Common adjustments that are put in place to assist with student’s transition to University are:
- Early arrival into their accommodation
- An orientation visit as an offer holder
Students may wish that a parent stays with them in this period to help them get used to their environment, especially where there is a sensory or mobility impairment, or other complex needs. Early visits as an offer-holder enable the student to get to know key people and places, so that when the course starts they have a strong base of familiarity on which to build. It can also enable them to identify, in conjunction with Disability Coordinators and their disability advisor, any additional challenges they have in their specific environment of the college and department, whilst there is still time for adjustments to be put in place prior to arrival.
Students with Visual Impairments often benefit from early arrival into their accommodation (up to 1 week early). This enables them to learn the key routes within college, and between teaching venues. If they have a guide dog, this provides time for the dog to be trained in the environment and for the student to meet with key individuals in the college and department, which will help them feel more settled in their first few weeks, when there are getting used to managing their impairment within a new environment (for example, using new equipment, accessing library catalogues, having building inductions for each building they will access, getting to know their study assistant).
- Some students will benefit from a tailored induction programme: that might include 1:1 building inductions, access to a student helper/mentor, introductory meetings with Disability Coordinators and College Librarians, and tailored induction materials/documentation.
Students with the following conditions are mostly likely to need tailored support during transition to university:
- mental health disabilities, such as chronic anxiety and eating disorders
- visual impairments
- neurodiverse conditions such as autism
- mobility impairments
Decisions about early arrival or enhanced orientation should be made on a case by case basis: individual students will have differing needs (for example any two students with autism will have very different needs relating to transition to university).