistic Spectrum conditions affect how a person communicates and interacts with other people, particularly in social situations. This can vary from individual to invidual, but the three main areas of difficulty for people with Autistic Spectrum conditions are as follows:

  • Social communication
  • Social interaction
  • Social imagination

Long-term health conditions

In general, long-term means a condition that has lasted, or will last, more than twelve months. If you think that you have a health condition that impacts your ability to study, and will continue to impact it, then please get in touch with the Disability Advisory Service to see how we can help support you.

Mental health conditions

Mental health problems affect the way you think, feel and behave. They range from the worries we all experience as part of everyday life, to serious long-term conditions. If you have an enduring mental health difficulty, - i.e. it has lasted or is predicted to last longer than twelve months – then we may be able to arrange extra support for you. Your diagnosis must be supported with evidence from your doctor. If you have any questions about eligibility, then please contact the Disability Advisory Service

Physical or mobility difficulties

If you have a mobility difficulty or a physical impairment that makes a substantial impact on your day-to-day life, and has lasted (or is expected to last) more than twelve months, then we may be able to help arrange extra support for you. Your diagnosis must be supported with evidence from your doctor, even if it appears obvious. If you have any questions about eligibility, then please contact the Disability Advisory Service. 

Sensory impairments

Sensory impairments include those who are blind or partially sighted and those who may be deaf or hard of hearing. If your visual impairment can be corrected by glasses, then this does not count as a disability.

Specific Learning Difficulties

Specific Learning Difficulty (SpLD) is an umbrella term that is used to cover a wide variety of neurodiverse issues. For more information, see the Specific Learning Difficulties pages.