Hey there! Sign in to join this conversationNew here? Join for free

Accommodation for disabled students (Autism) Watch

    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    2
    ReputationRep:
    Hi,
    My daughter who is on the ASD spectrum will be applying for university later this year.

    I was wondering whether universities would give any priority to a student like this in terms of accommodation, e.g. guaranteeing a place in Halls for more than the usual first year? I think my daughter might struggle to cope with offsite accommodation.

    Also, she is very self conscious and wouldn't be able to use a shared bathroom - would she get any sort of allowance towards the cost of ensuite accommodation?

    Thanks
    Offline

    18
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by MJ6987)
    Hey,

    Has your daughter applied for DSA (disabled students allowance)?

    Some universities allow you to stay in their halls longer than first year, others don't. It would depend on your daughters uni so I'd suggest ringing them and asking. You might want to actually contact the student support team before she starts to check these things. In terms of the en-suite - there is a possibility that DSA may pay the difference in price between regular flat and en suite however you would need to be able to show that her condition makes it necessary. They have done this for me - I stay in a studio flat due to my mental health problems... however I am unsure if they have tightened the criteria since and I had to send in evidence from my psychiatrist that this was something I needed.

    Hope this helps a little,
    Jen
    • TSR Support Team
    • Very Important Poster
    Offline

    21
    ReputationRep:
    TSR Support Team
    Very Important Poster
    DSA really have tightened the rules in regards to accommodation and I do believe that the uni is expected to help now. (sorry, I'm not overly sure what the rules on this are now. Her DSA assessor and the uni will)

    The above information you've been given is pretty much right. Your daughter needs to speak to her uni when applying for accommodation and explain her situation.
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    2
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Jenx301)
    Hey,

    Has your daughter applied for DSA (disabled students allowance)?

    Some universities allow you to stay in their halls longer than first year, others don't. It would depend on your daughters uni so I'd suggest ringing them and asking. You might want to actually contact the student support team before she starts to check these things. In terms of the en-suite - there is a possibility that DSA may pay the difference in price between regular flat and en suite however you would need to be able to show that her condition makes it necessary. They have done this for me - I stay in a studio flat due to my mental health problems... however I am unsure if they have tightened the criteria since and I had to send in evidence from my psychiatrist that this was something I needed.

    Hope this helps a little,
    Jen
    (Original post by Tiger Rag)
    DSA really have tightened the rules in regards to accommodation and I do believe that the uni is expected to help now. (sorry, I'm not overly sure what the rules on this are now. Her DSA assessor and the uni will)

    The above information you've been given is pretty much right. Your daughter needs to speak to her uni when applying for accommodation and explain her situation.
    Thanks both. She hasn't applied for DSA yet. She's only doing her AS Levels this summer and then will be applying for Uni in the autumn - when do you normally need to apply for DSA? She would be starting Uni in Autumn 2017.

    Also she is currently under CAMHS but will transfer to Adult Services (basically her GP I think) when she turns 18 in September. I wonder if it might be worth getting a letter from a psychologist / psychiatrist at CAMHS before she is 18 regarding her need for an ensuite? It's one of those things that would be difficult to describe why she needs it, she would just not be able to have a shower or go to the toilet where other people are around her.


    Thanks.
    • TSR Support Team
    • Very Important Poster
    Offline

    21
    ReputationRep:
    TSR Support Team
    Very Important Poster
    (Original post by MJ6987)
    Thanks both. She hasn't applied for DSA yet. She's only doing her AS Levels this summer and then will be applying for Uni in the autumn - when do you normally need to apply for DSA? She would be starting Uni in Autumn 2017.

    Also she is currently under CAMHS but will transfer to Adult Services (basically her GP I think) when she turns 18 in September. I wonder if it might be worth getting a letter from a psychologist / psychiatrist at CAMHS before she is 18 regarding her need for an ensuite? It's one of those things that would be difficult to describe why she needs it, she would just not be able to have a shower or go to the toilet where other people are around her.


    Thanks.
    You apply for DSA when you apply for student finance. That's usually around the end of Feburary / start of March time.

    I do think it would be worth her getting a letter stating why she needs an en suite.
    Offline

    18
    ReputationRep:
    you should absolutely apply for DSA but you can also contact the disability services at the universities she is considering before/during the application process to see what they can set up themselves/what it will cost... for example, I never applied for DSA but my university disability service said they could ensure I was allocated an appropriate room for my needs (i.e. an ensuite and self catered), it may be that this isn't prohibitively expensive to just pay for if DSA wont fund it
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    2
    ReputationRep:
    Thanks, yes the catering is another good point - she did a "law degree taster day" at Christs College, Cambridge and they said that most of their accommodation is catered - she has a very limited diet and would really need self-catering otherwise it would be a waste of money.

    I will contact the universities she is considering (about 15 of them at last count!) and see what they say...

    • TSR Support Team
    • Very Important Poster
    Offline

    21
    ReputationRep:
    TSR Support Team
    Very Important Poster
    If it's an option, I'd also visit and ensure she can have a chat with the disability services and have a proper walk around the uni. One problem for me, (partly due to being Autistic) is that I get lost rather easily. But you can't give me a map, tell me we're here and say we need to get there. And you can't give me verbal instructions either, because I don't always understand them.
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    2
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Tiger Rag)
    If it's an option, I'd also visit and ensure she can have a chat with the disability services and have a proper walk around the uni. One problem for me, (partly due to being Autistic) is that I get lost rather easily. But you can't give me a map, tell me we're here and say we need to get there. And you can't give me verbal instructions either, because I don't always understand them.
    Yes, she's hopeless at knowing her way around - like me (my wife reckons I am probably on the spectrum as well!). And, yes, we are planning to go to loads of Open Days in the summer for all the Unis on her long shortlist - Oxford, Cambridge, Durham, Nottingham, Warwick, Lancaster, York, Birmingham, Cardiff, Liverpool, Keele, Bangor, John Moores, University of Law!

    I think (and she thinks) she would be better in a "campus" type uni rather than a city one so the list is weighted towards that. Obviously depends how well she does in her ASs as well.
    Offline

    13
    ReputationRep:
    I think the others have pretty much answered your question. But, as someone with autism in currently year 1at uni I went through all this last year, and I have 1 tip for you.

    About open days, don't go to them. -let me explain why.

    Open days, the Uni Is all set up different to how it is on any other day, they put up tables and big display boards, and of course their is LOTS of people Everywhere, everything is busy and noisy. The staff your wanting to talk to in details about this and ask lots of questions have many other students to see, they won't have all the information you might need because they will just have a selection of general leaflets of whatever they can get, and then you find the person there on the open day from support is not actually the disability person so knows nothing.

    If you want any other advice please ask, I've been through it so happy to help.

    A much better idea is to contact the disability or support service and ask to visit them on another day. Explain that your daughter has autism and so would struggle visiting on an open day, and that you want time to talk to someone in detail about it. you can also ask for the opportunity to see lecturers and accommodation at your visit too if you want that.

    For the uni's I applied for I did this, 1 refused to do this, so I had to go on the open day (the above happened, it was a disaster). Another was wonderful, I visited many times over the summer, saw a few different lectures, went to halls-so much help with adjusting with going to uni-this started before I even applied. I guess it won't surprise you that I now go to the 2nd one. I never applied to the first, if they can't understand and make an adjustment of letting me visit on a quiet day I am not paying thousands of pounds to have terrible support and no understanding there.
    Offline

    19
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by dipka)
    I think the others have pretty much answered your question. But, as someone with autism in currently year 1at uni I went through all this last year, and I have 1 tip for you.

    About open days, don't go to them. -let me explain why.

    Open days, the Uni Is all set up different to how it is on any other day, they put up tables and big display boards, and of course their is LOTS of people Everywhere, everything is busy and noisy. The staff your wanting to talk to in details about this and ask lots of questions have many other students to see, they won't have all the information you might need because they will just have a selection of general leaflets of whatever they can get, and then you find the person there on the open day from support is not actually the disability person so knows nothing.

    If you want any other advice please ask, I've been through it so happy to help.

    A much better idea is to contact the disability or support service and ask to visit them on another day. Explain that your daughter has autism and so would struggle visiting on an open day, and that you want time to talk to someone in detail about it. you can also ask for the opportunity to see lecturers and accommodation at your visit too if you want that.

    For the uni's I applied for I did this, 1 refused to do this, so I had to go on the open day (the above happened, it was a disaster). Another was wonderful, I visited many times over the summer, saw a few different lectures, went to halls-so much help with adjusting with going to uni-this started before I even applied. I guess it won't surprise you that I now go to the 2nd one. I never applied to the first, if they can't understand and make an adjustment of letting me visit on a quiet day I am not paying thousands of pounds to have terrible support and no understanding there.
    (Original post by MJ6987)
    Hi,
    My daughter who is on the ASD spectrum will be applying for university later this year.

    I was wondering whether universities would give any priority to a student like this in terms of accommodation, e.g. guaranteeing a place in Halls for more than the usual first year? I think my daughter might struggle to cope with offsite accommodation.

    Also, she is very self conscious and wouldn't be able to use a shared bathroom - would she get any sort of allowance towards the cost of ensuite accommodation?

    Thanks
    I would agree with those saying its worth basing final choices on how supportive the uni is with initial enquiries. At the uni I applied to (not one of your choices though) I contacted disability support about being considered a priority for en-suite accommodation (for a different condition) the requested a doctors note and once they received that it was noted down and hey presto, I got an ensuite. They were also happy to accommodate those with disabilities beyond first year, so again do ask about that.
    It's also worth noting that halls can be very noisy particularly at night, with students having 'pre drinks' before going clubbing. Should that noise be an issue for your daughter its worth asking if the university has a quiet block/
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    Personally I know that Cambridge and Birmingham have great disability support and are very willing to have meetings about your needs at university
    • TSR Support Team
    • Clearing and Applications Advisor
    Offline

    21
    ReputationRep:
    TSR Support Team
    Clearing and Applications Advisor
    (Original post by Tiger Rag)
    DSA really have tightened the rules in regards to accommodation and I do believe that the uni is expected to help now. (sorry, I'm not overly sure what the rules on this are now. Her DSA assessor and the uni will)

    The above information you've been given is pretty much right. Your daughter needs to speak to her uni when applying for accommodation and explain her situation.
    I'm also not 100% sure what the rules are but my DSA does include a grant to cover the difference between normal and en-suite accommodation.
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    2
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by jelly1000)
    I would agree with those saying its worth basing final choices on how supportive the uni is with initial enquiries. At the uni I applied to (not one of your choices though) I contacted disability support about being considered a priority for en-suite accommodation (for a different condition) the requested a doctors note and once they received that it was noted down and hey presto, I got an ensuite. They were also happy to accommodate those with disabilities beyond first year, so again do ask about that.
    It's also worth noting that halls can be very noisy particularly at night, with students having 'pre drinks' before going clubbing. Should that noise be an issue for your daughter its worth asking if the university has a quiet block/
    Cool, thanks. I have actually emailed all 15 yesterday with the same email (to their disability support contact) asking them about all this. Be interesting how helpful their replies are!

    One interesting one I found in Keele's prospectus is that they will guarantee 3 years Halls accommodation for disabled students who make Keele their firm choice. Hardly seems reasonable to expect Keele to be first choice if a student has an offer from, say, Cambridge / Oxford!
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    2
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by x465)
    Personally I know that Cambridge and Birmingham have great disability support and are very willing to have meetings about your needs at university
    That's good to know. She loved Cambridge when she went there for the day - she loves the Tudors and the college she went to had portraits of Margaret Beaufort ("Henry the Eighth's Nana" as my daughter told me), who helped set it up, so she was pretty much sold on it straightaway. She also said "it was dead geeky" - which was a good thing as far as she was concerned!

    I don't want her getting her hopes up too much though as I know it's very hard to get in there.
    Offline

    19
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by MJ6987)
    Cool, thanks. I have actually emailed all 15 yesterday with the same email (to their disability support contact) asking them about all this. Be interesting how helpful their replies are!

    One interesting one I found in Keele's prospectus is that they will guarantee 3 years Halls accommodation for disabled students who make Keele their firm choice. Hardly seems reasonable to expect Keele to be first choice if a student has an offer from, say, Cambridge / Oxford!
    Oh definitely. And that is shocking, at the end of the day a disabled person should have their needs met whether they put the uni as firm or insurance! If you daughter can get the A*/A grades required for Oxbridge though no need for somewhere like Keele as an insurance.
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    2
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Plagioclase)
    I'm also not 100% sure what the rules are but my DSA does include a grant to cover the difference between normal and en-suite accommodation.
    That's good, although I hear that they are trying to put more onus onto the Universities now (typical government cuts!) so they may be moving away from that, not sure.
    • TSR Support Team
    • Clearing and Applications Advisor
    Offline

    21
    ReputationRep:
    TSR Support Team
    Clearing and Applications Advisor
    (Original post by MJ6987)
    That's good, although I hear that they are trying to put more onus onto the Universities now (typical government cuts!) so they may be moving away from that, not sure.
    A lot of changes were imposed last year (i.e. just before I applied for my DSA) and I was initially told that they probably wouldn't cover the difference and in the end, they did. At least for the time being, nobody's informed me that this is going to change (although there are other irritating changes that are going on, like forcing universities to replace university-employed mentors for people with mental health issues with agency staff... very worrying).
    Online

    15
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by MJ6987)
    That's good to know. She loved Cambridge when she went there for the day - she loves the Tudors and the college she went to had portraits of Margaret Beaufort ("Henry the Eighth's Nana" as my daughter told me), who helped set it up, so she was pretty much sold on it straightaway. She also said "it was dead geeky" - which was a good thing as far as she was concerned!

    I don't want her getting her hopes up too much though as I know it's very hard to get in there.
    I don't know about Cambridge but I looked at Oxford (and didn't apply because I hated the physics department) but I required self-catered en-suite due to my eating disorder and very few colleges even had either en-suite or self-catered rooms (and the rooms that were self-catered had tiny kitchens for the number of people). I felt that Oxford uni was not set up in a way for it to be easy for them to accommodate me. Although your daughter may find different.
    Offline

    13
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by jelly1000)
    I would agree with those saying its worth basing final choices on how supportive the uni is with initial enquiries. At the uni I applied to (not one of your choices though) I contacted disability support about being considered a priority for en-suite accommodation (for a different condition) the requested a doctors note and once they received that it was noted down and hey presto, I got an ensuite. They were also happy to accommodate those with disabilities beyond first year, so again do ask about that.
    It's also worth noting that halls can be very noisy particularly at night, with students having 'pre drinks' before going clubbing. Should that noise be an issue for your daughter its worth asking if the university has a quiet block/
    I didn't have an issue with the en-suite part. At my uni campus their is only 1 halls, and all the rooms in it are en-suite. So, no choice, its en-suite room or nothing.
    I do go to a uni that guarantees me a place in halls all the years I am there-so I already have a place in halls next year. I don't think it Is for all disabilities though, as in it's not on the dyslexia and dyspraxia pages that the do that for those students so I assume it only applies to those with disabilities that affect them living independently but I've not looked at every page to check that.
    I did that too, requested a quieter section with smaller flats because of noise and sharing and also making friends issues and that is where I got put.
 
 
 
  • See more of what you like on The Student Room

    You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

  • Poll
    What's your favourite Christmas sweets?
  • See more of what you like on The Student Room

    You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

  • The Student Room, Get Revising and Marked by Teachers are trading names of The Student Room Group Ltd.

    Register Number: 04666380 (England and Wales), VAT No. 806 8067 22 Registered Office: International House, Queens Road, Brighton, BN1 3XE

    Quick reply
    Reputation gems: You get these gems as you gain rep from other members for making good contributions and giving helpful advice.