FAQs about registering with the Disability Support Service (DSS):

Is NUI Galway accessible to students with mobility difficulties?

All of the University's newest buildings are fully accessible and when renovations to existing buildings are carried out, works to improve access are carried out.

The University recognises that the age and design of some of its buildings may pose some constraints to students with reduced mobility. A universal access audit of the South Campus is underway to identify and prioritise improvements to access for all.

You should contact the DSS if you find difficulty accessing a particular building.

What is the DARE programme?

The Disability Access Route to Education (DARE) is a third level alternative admissions scheme for school-leavers whose disabilities have had a negative impact on their second level education. DARE offers reduced points places to school leavers who as a result of having a disability have experienced additional educational challenges in second level education. For more information please check out www.accesscollege.ie.

Who can apply to DARE?

DARE is for school leavers with a disability under the age of 23 as of 1 January 2018, who have been educationally impacted as a result of that disability. Applicants to DARE can present with an Irish Leaving Certificate, A-Levels and other EU qualifications.

Who should register with the Disability Office at NUI Galway?

Support is available to students with a disability:

  • Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) / Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
  • Autism Spectrum Disorder including Asperger’s Syndrome
  • Blind/Visual Impairment
  • Deaf/Hard of Hearing
  • Dyspraxia/Developmental Co-ordination Disorder (DCD)
  • Mental Health Condition
  • Neurological Condition
  • Physical Disability
  • Significant On-going Illness
  • Specific Learning Difficulty (including dyslexia or dyscalculia)

Why should I register with DSS?

Support is available to students with a disability and is granted on the basis of medical evidence.

There are many different kinds of supports available such as:

  • Assistive Technology (linked back to AT in supports)
  • Learning Support (linked back to LS in supports)>
  • Examination Accommodation (linked back to EA in supports)
  • Personal Assistants (linked back to ESW in supports)
  • Academic Support

How can I register with the DSS? What do I need?

  1. To register with the Disability Office you must provide verification of your disability, which can either be an Evidence of Disability Form Evidence of Disability Form  ‌or a Medical Report .
  2. All students must complete this online registration form to register with the Disability Office. This online form will only take about 5 minutes to complete.
  3. The third step is to meet with a member of the Disability Support Service team who will carry out a full needs assessment.

Visit the  How to Register page for more information. 

What do I need to register?

To register with the Disability Office you must provide verification of your disability, which can either be an Evidence of Disability Form or a Medical Report with the same level of detail from the appropriate professional practitioner, please see table under 1. Who can Register and eligibility for information on the type of report required and the age limit of the report.

If I register will it be marked on my college results?

No, there will be no record on your transcript of results from the university.

What supports are available if I register with DSS?

Supports are determined on an individual, case-by-case basis in a needs assessment meeting between the student and a member of DSS. Examples of the kinds of supports that are available include;

  • Learning Support: time management, organisation, learning styles, academic writing, study and revision techniques.
  • Assistive Technology: digital recorder, Echo Smartpen, specialist software for reading and writing (TextHelp), or speech to text software (Dragon Naturally Speaking).
  • Exam Accommodations: extra time, alternative venue or SLD sticker and marking guidelines.

Where is the DSS? How do I contact the DSS?

The DSS is located in Room AUC 1004, Áras Uí Chathail.
Tel. + 353 (0) 91 492813
Email disabilityservice@nuigalway.ie

I think I have dyslexia. What should I do? What if a student thinks they may have Dyslexia/Learning difficulty?

If a student thinks they have an issue with reading, writing and/or spelling the Disability Support Service can offer you a screening for Dyslexia. This screening is a series of short tests the results of which should give an indication of whether they are ‘at risk’ of Dyslexia or not.

What if I fall behind from being hospitalised or sick when at college?

You should advise your department(s) if you are sick or hospitalised and submit a medical certificate for your absence. If you are out for long periods of time you should also get in touch with a member of the DSS team to discuss how this has affected your studies.

I didn't tick the CAO box to say that I have a disability? Is it too late to register?

No, you just need to contact the DSS to make an appointment or follow the steps in How to Register with the Disability Support Service. You will need to meet the criteria as outlined in step 1.

I have a mental health or medical condition which is controlled by medication, why would I register with the Disability Office?

The DSS would recommend that you still register with them to make sure that if your condition changes throughout your studies which can be very demanding, any necessary additional supports can be put in place.

Does the University need to know that I have a disability?

Yes, by disclosing your disability it means that you will be assisted in accessing appropriate supports and exam accommodations to help you complete your studies successfully. The decision to disclose is up to you, but if the DSS is not aware of your disability, it will be very difficult for you to access additional supports. 

What can be done if my medical evidence is out of date?

You should contact a member of the DSS if your medical evidence is out of date. There are still supports which can be put in place despite funding restrictions.

Are there any supports available to students who don’t register with DSS?

The University has site licences for two special softwares. These are installed in most of the university’s PC suites.

  Read and Write Gold is specialist literacy software that assists students to read, write and make text accessible. The software has a text to speech function which allows you to listen while it reads on-screen texts. Further functions can be used to edit and proof-read written work. 
  Mind Genius mind mapping software is a brainstorming and planning tool that provides an effective and efficient way to capture, visualise and use the information. MindGenius can be used to brainstorm, plan and organise projects, assignments and essays. MindGenius can also be used for study and revision in preparation for assignments and examinations. In addition to using the software in the university’s PC suites, our site licence allows students to download it onto their personal PCs of laptop so that they can use it from home.
The ‘Learning Centre’ on blackboard provides a link to 24/7 interactive e-learning resource. Skills4study is designed to help develop study skills to succeed in higher level education. Modules include:
• Getting ready for academic study
• Reading and note-making
• Critical thinking skills
• Writing exams
• Exam skills
The Academic Writing Centre (AWC) is located on floor 2 of the James Hardiman Library. It offers one-to-one tutorials on essay writing to all students, working with them to overcome recurrent problems with grammar, punctuation, spelling and essay structure. The DSS provides additional funding to the AWC to provide additional writing supports to students with disabilities.

I am an International Student; can I register with the Disability Support Service?

If you have a disability, significant on-going illness or specific learning difficulty you can register with the Disability Support Service to arrange supports and reasonable accommodations in examinations.

Before you arrive, you should contact the Disability Support Service, so we can advise you on the type of supports that are available.

To register with the service when you arrive, you must provide evidence of your disability. A letter or email listing your exam accommodations is not sufficient, so plan ahead a take a copy of your evidence of disability with you.

You should check out the Evidence of Disability Form  Evidence of Disability Form  ‌ to see what medical documentation needs to be submitted.

If you do not have evidence of disability documentation, download a form that can be completed and signed by the relevant professional practitioner or specialist here.

Bring your Evidence of Disability documentation or form into the Disability Support Service and we will arrange for you to meet with one of our team for a needs assessment.

Please note that the exam accommodations you receive here may differ from those you receive in your home country.

FAQs for students registered with the Disability Support Service (DSS):

How to make an appointment to see a member of the DSS team?

You can pop into the Disability Support Service in Room AUC1004,  Áras Úi Chathail, or ring 091 492813 or email disabilityservice@nuigalway.ie if you would like to make an appointment.

What happens during a needs assessment?

A needs assessment is a meeting with a member of the Disability Support Service to discuss what reasonable accommodations you may need to achieve equity of access to teaching, learning and assessment in third level. Every student who registers with DSS has an individual needs assessment meeting to consider the best combination of supports to meet your needs. Supports may include learning support, assistive technology and examinations accommodations.
The outcome of the needs assessment meeting is summarised in your Learning Educational Needs Summary (LENS. You can request a meeting to review your LENS if your wish to discuss changes to it.

How will my lecturers know I am registered with the Disability Support Service?

After you have registered with the DSS, the reasonable accommodations are summarised in your Learning Educational Needs Summary. A copy is sent to the course co-ordinator of each of your subjects. 

I am falling behind with my course work what should I do?

You should make an appointment to see a member of the DSS team and your course co-ordinator and discuss the areas you are falling behind with. 

My condition has changed what should I do?

You should contact a member of the DSS team to discuss the changes to your condition. Your current LENS report will be updated to reflect the changes of your condition.  


FAQs Exam Queries:

What examination supports are available if I register with the DSS?

Exam accommodations are agreed during your needs assessment meeting with a member of the DSS team. The impact of your disability on the examination process is taken into consideration. Reasonable examination accommodations are put in place so you are treated fairly and equitable in the examination process.

How do I know where to go for my exams if I have examination supports?

  1. View your personal exam timetable.
  2. Always check the amendments for changes to the exam date, time or venue.
  3. If you do not have a personal timetable, you need to contact the Student Information Desk (SID) immediately and check if you are fully registered.
  4. You will see the main examination venues when you logon to view your timetable.
  5. If you have been allocated alternative exam venue you will be emailed details of the venue by the DSS.
  6. You will need to refer to your timetable to confirm dates and times.

What happens if I miss my end-of-semester exams due to illness?

If you missed a scheduled exam, please contact your College office as soon as possible. 

I just had an accident which means I will have difficulty doing my exams, what should I do?

The Examinations Office makes arrangements for additional reasonable exam accommodations on a temporary basis for students who require them during the exam session. Please check here for more information. 

Can I change my examination accommodations?

You can make an appointment to meet a member of the DSS team to discuss your examination accommodation. In certain instances, additional medical documentation may be required to confirm a difficulty a student has. 




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