Basic Guide to Disability & Mental Health

Basic Guide to Disability / Mental Health Issues at University

1     Introduction

According to the Higher Education Statistics Agency, in 2012 – 2013 nearly ten percent of first year HE students in the UK were known to have a disability of some kind, including a substantial number of people with significant mental health issues.

Since the Equality Act 2010 introduced a different test of what ‘disability’ means it has been comparatively easier for someone to show that they have difficulty carrying out their day-to-day activities. Under this definition they are a ‘disabled person’ and are protected under the Act.


The University is fully committed to equality of treatment and providing appropriate support. Moreover, when things do not work as well as expected, the University has pledged itself to taking student issues seriously.


Nevertheless, students will often feel the need for the independent advice and support of the LHSU Advice Centre to progress matters to a timely and satisfactory conclusion.

2     Equality Act Overview

Discrimination means treating you unfairly because of who you are. The Equality Act 2010 protects you from discrimination by numerous organisations including education providers.


For the first time, the law protects disabled people from ‘indirect discrimination’. This is where a policy or practice is applied in the same way to everyone, but it puts disabled people at a particular disadvantage. However, please note, it doesn’t count as indirect discrimination if the person applying the policy can reasonably justify it.


If you’re at a substantial disadvantage when compared with someone who isn’t disabled, reasonable changes (‘adjustments’) must be made by the University. They may have to change the way things are done, or make changes to a building, or provide aids such as special computer software to help you do your job. Reasonable adjustments can also include providing information in an accessible format.

The new law makes it clear that when receiving services you can’t be asked to pay the costs of making these reasonable adjustments.

This section is adapted from materials produced by the Government Equalities Office

3     Self Help Resources

Citizens Advice Bureau (1):


Citizens Advice Bureau (2):

4     Advice Centre Contact Details

There are four ways to access the service:

  1. Drop in to the Centre @ The Lecture Theatre Complex Foyer, Hope Park. Term time opening hours: Tuesdays & Thurdays, 1pm to 4pm; Wednesdays and Fridays, 10am to 1pm.

  2. Make an appointment. Choose a face-to-face meeting or a telephone consultation and book it on https//

  3. Email advice:

  4. Telephone advice: 0151 291 3708.



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