How to navigate uni with dyspraxia

A short guide on navigating uni with dyspraxia

I recently wrote two articles on the basics of navigating uni as a disabled student (you can find part one here, and part two here) but in this article I’ll go into more depth as to what it’s like attending university with dyspraxia, and how I figured it out.

A woman taking notes during a counselling session
Student Wellbeing are based between The Swan and the university doctors

Help with your course

One of the first things to do would be to speak to Student Wellbeing, you can either attend a drop-in session or contact them using the online form here. You can then explain to an advisor what kind of issues you’re having, how they affect you, and what kind of support you’d need during your studies. 

When I started my undergraduate degree I spoke to a lovely advisor at student wellbeing who went through a DSA application with me and then put in place a learning support plan which gave me accommodations in lectures and exams. 

a person with a mobility aid, talking on the phone
Don’t be afraid to use mobility aids around campus!

Getting around campus

One of the things I find most difficult with dyspraxia is my coordination and movements, this can make walking long distances difficult and nerve-wracking. You can use the University of Lincoln Navigate Me website to find your way around campus, and you can even turn on the option to find disability friendly routes! 

If you find that rooms on your timetable are too far away physically with the time given to get between them, you can request to have a seminar changed to accommodate for this, you should speak to your school if this is something you need, or put in a request on the timetable portal. 

It can seem intimidating with students rushing around everywhere, but remember to take it at your own pace. If you’re moving slower than everyone else, that’s okay! You’re just as entitled to be on campus and to be comfortable as everyone else.

a person behind a stack of textbooks
Studying is difficult for every student, don’t let dyspraxia hold you back.

Don’t be embarrassed

When I first started my degree I fell into the trap of feeling embarrassed about having dyspraxia, and feeling like it was something I shouldn’t tell my lecturers and tutors if needed. It wasn’t until things got progressively more difficult for me that I realised I needed to be more open with everyone, and it really helped once my tutors understood what kind of support I needed. 

Similarly, if you like exercise but feel intimidated by gym environments, speak to a member of staff at the gym and they’ll be more than happy to show you around and explain all the accessibility options there are! You can also ask for an induction where the staff members can teach you how to use equipment, then you can feel more confident attending the gym on your own or with friends and course-mates.

A student writing notes
You should be proud of yourself and how far you’ve come, disabilities included.

You’re not a burden

The most important thing to remember is that you’re not a burden on the university, your lecturers, or your peers. You have just as much of a right to attend university and succeed as anyone else, and your accessibility requirements should not be a barrier to that.

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