At Belfast Met we welcome and encourage applications from students who have a disability, learning difficulty or long term medical condition. We are committed to ensuring that you have an equal opportunity to gain the maximum benefit from your experience here at the College. We are a dedicated, professional team who operate on all College Campuses. We have a range of specialist services that we can offer while you are in College. So please, get in touch!
How can we help?
The College will make every reasonable effort to provide support to meet your specific needs such as equipment and software loans, personal support and support in examinations.
• Provide you with pre-entry advice and guidance
• Assess and review your support needs whilst at College
• Provide you with additional support
• Provide you with information on other external services
We tailor all of the support to best fit your needs. All you need to do is let us know that you need support and provide evidence confirming your disclosure.
Do I have to tell you about myself?
We do encourage you to let us know about your support requirements as we hope to be able to assist you in having a great experience at Belfast Met.
To start the process simply complete the Learning Support Referral Form (LS1). We guarantee that your information will be treated with the utmost confidentiality and will only be shared with your approval.
If you feel unsure about letting us know, we will not be able to provide support on course or in examinations. However, it is your right not to disclose.
Exams on course?
If you have examinations as part of your course and require additional support through Access Arrangements then you must disclose at the start of the academic year. It is your responsibility to ensure that you are assessed by Inclusive Learning, and to provide appropriate evidence that meet the awarding bodies’ deadlines. You will also be required to make contact with your Campus Examinations Office.
I am on a Higher Education course - how do I get support?
Students on Higher Education programmes should contact Inclusive Learning as well as applying for Disabled Students’ Allowance (DSA) through their Local Education Authority to access funding for support. It is recommended that you apply as early as possible. Visit www. studentfinanceni.co.uk for more details.
FAQs about Inclusive Learning
Should I notify the College of my disability? If yes, when?
Students are encouraged to discuss their support requirements with one of our Learning Support officers as soon as possible. In this way, the most appropriate support can be identified, implemented as far as possible and modified in response to your individual needs. The quickest way to ensure your support needs are addressed is to complete the Learning Support Referral Form and send directly to the Learner Services department or email us at [email protected] You can also contact us on 028 90265097 to make an appointment to see one of our Learning Support officers.
I have a medical condition but not sure if it would be classed as a disability. What should I do?
There is no definitive list, but there are ways to define and measure disability. The main legal definition is set out in the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) 1995 - a disabled person is someone who has a physical or mental impairment that has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on his or her ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities. Long-term means your impairment has lasted, or is expected to last, at least 12 months, or for the rest of your life.
This DDA definition is quite broad. For example, it can include people who have dyslexia, learning difficulties or long-term medical conditions. It can also cover people experiencing mental health difficulties.
If you are still unsure, contact us to arrange a meeting with one of our learning support officers.
If I disclose my disability will it affect my application?
Under Part 4 of the Disability Discrimination Act (1995) no student can be discriminated against because of their disability.
What happens if I decide not to disclose?
Deciding whether to disclose is a personal choice, however there are benefits to disclosing. If you tell us about your disability, then we can discuss appropriate support strategies and put them in place. If you don't tell us before the start of your course and something needs arranging; that could mean a delay, as it can take time to arrange note takers, sign language interpreters etc.
What happens once I’ve disclosed my disability?
You will be given an appointment to meet with one of our learning support officers to discuss your requirements and agree appropriate support strategies. Discussion and recommendations will be based on medical evidence, background information from you on how your condition affects you on a daily basis, and previous support you may have received at school.
Who will be told about my disability?
It is an important part of our service that we deal with any issues sensitively and discreetly. All information and evidence given to us will be treated and stored confidentially. If classroom adjustments need to be made, your course tutors will be made aware. Special Exam Arrangements are organised by the Examinations Officer and evidence is required before these can be processed. Your disability will only be discussed with others after consultation with you and with your consent.
What support can I expect?
Students may access a wide range of support. Recommendations for any support will be individual and based on evidence presented to Inclusive Learning. Types of support include:
- Learning Mentors
- Sign Language Interpreter
- Loan of Equipment
- Specialist Enabling Technology
- Examination Support
Do I have to pay for this support?
Belfast Met is allocated a budget each year to meet the needs of students with disabilities or additional support needs enrolled on Further Education courses. This fund does not cover transport or personal care.
Students on higher education courses may be entitled to claim Disabled Students’ Allowance (DSA). But you must apply to your local education authority to confirm eligibility for this award.
I have a disability but don’t need any support. Do I still need to come to Inclusive Learning?
It’s always a good idea to come along for a chat with a Learning Support Officer to find out about the full range of support available. Studying at college is often very different from school, so it’s in your best interests to know what’s available.
How do I ensure special examination arrangements if I have any disabilities?
The first thing you need is either a report from an educational psychologist if you are dyslexic and/or dyspraxic, or medical evidence from a specialist or general practitioner for other types of disability, including visual impairment, hearing impairment, mobility difficulties, mental health difficulties, Asperger’s Syndrome or other recognised disability. Wherever possible, evidence should explain why you need special arrangements. Bring the evidence to Inclusive Learning and arrange an appointment with one of our Learning Support officers. Final decisions on special exam arrangements are the responsibility of the Exam Awarding Body.
Special exam arrangements have to be applied for at the beginning of the exam period and do not carry over into a new academic year. It is the student’s responsibility to make sure you have been assessed by a learning support officer before the deadlines set by Belfast Met and the exam awarding body.
I am an international student with a disability – what should I do?
You will need to provide evidence - medical or an educational psychologist report - in English. International students may not qualify for funding from ASF or DSA, so you may have to make other arrangements to fund your support. This could mean you have to pay some or all of your support costs.
Download the Learning Support Referral Form (LS1) here: Download LS1 Form
Main Office: Titanic Quarter Campus, Level 2, Room 62
Tel: 028 9026 5097
To view detailed accessibility information to Belfast Metropolitan College, click here to go to DisabledGo.com