Your Individual Support Plan (ISP)

After meeting with you and receiving  your disability related documentation, your Disability Adviser will create your Individual Support Plan (ISP) which details the relevant support and adjustments which have been agreed to meet your needs. You will be sent a copy of your ISP for your records. 

Where applicable, your ISP document will be updated once you have had your DSA Needs Assessment to include any relevant recommendations made by your Needs Assessor and 1-1 support funded via Disabled Students Allowances (DSAs). If your circumstances and therefore your support needs change, please contact a Disability Adviser so that your Individual Support Plan can be updated.


Your ISP contains: 

  • details of any 1-1 Non-Medical Help support which has been recommended to meet your needs. This may include 1-1 support provided and funded by the Disability Service and /or support funded as part of your Disabled Students Allowances package. (N.B. Student Finance may select external suppliers to provide the support that they fund via DSAs. Student Finance will notify you in writing regarding authorised DSA funded support entitlement and will provided contact details for the selected suppliers. Please ensure that you carefully read your ISP and correspondence from Student Finance, and contact the relevant suppliers to arrange your support).
  • recommendations for appropriate reasonable adjustments which University Departments should make (where possible) in order to meet your needs. With your consent, this information will be made available to appropriate University staff in order for agreed adjustments to be put in place. Recommended adjustments may not be applicable in all  academic scenarios (i.e. where learning outcomes or fitness to practice standards require the assessment of a particular skill set), please discuss your ISP with your Course / Module Leader.

Exam Adjustments

Exam Adjustments apply to formal written exams and time bound written in class tests only. If you require specific adjustments for written exams, please make an appointment to discuss these with a Disability Adviser as soon as possible. The appropriate recommendations will need to be discussed and added to your Individual Support Plan well in advance (usually by mid February for on campus exams) to guarantee that adjustments can be made. Late requests will be considered but provision cannot be guaranteed.

Exam adjustments may include but are not restricted to:

Extra time Extra time allowances (25%-100%) are added to the time allocated to complete the assessment task itself and is not to any additional administration time given to allow for uploading work or the overall assessment completion window. Extra time allowances stated are inclusive of time allocated for rest breaks (where applicable).
Reader support The role of a reader is to read all written instructions and questions provided by your faculty word for word at an appropriate speed, as many times as required. A reader will not provide any explanation or clarification of the information/ questions provided.
Scribe Support Scribe Support: The role of a Scribe is to write/ type your responses to exam questions as dictated by you. You can ask your scribe to read your answers back to you once they are written and direct any necessary amendments. A scribe is not expected to place punctuation into sentences unless directed to by you, or to be able spell unusual or unfamiliar terminology.
Allowances for spelling / grammar / punctuation Dispensations for spelling, grammar and punctuation only apply to written exams and time bound written in class tests only. Dispensations do not apply to course work,. However, marks should not be deducted for spelling errors or minor errors in punctuation and grammar in coursework, unless linked to the learning outcomes and specified in the assessment marking criteria.
Use of a computer On campus exams which are usually hand written will be scheduled to take place in an alternative venue and a USW computer made available for you to type your exam papers.
Separate / Small Room On campus exams will be scheduled to take place in a separate venue from the rest of your cohort / in a smaller venue with fewer peers.

Online Exams / Class Tests:

As a result of COVID 19, the university has adapted its delivery model for the current academic year to a blended learning model. As a result many assessments which are usually exams / in class tests, are currently being delivered as online assessments.

If you have any questions or concerns about your online assessments, please discuss with your course/ module leader in the first instance.

  • Exam Adjustments apply to formal written exams and time bound written in class tests only.
  • Your faculty can add any Extra time allowances specified on your Individual Support Plan to the time allocated for you to complete your online time bound assessment in Blackboard. 
  • Extra time is added to the time allocated to complete the assessment task itself and is not to any additional administration time given to allow for uploading work or the overall assessment completion window. For example, if you are set a time bound assessment which is 2 hours in length and are give a 48hr period within which to undertake the assessment, ISP extra time allowances should be applied to the 2 hours given to complete the task.
  • If you usually have support from a Reader of Scribe in exams, your faculty can arrange for this support to be provided online - please discuss with your course/ module leader. Guidance for Students accessing Scribe/ typist support via TEAMs / Guidance for Scribe supporting students via TEAMs
  • We recommend that students who need to be able to change the format of material in Blackboard, download ATbar (free). AT bar is compatible with web browsers and Blackboard and can add colour overlays, change font size etc to suit your needs.

Coursework Submissions:

Whilst deadline extensions can be useful in the short-term, repeated extensions can create a backlog of work, which can have a negative impact on progression. Where possible disabled students are therefore encouraged to aim to complete their work within the usual deadlines. 

However, the University recognises that disabilities can have an affect a student’s ability to effectively manage their studies and submit academic work that demonstrates their learning, within the standard time frames. 

Disabled students who have an Individual Support Plan (ISP) in place (or equivalent if studying at a USW partner college) are therefore permitted to submit coursework within the late submission period (5 working days), without the usual penalties (The five-day grace period does not apply to examinations, in class tests, presentations, clinical practice appraisals or performances). Regulations for Taught Courses (pdf) 

If you have concerns about assessment deadlines, which are not addressed by the above anticipatory adjustment, you should discuss your circumstances with a Disability Adviser. If appropriate “flexibility around deadlines” will be added as a reasonable adjustment to your Individual Support Plan (ISP). You will then be able to apply for additional reasonable adjustments to particular assessment deadlines when required via the Extenuating circumstances process. Extensions are not granted by default and requests will be considered on a case-by-case basis.