About us

The Disability and Neurodiversity Team is part of the Student Advice and Wellbeing department and includes: 

  • Disability and Neurodiversity Advisers: Angela Axon and Anastasia Pateraki
  • Learning Advisers: Carol John and Carol Rifkin
  • Disability and Neurodiversity Caseworker: Rebecca Lewis
  • Disability Administrators: Victoria Morrison and Genevieve Robinson

We provide specialist guidance and support for disabled students at SOAS.

We can advise on the facilities that are available to you and help to ensure that reasonable adjustments are made to make SOAS accessible.  

We use the feedback we get from students to inform the more strategic parts of our role, e.g. the creation of policy and working with other staff members to make SOAS as accessible as possible.

Which students do we work with?

We work with students who are Disabled and/or have Neurodiverse conditions. The term “disability” is wide. According to the Equality Act (2010), disability can include the following impairments:

  • problems with mobility, seeing or hearing;
  • Specific Learning Differences (such as dyslexia, dyspraxia, dyscalculia, ADHD);
  • developmental disorders (such as Autistic Spectrum conditions);
  • mental illness or mental health difficulties;
  • severe disfigurements;
  • unseen, long-term medical conditions such as cancer, HIV/Aids, epilepsy, diabetes;
  • progressive conditions even at an early stage, conditions characterised by a number of cumulative effects such as pain or fatigue and a past history of disability

If you aren’t sure if you are covered by this definition but are experiencing difficulties, please contact us for advice.

Models of Disability

At SOAS, we use the above categories to identify disability as these are the categories used by funding bodies and legislation. However, we would like to highlight the idea of the Social Model of Disability which we believe is an ideal to work towards. This model of disability makes an important distinction between the terms 'impairment' and 'being disabled'.  

An 'impairment' is a physical, intellectual, sensory, medical or psychological difference which may cause individual functional limitations, such as those listed above.

However, according to the Social Model, these impairments would not necessarily lead to being 'disabled' if society took account of, and included people regardless of their individual differences.

For example, someone who has a hearing impairment may be able to get the same out of lectures as anyone else if there are adequate hearing loops fitted in lecture theatres, but he/she will be 'disabled' if these are not available.

SOAS is working to ensure that it is accessible in both its course design and the design of its buildings. We welcome any feedback on where further improvements can be made.

SOAS Disability Service confidentiality and disclosure

We take confidentiality seriously and you can come and talk to anyone in the Disability and Neurodiversity Team on a confidential basis. However, in order to make any reasonable adjustments it may be necessary for us to pass on information to relevant areas of the School community (such as your academic department, the accommodation office, registry and the examinations officer) or other agencies such as support providers and funding bodies. This would never be done lightly; we would only reveal the minimum information which that person needs to know and disclosure would only be used as necessary to facilitate your support. 

Under the Data Protection Act 1998 we are not able to pass on sensitive personal data including information relating to disability to other parts of the School without your explicit approval. 

When you register with the Disability service you will be able to complete a Confidentiality Agreement form as part of the process of arranging your Study Inclusion Plan (SIP) More info on SIPs visit here.  

To register with the Disability and Neurodiversity Team (DNT) please go to saaw.soas.ac.uk. Click 'Disability Registration', then 'Start' and you will be able to : 

1. Complete the Confidentiality agreement  

2. Upload your medical evidence of disability and/ or Diagnostic assessment of Specific learning Differences (SpLDs) e.g dyslexia, dyspraxia and ADHD 

Once those steps have been completed the Disability Advisors will create your Study Inclusion Plan (SIP) which when you have published will go automatically to your course conveners.

Contact us

Book an appointment or speak to us

Disability Advisers, Disability Administrators and Disability Caseworker 

Angie Axon and Anastasia Pateraki, Genevieve Robinson and Victoria Morrison, and Rebecca Lewis

Learning Advisers 

Carol John and Carol Rifkin

Disability and Neurodiversity Co-ordinator 

Carol John