Referring students to the DASS
When to refer to DASS
If a student discloses a disability to you, or you become aware that they have a disability, it is necessary that you discuss a referral to DASS and gain their consent to make the referral. When a student discloses a condition the University has a responsibility to put support in place, and all staff are deemed to know. Please note that the scope of the legal term 'disability' is broad and can encompass a wide variety of conditions (e.g. people with long term back pain or depression).
If you ask a student whether they think there is any support that they require, and they say no, this may be because they are not aware of the full range of support open to them in terms of:
- Course adjustment;
- Mental health support;
- Dyslexia support;
We would advise that you explain to students that coming to see DASS does not in any way change their status at the university, and can simply take the form of a brief confidential chat to discuss the range of support options available.
Additionally, it is also useful to state that if the student comes to DASS and, after this meeting, feels that they do not require support, there will be no requirement to take this up.
If someone does not wish to be referred to DASS
Disabled students are under no obligation to attend DASS, however, you should make clear to them that if they do not attend, this may make affect the level of support that they can receive
If, after discussion, the student decides that they do not wish to be referred to DASS for advice, we would advise that you make a note of this discussion, and that the referral was refused.
How to refer to DASS
DASS, Occupational Health Service and University Counselling Service share a referral form and procedure which should always be used when referring students to DASS. You will need the student's consent to refer them to DASS. When discussing a referral you can reassure a student that their information will be kept confidential and will never be released to other students, a future employer or included on a degree certificate. There is further information about disclosure available on our website.
For initial guidance about who we support, including information about specific exclusions from the Equality Act visit:
Please note if you are still unsure, please contact us.
Referring to multiple support services
You can refer, e.g. to Occupational Health and DASS at the same time, however, please make both services aware of this so that we can liaise. For example, if you have concerns about a student's fitness to study you should discuss referring them to both Occupational Health and DASS. Occupational Health should be able to give a medical opinion and liaise with other medical professionals if appropriate. DASS will be able to discuss available support and adjustments with the student.