CSC disability support statement

The CSC is committed to a policy of equal opportunity and non-discrimination, and encourages applications from a diverse range of candidates, irrespective of any disability. Any information provided by you or on your behalf will be treated in the strictest confidence.

During the application process

Your nominating agency will be aware that the CSC offers support to Commonwealth Scholars/Fellows with a disability.

When you apply for a Commonwealth Scholarship or Fellowship, you will be asked to declare if you have any health issues or a disability. This information is not seen by your nominating agency or the selection panel, and will have no bearing on the outcome of your application.

On your application, you will also be asked to provide a personal statement, with details of how you have overcome any personal or community barriers to higher education. This statement will be seen by your nominating agency and the selection panel, and will be taken into account.

Before your scholarship/fellowship

If you are provisionally selected for a scholarship/fellowship, you will be required to submit a medical form, which asks if you have a physical or learning disability and if you are likely to need any special provision or treatment during your award.

You are encouraged to disclose any disabilities at this early stage. This is not only to assess whether you are able to undertake a programme of study in the UK, but also to provide the CSC with a clear picture of your needs, so that arrangements can be made for your welfare in the UK. Any sensitive personal data that you provide will be handled with maximum discretion.

If you declare a disability on your medical form, you will be sent a disability questionnaire to complete. This is optional, but you are strongly encouraged to complete it. The information provided on this questionnaire will be used to establish if you are likely to require any additional support to complete your studies, during your academic and daily life, and/or at CSC events.

Once we receive the questionnaire, the CSC will decide if any action needs to be taken. This may include, but is not limited to, liaising with your university/host organisation (if you have given us permission to do so); liaising with you on any preparations you need to make before you arrive in the UK or any equipment you may need to bring; advising the CSC’s travel provider of any considerations that need to be made for your travel to the UK.

During your scholarship/fellowship

The CSC reviews all requests for additional disability support on a case-by-case basis. We will take into consideration the information that you have provided on the disability questionnaire, additional details provided by your university/host organisation (if they have conducted a disability needs assessment), and any other information about additional support that your university/host organisation is able to provide. Additional support provided by the CSC to enable you to complete your award is intended to complement the support already provided by your university/host organisation.

The CSC will provide support for you in your personal life if your disability results in the costs of everyday activities being higher than they would be otherwise, or for costs to access services such as medical appointments and therapy.

The CSC organises events for Commonwealth Scholars and Fellows, and also coordinates attendance at events hosted by other organisations. If you apply to attend one of these events, you will be asked on the application form if you have a disability that requires any additional assistance. We will make every effort to put adjustments in place to enable you to attend and gain maximum benefit from the event.

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