Over 120 support staff across the UK
Average student confidence increases from 3/10 to 8/10
85% of our team self-identify as disabled or neurodiverse
Dedicated student advice and guidance team
16872 support sessions delivered in the 2019/20 academic year
3062 students supported in the 2019/20 academic year
The types of one-to-one support we provide:
Assistive Technology Training
One-to-one assistive technology (AT) training allows you to meet with a skilled technology trainer who’ll help you get the most out of that new, exciting package of software and equipment you’ve just received.
‘The AT training really helped me understand how the software on my computer can be used in my lectures and classes at university that I previously found it difficult to keep up with. I’m now looking forward to my next year and staying on top of my work!‘
– Romana, Second Year, University of Warwick
Assistive technology training is customised around you, your course and the way you study. Not only will you learn how to use the software, but you’ll be able to identify which software works best together and in what situations.
‘I will absolutely use the strategies learnt during my sessions because they make note-taking and planning easy to do and saves loads of time and effort. I can now make notes with ease and the technology is pretty useful. Learning how to use the technology helped with progressing in my course as it did raise my confidence levels in note-taking.’
Deebika, First Year, University of Greenwich
It is common for a training session to last two hours and although this might, on the face of it seem quite long, it is often the ideal length to practice, learn and ask questions about each piece of software.
‘The training will make the course feel less overwhelming with new techniques I have learnt to manage the workload and use of software. The sessions were delivered at a pace that I could have keep up with, they were fun, relaxed and I felt comfortable to say if I found anything difficult.’
Gaitri, First Year, University of Brighton
Although face-to-face assistive technology training has been put on hold for the time being, technology trainers are now fully equipped to provide sessions online. Before each training session, your trainer will be on hand to help you connect with a preferred online video platform. Additional features such as screen sharing, annotation and session recording will help to make the training as accessible and interactive as possible.
‘The sessions were delivered during the coronavirus pandemic and were adapted well to accommodate the situation. The strategies were really useful and easy to fit in within studying’
Siobhan, First Year, University of Brighton
Study Skills Support
Study Skills support is tailored one-to-one tuition that will help you understand your learning style, to embrace your strengths and work on strategies to overcome challenges. In short, to help you study more effectively and efficiently.
‘The strategies I learnt were all extremely helpful and have allowed me to read articles twice as fast. Usually, I would struggle with reading my own work, whereas I was shown a new method of how to speed this up and make it easier for myself.’
Xavier, Third Year, Goldsmiths, University of London
Your tutor will work with you throughout your time as a student on a variety of topics relevant to you and your learning style. Below are some common study areas your tutor can help you with.
- Organisation and timekeeping
- Essay composition and planning
- Reading and proofreading
- Research and referencing
- Mental health and procrastination
It is best to meet with your tutor once a week for an hour throughout the term, however, there is always flexibility depending on your course demands and workload. The first session will focus on establishing your learning goals with following sessions then building on this, with an emphasis on enhancing transferable study skills that will enable you to reach your full potential.
‘I have noticed vast changes from start to finish. I have developed a higher standard of writing skills that has resulted in achieving higher grades in my assignments. It was really beneficial to find a tutor who I felt supported and adjusted to my learning needs.’
Mohammed, Second Year, London South Bank University
Although face-to-face study skills sessions have been put on hold for the time being, tutors are highly experienced to teach students with a range of learning styles on a variety of online platforms. Your tutor will discuss with you the best online platform for you to make sure your sessions can take place consistently and effectively.
‘During the COVID-19 lockdown I have been able to carry on my Study Skills sessions without the pandemic affecting my grades as my tutor has taught me to use skype, something I had never used before. I’m so grateful to have this new skill!’
Abbie, First Year, University of Essex
Mentoring, in a nutshell, offers confidential one-to-one support to help you feel happier and more confident while you study. University life can bring with it a unique set of stressors and challenges. Yet mentoring will allow you to manage these, enabling you to become more independent, feel more confident with your work and have a better university experience.
‘Prior to starting the sessions, I had no idea what to expect and have since been surprised just how truly helpful they are. The flexibility that fed into every part of the sessions really allowed me to build my confidence in considering and prioritising my wellbeing and voice. My mentor was really great at holding the space for me and I always felt safe, heard and valued. Having the time and space to talk through and reflect on things in a way I wouldn’t have been able to otherwise has been invaluable. I’m really grateful for all that I’ve learnt.’
Sophie, Second Year, Goldsmith, University of London
Mentoring sessions typically last an hour and take place regularly throughout the academic year in a private, comfortable, and safe space. All mentors are experienced practitioners, holding relevant qualifications in the field of mental health and membership of an appropriate professional body.
‘My mentor was amazing! Very understanding, very helpful, he gave emotional support and was also very effective with planning and organising tasks, goal setting. It made everything easier and he was such a big help.’
Sam, First Year, London South Bank University
Although face-to-face mentoring support has been put on hold for the time being, mentors are now fully equipped to provide sessions remotely through a variety of online platforms. As with face-to-face, online sessions will continue to support students in the following areas:
- Assistance with any pastoral matters which are causing anxiety or stress
- Support with motivation and morale
- Building confidence and self-esteem
- Emotional support with a focus on enabling the development of emotional awareness and wellbeing strategies
Furthermore, many practitioners are using inbuilt accessibility features, such as live captioning, to make online mentoring as inclusive and as effective as it’s ever been.
‘It was getting really tough to manage everything at once and having this support has helped in a lot of ways. I really like how the support is still made accessible online, and it doesn’t feel less beneficial than a face-to-face session. In the current situation, I’ve needed my sessions more than ever.’
Shivani, First Year, King’s College London
“At first I felt overwhelmed getting a diagnosis,” Jamie says. He was provided with specialist 1:1 dyslexia support including Assistive Technology training from D&A and found the help invaluable and went on to get a distinction in his course, which he credits the support of his university and D&A for.
Since then, Jamie has worked in the education and therapy sector and now works as a mental health mentor and specialist dyslexia tutor at D&A, alongside working as a counsellor.
So what makes D&A different?
“D&A is a community which is unique. What’s lovely about that is that many of us started off as students getting help through D&A and we later became trainers. There is a whole community of support here,” Jamie says.
So what is it like to have student support through D&A?
“What is most important is receiving empathy, understanding and experiencing a connection with someone who works alongside you. What D&A offers are people with lived experiences, genuineness and a person-centred and holistic approach which enables people to thrive.
“You’ll develop skills that continue long after your study, which you can carry around throughout your life. You can let go of ways that haven’t been working for you and replace them with new strategies that work well for you,” Jamie adds.
I was pleasantly surprised to discover that I didn’t have to explain my difficulties in order for the mentors to understand my viewpoint as they came with a wealth of personal experience to overcoming dyslexia. What makes them experts in their field is the fact that they also have dyslexia and are living proof of how to successfully overcome the barriers we face.
Ebony, Undergraduate, Goldsmith University of London