Get the support you need during your time at university.
As of 2021, there are 14.1 million disabled people in the UK. Disabilities come in many different forms that are unfortunately commonly stigmatized. Many people who use mobility aids (wheelchairs, crutches etc.) are not actually completely unable to walk but walking is still very difficult for them. Many disabilities are hidden and can go undiagnosed for years. OCD is more than being very tidy, ADHD is more than getting distracted all the time, autism does not make someone a savant.
Disability at Heriot-Watt
Disabled Students Society
Why not join our Disabled Students Society? We are here to make sure you get the support you need during your time at university. But that’s not all! We also have lots of socials, game nights, chill chats and more! If you’d like to join or just want to find out more, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org - or you can find us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Discord!
The University Disability Services are here to provide the support you need in your academic life – from reasonable adjustments to extra equipment, they’ve got you covered! They can also provide screening for disabilities such as dyslexia.
The Buddy System is run between the Disability Services and the Sports Union. You can sign up via your Disability Adviser and they will pair you up with a Sports Union Ambassador from the Club of your choice! The Ambassador will answer any question you might have and chum you to your first few practices – you can also just go to the gym with them!
The Advice Hub gives independent, confidential and impartial advice and support. If you need help with mitigating circumstances forms, have any questions about life on and off campus or just need a chat, our Student Advisers are the people for you!
Support for carers
A carer is anyone who cares, unpaid, for a friend or family member who due to illness, disability, a mental health problem or an addiction cannot cope without their support. Whether you are officially recognised or not, you can disclose your status to the Wellbeing Services to receive extra support. Check the dedicated University webpage for details on the type of support available. You can also join our Parents and Carers network on Facebook to stay up to date with any events and find other students in a similar situation!
Frieda Kahlo (1907-1954), painter
JC Sheitan Tenet, tattoo artist
Stephen Wiltshire (1974-), architectural artist
Jessica Alba (1981-), actress
Millie Bobby Brown (2004-), actress
Alex Brooker (1984-), journalist, television presenter, comedian
Nyle DiMarco (1989-), actor and model
Adam Hills (1970-), comedian and radio and television presenter
Daniel Radcliffe (1989-), actor
Josh Widdicombe (1983-), comedian and radio and television presenter
Robin Williams (1951-2014), actor
Rick Allen (1963-), drummer
Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827), composer
Billie Eilish (2018-), singer
Itzhak Perlman (1945-), violinist
Stevie Wonder (1950-), singer and composer
Farida Bedwei (1979-), software engineer
Thomas Edison (1847-1931), inventor
Stephen Hawkins (1942-2018), theoretical physicist
Tanni Grey-Thompson (1969-), former athlete and Member of the House of Lords
Franklin D. Roosevelt (1882-1945), 32nd US President
Greta Thunberg (2003-), environmental activist
Simon Jackson (1972-), judoka and Olympic Gold medalist
Jason Lester (1974-), endurance athlete
Alana Nichols (1983-), Paralympic wheelchair basketball player
I haven’t disclosed any disability to the University, should I? And if yes, how do I go about it?
By disclosing a disability to the University Disability Services, you will be able to receive the support and reasonable adjustments you need to make the best of your time at uni. You can either book an appointment with the Wellbeing Services or email email@example.com! The information you disclose is confidential and will only be discussed with your lecturers if you agree to it.
I think I might have... (insert disability here). What do I do?
You can either book an appointment with the Disability Services or go to your GP! They will be able to help you and refer you to any screening tests you might need. If you think you might be entitled to extra support, reach out for it as soon as you can to make sure all the measures you need can be rolled out well in time for exams!
Is Edinburgh mobility-friendly?
Edinburgh has a great public transport system but unfortunately many issues are still around in the Old Town side of it as there are a lot of cobbles and hills which many wheelchair users and users of other mobility aids find difficult. Fortunately, the most popular places in Edinburgh are around Princes Street which is a lot smoother.
What is the difference between a mitigating circumstance and a reasonable adjustment?
Reasonable adjustments are the measures put in place to make sure you get the support you need. The most common ones include getting lecture notes in advance, extra time during exams, and software such as speech to text. Mitigating circumstances cover exceptional instances, like a bad flare-up of an illness or your internet going down just before a submission deadline.
What disabilities do the Disability Services cover?
All of them! The Disability Services are here to support you to make sure you have the best time at university no matter what!
Links to other organisations!
There are loads of charities and organisations you can turn to for extra support. We’ve listed a few here to help during your time at uni and beyond.
Citizens Advice Bureau
Government Benefits Calculator
List of Disability Confident Employers
Personal Independence Payment (PIP)
Advice for Carers
Grants. Bursaries and scholarships
Disability Grants UK
The Independent Living Fund Scotland
The Snowdon Trust
Mental Health Support
The Blide Trust (Orkney)
Scottish Mental Health Association (SAMH)
Move On (provides financial and debt management advice)
Move On (specialises in supporting homeless young people)
Edinburgh Young Carers
NHS Lothian Carer support team