Our Community at the Students' Union
NUSU has a zero-tolerance policy with regard to harassment, discrimination, and hate crime, and this absolutely includes ableism. If you’ve experienced harassment because you are disabled or neurodiverse, or witnessed an ableist incident on campus, we want to know. Head to our Report and Support page for information on how to report and get support. From chilled out, accessible coffee meetups to our regular campaigns, there’s a thriving community here on campus made by and for disabled students. Yet we also know that disabled students can face their own additional challenges to the normal stresses of Uni life. Here at NUSU, we’re more than happy to help with any problem you may have.
The Disability Officer represents all Newcastle University students who identify as having a Disability (i.e a physical disability, a psychological disability, a learning difficulty, mental illness, or other health condition which has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on your ability to study). They also coordinate the Students with Disabilities forum and run campaigns, events, marketing, and any other activity necessary to address related issues raised by the students.
Participation Bursary & Financial Support
NUSU is committed to ensuring students can take full advantage of their time at university. We recognise that financial obstacles can arise which prevents students from accessing the activities we offer. The Participation Bursary aims to remove these barriers to participation by helping cover some of the costs of getting involved. Students can receive up to £280* per academic year. These amounts may change at the discretion of the Student Union and the information on this page will be updated accordingly.
While studying, your student status might affect your right to disability benefits. If you’re interested in claiming and confused about what you’re entitled to, Disability Rights UK offer up-to-date factsheets and a free disabled students helpline.
Want face-to-face financial advice? You can also book an appointment with one of our friendly advisors at the Student Advice Centre, right here in the Students’ Union.
If you would benefit from help with extra costs for things like travel, specialist equipment such as computers or assistive software, or an extra tutor, you may be eligible for Disabled Students’ Allowance. If you’re interested, you can contact the Student Wellbeing Service, where an advisor from the Disability Support team can help lay out your options and guide you through the process of applying. There is also additional funding you can look into.
For more information on how to apply for DSA and the types of help you might get, head over to the Student Wellbeing Service’s site.
Need extra assistance in lectures or exams? There’s plenty of help available! Contact the Disability Support Team at the Student Wellbeing Service to discuss the ways they can help -- from rest breaks in exams to sign language interpretation.
If you can’t always attend lectures or need to make notes in your own time, you’ll likely have heard of ReCap, which lets you easily access screen and audio recordings of lectures through your University Blackboard account. Sadly though, not all lectures are currently obliged to be recapped, so it’s worth contacting your lecturer before you start a module to make sure you get the help you need!
Are your dusty old academic texts inaccessible? The university’s Academic Skills Kit (ASK) offers students with print disabilities the use of SensusAccess, which can convert PDFs, JPEGs, and PowerPoint files into text for screen readers, audio files, and digital braille.
Learn more about ASK and support for disabled students here.
Accessible & Inclusive Groups
We take a proactive approach to welfare in sport and provides a number of initiatives to support our students.
Inclusive Newcastle includes programmes and initiatives aimed to increase engagement with sport, remove barriers and offer support to all students. This includes our disability sports programme, designed to help students keep active, have some fun and enjoy healthy competition. The choice is yours. Participate with one of our 66 sports clubs on campus, play weekly social sport in our participation programme, attend NCL Sports Centre gym or get involved with one of our community sports clubs.
Working closely with our sports clubs, we provide training and support to Club Welfare Officers, encourage increased inclusivity through our Earn Your Stripes initiative, and pledge our support as an organisation to mental health in sport. We are proud Associate members of the English Federation of Disability Sport. Look for the Inclusive Stripes badge on any of our Club pages.
We’re also excited to launch the Earn Your Stars campaign to champion and recognise inclusivity in student-ran societies! At NUSU we aim to create an atmosphere in which all people feel valued, respected, and have equal access. Look for the Inclusive Star badge on any of our of Society pages.
Please follow the University Estates Support Service Twitter account to keep informed of any access issues such as lift breakdowns or road disruption