General queries

Who should register with the Disability Support Service (DSS) 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 
• Learning Support 
• Examination Accommodation 
• Personal Assistants 
• 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 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 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.

Do I need to re-register with the Disability Support Service (DSS)? 

No, once a student has registered with the Disability Support Service, registration remains in place for the duration of their studies.

I am studying at Shannon College of Hotel Management and have a question about the reasonable accommodations I had last year.

Contact Colette Murphy who is the local disability support contact for the Shannon Campus:

Do I need to send my LENS report to my lecturers?

Your lecturers will have access to information on your recommended reasonable accommodations through a secure centralised system. You do not need to send a copy of your LENS Report. If you are communcating with a lecturer on a disability-related matter, it is your decision whether you would like to send them a copy of your LENS Report. 

Do I need to wear a face covering on campus?

You are not currently required to wear a face-covering or mask, when indoors in University buildings, however, please check with university alerts and official updates for most up to date information as this is subject to change. Any student who prefers to wear a mask can choose to wear masks on campus.  

Staff and students must not attend campus if they have tested positive for COVID, are displaying any of the common symptoms of COVID or have been advised to self-isolate or restrict their movements by the HSE. 

Is all teaching going to be in-person in the upcoming Academic Year?

NUI Galway is committed to maximising and optimising the on-campus experience for students for Academic Year 2022-23. A full return to in-person teaching is planned for AY2022-23. Students are expected to attend in-person, on campus for all aspects of their programmes. For those students who experience short term illnesses, including Covid, reasonable accommodations will be made to allow students to keep up with their work – e.g. through the provision of lecture notes or PowerPoint presentations.

What is the best way to contact my Disability Advisor?

The best way to contact your Disability Advisor is by emailing them directly. Your Disability Advisor’s name and contact details should be given at the bottom of your LENS report. Alternatively, you can contact our Administrators at for Disability Advisor contact details.

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 may be able to 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. Please note that the screenings ordinarily take place in Semester 2 and during the summer. Please contact the Disability Support Service for further information and updates.

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.

Can I request a review of my supports and accommodations?

If there has been a change in your disability/health condition, course requirements, or if the supports in place are no longer suitable, you can contact your Disability Advisor to request a review. Please note that the beginning of a new academic year is extremely busy for the Disability Support Service with new registrations, but we will do our best to meet your needs in a timely manner.

I am going on placement this year and feel that I may need additional support. What should I do?

You should contact your Disability Advisor to discuss your placement plans and any supports you may require.

I am changing my course or progressing to postgraduate studies, do I need to contact the DSS?

Yes, you should contact your Disability Advisor who will update your LENS report with this information. 

Due to health issues I have been advised not to come onto campus. Who should I contact about this?

Students are normally expected to attend in-person where teaching is scheduled to take place on campus.
In situations where students will miss time on-campus for reasons relating to COVID-19, the student must contact their Programme Director or Programme Coordinator to explain the situation and discuss study options. A medical letter will usually be required to support such requests.


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.

If my module is being assessed by remote/online exam, can I still receive my recommended exam accommodations?

The reasonable accommodations recommended for a student registered with the Disability Support Service still apply for timed remote course assessment such as exams. However, you may find that some of these accommodations are not relevant while alternative arrangements are in place. 

Please contact your Module Leader to request that your relevant recommended exam accommodations are applied for your timed remote/online exam.

Who should I contact if I have difficulties getting my exam accommodations?

If you encounter any difficulty with ensuring required exam accommodations are in place, please contact your Disability Advisor by email only. You can find their contact details at the end of your LENS report. You may also email with any disability-related queries or concerns.

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. 

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. 

Please note: Every semester there is a deadline for new exam accommodation requests, or requests for changes to existing exam accommodations. Details of this date are available here.

After this date, any changes that relate to on-campus exam accommodations for end-of-semester exams will be applied for subsequent semester exam sessions, not the current semester.