Support for students with a learning difference, disability or neurodiversity
We welcome applications from all backgrounds and are committed to reducing or removing barriers to our training caused by difference or disabilities. RADA is committed to make all reasonable adjustments for applicants and to enable students to fully engage in their chosen course of study. Under the Equality Act 2010, all students have a right to reasonable adjustments.
Approximately one third of our students have declared some form of disability. The highest proportion of these have Specific Learning Differences (SpLDs), such as dyslexia or dyspraxia, or a mental health condition. We have fewer students with physical or sensory disabilities, though these students are welcome, and an increasing number of students who identify as neurodivergent, with Autism Spectrum Disorder or ADHD.
Are you a practitioner?
Information for practitioners is found here.
What support is there when applying to RADA?
If you are applying to RADA there are a couple of things you can do including letting us know so we can make sure you get the right support:
- You’ll get confirmation of whether your application is successful within 6 weeks but it can take up to 14 weeks to get your DSA support in place so we advise you to apply as early as possible.
- You can apply for DSA with, or without, an application for Student Finance.
- You can submit an application before you have received a place offer from us.
- Student Loans Company will require evidence of the disability to make an assessment for DSA. There is more information here.
- specialist equipment, for example a computer if you need one because of your disability
- non-medical helpers, for example a British Sign Language (BSL) interpreter or specialist note taker
- extra travel to attend your course or placement because of your disability
- other disability-related study support, for example having to print additional copies of documents for proof-reading
Applicants are encouraged to declare a disability so that appropriate support can be put into place as soon as possible. The term ‘disabled’ includes people with a physical or sensory impairment such as limited mobility or hearing loss; a learning difficulty such as dyslexia or dyspraxia; or a mental health condition such as depression or anxiety.
You are not required to include this information at application stage but we strongly recommend that you do in order to allow us time to arrange suitable support. It will also mean that we can provide appropriate adjustments during the admissions process, where possible, and that the panel are made aware.
Under data protection regulations, we are required to store information confidentially and ask for your consent to pass it on to external partners.
UK students are advised to make an application for Disabled Students' Allowances through the Student Loans Company. DSA can provide valuable financial assistance to help with the adjustments required for learning for example, particular software for learning support, or a one-to-one session with an experienced learning support practitioner.
Students who are not eligible for a UK Disabled Students’ Allowance should, in the first instance, seek funding from their own country, funding body, sponsor or other source. However, we may be able to offer some Study Skills support sessions and you should contact Student and Academic Services for more information.
Depending on the type of disability you have, you could get help with the costs of:
Try to remember that the admissions panel wants you to do your best in your workshop or interview and they will be made aware of your access requirements if you have made them clear on your application.
If you need any additional support or adjustment during your workshop or interview, please speak to a member of staff or email email@example.com in advance of your scheduled visit.
It’s fine to ask the panel to repeat any question.
Take your time.
Remember that many applicants and students with disabilities and SpLDs have been to RADA before.
Do note that all of our programmes are very physical. Workshops will involve games or warmup exercises which are likely to include eye contact and/or physical contact. Adjustments to this may not always be possible.
Our Admissions Team may contact you in advance of your visit to discuss your access needs and to confirm any reasonable adjustments.
What support is there for students studying at RADA?
Support for students is managed by Student & Academic Services who work closely with your Course Leader.
Once you have accepted a place offer, if you have made a disclosure on your application form, we will ask you to complete a Student Support Questionnaire. This survey is designed to help us understand you, where your strengths lie and to try to assist you with anything you might be feeling unsure about before starting the course. This information is shared with your Course Leader and will be discussed with you in your first tutorial with them, which takes place prior to joining us, where possible.
The Disability Coordinator will also be in touch with you to arrange an appointment to discuss any specific adjustments you might need during your course of study. This will be an informal discussion that may include a conversation about Disabled Students Allowance (see below), Counselling support and could lead to the creation of a Learning Agreement.
The Learning Agreement is a way of us documenting your additional needs and adjustments that we can make to help you with your learning. With your consent, this will made available to all RADA staff as responsibility for effectively implementing adjustments does not usually rest with one person.
The adjustments could include:
- Access to mentoring and study skills support
- Extension on library loans
- Clear explanation of specific tasks and the opportunity to have the same information conveyed in more than one way e.g. verbally and in writing
- Handouts on different coloured paper
What support is there for students with Specific Learning Differences?
We have a dedicated team of Non-Medical Helpers (NMH) who provide one to one support for students with Specific Learning Differences (SpLDs), Autism Spectrum or Mental Health Conditions.
If you have not been formally diagnosed, we have relationships with external specialists who can undertake a diagnostic assessment. RADA will pay for the initial diagnostic assessment and, once approve by Student Loans Company, DSA will cover the cost of the NMH support. NMH support can take place in-person (on-site at RADA) or digitally.
For more information, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org