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DEMOS Project

Online Materials for Staff Disability Awareness
[Modules] : Admissions

Categories of disability

Most applicants to undergraduate courses apply through the central body Universities Central Admissions Service (UCAS). There are other systems which play a similar role for courses such as the Post Graduate Certificate in Education (PGCE), the Diploma in Social Work and the Diploma in Nursing. These courses are covered by the Graduate Teacher Training Registry (GTTR), the Social Work Admissions System (SWAS) and the Nursing and Midwifery Admissions Service (NMAS) respectively. (GTTR and SWAS are actually administered by UCAS).

Declaring disability

All candidates are asked to supply a numerical code that identifies their Disability, special needs or medical condition. They are then asked to supply in a separate section any additional information relating to their special needs or support.

UCAS use a classification system which focuses on particular impairments and which has been adopted in most higher education application systems.

These are:

0. None.
1. You have dyslexia.
2. You are blind or partially sighted.
3. You are deaf or hearing impaired.
4. You use a wheelchair or have mobility difficulties.
5. You need personal care or assistance.
6. You have mental health difficulties.
7. You have a disability that cannot be seen for example diabetes, epilepsy or a heart condition.
8. You have two or more of the above.
9. You have a disability, special need or medical condition that is not listed.

I think I put something along the lines of 'part-time wheelchair user'.

- Anna CJ, Manchester Metropolitan University.

This system of information gathering has also been adopted by many courses that aren't covered by UCAS such as postgraduate and part-time courses. If you are responsible for or have an input into the application system for a course it might be worth considering the adoption of the system in order to collect consistent information on disabled applicants.

You can find further information about the UCAS applications procedure at http://www.ucas.com/getting/apply01/index.html [External link: Open in new browser window] . Look for the 'application form page 1' which shows the disability and special needs section.

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