Deaf or hard of hearing students

Students' support needs are assessed on a case-by-case basis and adjustments are never made for you automatically. Support can sometimes take a while to arrange so it is very important to contact the Disability Service as early as possible. The Disability Advisor can assess your needs and arrange any relevant support so that it is in place for you when you start your studies. If you are a BSL user, we will need as much advance notice of this as possible so that we can ensure that an interpreter can be present when we meet.

We aim to organise the support you require in advance of you attending the University, so it is vital that you contact us as soon as possible.

Examples of support available

  • Arranging non-medical support worker assistance such as a Note-taker for lectures or BSL interpreting (UK campuses only)
  • Liaising with University Departments to arrange accessible teaching and exam venues. 
  • Development of a Personal Care Plan (PCP) if you will need assistance with evacuation in the event of an emergency.
  • SafeZone is a free app for students which connects you to the University Safeguarding team if you ever need urgent help, first aid or if you have an emergency whilst on campus.
  • Specialised equipment
  • Assistive software and training
  • Exam and coursework arrangements.
  • Arranging Disabled Students' Allowance (DSA) (UK students only)

Hearing Dogs are welcome on campus.

Examination and coursework adjustment details

Your coursework and exam adjustments will be discussed in full at your appointment with an Advisor. Any adjustment recommended is based on the needs of the individual. Examples follow but the list is not exhaustive:

Exam adjustments:

  • Use of a PC
  • Extra time in exams and timed class tests
  • An allowance for disregarding of poor spelling, writing and grammar in handwritten exams
  • Invigilator’s instructions also to be available in writing
  • Invigilators to be made aware of use of hearing aid(s)

 Coursework adjustments:

  • Lecture notes and slides provided in advance of the lecture
  • Lecturers to be provided with a mic by student

Study skills:

  • Help with organisation, time management, pacing and managing the workload.
  • Developing strategies for writing, note-taking, as required.

Where your needs are complex, we will agree a Learning Profile with you that will be available to teaching staff.

Disabled Students Allowance (DSA)

Available to UK-domiciled students only

This is additional funding which may be available to meet any additional study-related costs that a student may incur because of their disability. If you require any funded support, we will arrange another appointment to have your needs assessed for funding through DSA. Further information on DSA can be found on the Disability Service webpages.

Assistive technology

Assistive technology is any device or software that can help you overcome barriers caused by your disability or learning difficulty.

There is additional information regarding assistive technology available, including links to videos, guides and downloadable demos, as well as self-training material that you may wish to look at.

Specialist equipment and software

This will be discussed in full at your appointment with an Advisor.  Any equipment recommended is based on the needs of the individual, examples can include a microphone and receiver system that can be used in lectures and during group work.

The newly refurbished library offers a range of computers with assistive software installed on them, different sizes of monitors and ergonomic kits (including keyboards and mice) for students to use on their own, in study groups or with friends.

Alerting systems

Students are expected to use the SafeZone app on their phones. This means that when the fire alarm is activated in a particular building on campus, their phone will vibrate, flash and a notification will be sent to their phone or tablet (it can be configured for a laptop or desktop PC too).

It is expected that students who are unable to hear a fire alarm will activate the SafeZone app on their phone to vibrate and place it so that they will feel the vibrations if the alarm goes off. It will be particularly important that they take responsibility for doing this before they go to sleep in any student halls on campus.

For students in halls of residence, if not already in place, an arrangement is made to provide an integrated beacon/sounder/smoke detector in the person’s bedroom and common lounge area within the student residence. This is linked to the fire alarm system and will detect the sound and flash in an emergency.


SafeZone is a free app-based system for students and staff that enhances their personal safety. SafeZone extends the reach of campus safety and security, to cater for the real-time needs of the people who use campus every day. It provides a quick and easy way for users to alert security services, when help or assistance is needed.

You can find more health and safety advice and support on our SafeGuarding pages or by contacting or calling 0131 451 3900.

Loop Systems

The lecture theatres at our Edinburgh Campus are equipped with an infra-red induction loop system, and individual earphones or personal loops are available on request.

Fire safety/Personal Care Plans (PCPs)

Any student, based on any campus, with a complex disability can be provided with a Personal Care Plan or PCP. This is an individual evacuation plan tailored to your specific needs and which provides information on what to do during an evacuation.

For further information, visit the Health and Safety Services webpages.

Key information

Disability Service

+44 (0) 131 451 3386