UCAS and Student Support
Please remember to register with UCAS and tick the box to say that you have a disability.
You may have noticed a box on your UCAS form that asks whether you have a disability. Although many people with type 1 diabetes do not consider themselves to have a ‘disability’ or be ‘disabled’, this is the umbrella term used by the universities and it includes medical conditions too. By ticking this box it lets the university know that you have a medical condition that may require support. This may make things easier once you start and your university will send further information to you automatically on the support available. If you don’t tick the box on the UCAS form you can still notify the student support office either before you arrive at university or make an appointment to see them once you’ve started.
If you are starting university soon, below are a few departments that you may wish to contact before arriving at the start of your first term.
University halls or accommodation
If you opt for catered accommodation don’t forget to let them know about your type 1 and any dietary requirements.
Mini-fridge – many universities will provide you with your own mini-fridge free of charge to store your insulin. Get in touch with the accommodation office in order to organise this in readiness for your arrival.
Student support services
Not everyone with type 1 diabetes chooses to engage with student support services. However, they can be a good source of support and advice and may help to alleviate any concerns you have prior to starting university.
Universities will have an information pack about the services provided which can be sent to you on request.
Student support services may offer you support in various ways, which includes:
- Advising you on the accommodation available – access to en-suite and mini-fridge facilities
- Help with additional support such as extra time and support for exams
- Supporting you in your degree if you feel that your type 1 is having an impact on your work
- Advising you about Disabled Students’ Allowance
This funding may cover the cost of the support you need e.g. equipment such as a mini fridge or additional travel expenses. First you’ll need either a letter from your doctor or consultant confirming your health condition. Then you apply for DSA through: https://www.gov.uk/disabled-students-allowances-dsas. It can take several months to arrange, so apply early. If you’re eligible you’ll then have an assessment to work out what you need. Once everything’s arranged, the money will be paid directly to your service/equipment providers, or to your bank account. You don’t have to repay any of the costs incurred and the support you get depends on your individual needs and not on income.
You can get more information about your Disabled Students’ Allowance at:
- England: gov.uk
- Wales: studentfinancewales.co.uk
- Northern Ireland: nidirect.gov.uk
- Scotland: saas.gov.uk
When you arrive at university there is a lot to think about. Some of the main issues are covered in this toolkit.