Learning Support – North West Regional College

Learning Support

The Learning Link

The North West Regional College and the Learning Link are committed to equality, diversity and to promoting an inclusive teaching and learning environment for all. The Learning Link at NWRC welcomes students with a range of additional needs such as specific learning difficulties, e.g. dyslexia, physical disabilities, medical conditions, sensory impairments, general learning difficulties and mental health conditions.

Here at the Learning Link we encourage both existing students and new applicants to the College to declare any additional needs to us. If we are aware that you have additional needs which mean that you require extra help to successfully engage with your course, it will enable us to make reasonable adjustments for the duration of your studies. Applicants with additional needs should inform the College on their application form, highlighting any support required as a result of your additional needs.

Formal evidence of your additional needs is essential – for example, a Statement of Special Educational Needs, a Consultant’s letter or an Educational Psychologist’s Report.

Learning Support

Referral via:

  • Upon ticking the Learning Support box on the College application form a Learning Support Referral Form will be sent to the student to complete and submit to the Learning Link.
  • Speaking to a Lecturer – a Lecturer can complete the Learning Support Referral Form (with the student’s consent) and submit it to the Learning Link.
  • Calling in to speak to a member of the Learning Link team (staff are deployed to all campuses).


  • In order to register, students are required to provide formal evidence of their additional needs.
  • At this Assessment of Need meeting, a member of the Learning Link team will discuss the student’s needs and create a tailored Learning Plan which will be sent to the student’s Lecturers.
  • If a student’s condition is medical, the Learning Link team may also provide students with a Medical Plan.
  • The Learning Link team will review each student’s support throughout the academic year.


  • Appropriate support will be assessed and agreed at the Assessment of Need meeting; all support will be specific to each student’s needs and will help develop independence and progression. The intrinsic dignity of each student will always be respected.

Our Services

Advice and Guidance

  • Liaison with Lecturers
  • Higher Education funding

Human Support

  • Note takers
  • ASD/Mental Health mentors
  • Sign Language Interpreters
  • Study Skills

Assistive Technology

  • Equipment (e.g. laptops, stationery)
  • Specialist software (e.g. Read and Write Gold)
  • Modified papers

Access Arrangements for Exams

  • Extra Time
  • Reader
  • Scribe
  • Rest Breaks

Student Testimonal

Hi, my name is Rebecca and I am a Learning Support Officer at the Learning Link.

You may have seen my face around the college but what you may not know is that I have a physical disability called Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus. A number of years ago I was registered with the Learning Link myself as a student here at NWRC. I can honestly say that I found the Learning Link to be an amazing service which helped me greatly throughout my time here at the college.

The Learning Link helped me prove that a disability does not define who you are and that you can do whatever you want to as long as you put the work in. The Learning Link is not just for the physically disabled but also anyone with learning difficulties, medical conditions, other disabilities or mental health issues. I strongly encourage anyone who needs extra help (no matter how big or how small) to come to the Learning Link and seek the support that you need as it has helped me get to where I am.

So don’t delay – submit a Learning Support Referral Form (and evidence) today!

Disabled Students’ Allowances

The Learning Link is a designated DSA assessment centre – not just for students on H.E. courses at the North West Regional College but also for students from anywhere in Northern Ireland who are studying or planning to study at any University (this includes Open University type online courses)  in Northern Ireland, England, Wales or Scotland. Our experienced staff will happily conduct your Needs Assessment and ensure that you get what you need from the DSA.

Get in touch today

Please feel free to e-mail us at learninglink@nwrc.ac.uk or alternatively give us a call on 028 7127 6024. You are also more than welcome to drop into your nearest Learning Link office at any time during opening hours.

NOTE: North West Regional College welcomes calls via Next Generation Text Relay. Dial 18001 + number.


Equality and Diversity

Equality is about ensuring everybody has an equal opportunity, and is not treated differently or discriminated against because of their characteristics.

Diversity is about taking account of the differences between people and groups of people, and placing a positive value on those differences. The concept of diversity encompasses acceptance and respect. It means understanding that each individual is unique, and recognizing our individual differences.

Our responsibilities to you

We as a college are committed to fulfilling our responsibilities under Section 75 of the Northern Ireland Act 1998 and the Equality Act of 2010 which legally protects people from discrimination.

The following are protected characteristics set out by the Equality Act 2010:

  • Age
  • Disability
  • Gender reassignment
  • Marriage and civil partnership
  • Pregnancy and maternity
  • Race
  • Religion or belief
  • Sex
  • Sexual orientation

Section 75 of the Northern Ireland Act 1998 requires us, whilst carrying out our functions, powers and duties to have due regard to the need to promote equality of opportunity between:

• Persons of different religious belief, political opinion, racial group, age, marital status or sexual orientation

• Men and women generally
• Persons with a disability and persons without • Persons with dependants and persons without

Without prejudice to these obligations, we are required to have regard to the desirability of promoting good relations between persons of different religious belief, political opinion or racial group.

Equality considerations are central to our policy processes.. The main aim of Section 75 is to make sure that Equality is at the core of everything we do as a college. NWRC aims to provide a supportive learning environment which demonstrates respect for and acceptance of difference, where every individual is supported in order to achieve their full potential in an environment free from unlawful discrimination, harassment and victimisation.

Upholding equality is about acknowledging that we are all different and accepting those differences!

What can you do to promote Equality and Diversity?

  • Respect everyone’s beliefs / views even if they are different from your own
  • Always treat other students and staff members with respect and dignity
  • Stand alongside those who are experiencing discrimination
  • Challenge questionable language, attitudes and behaviours if you believe someone is behaving or speaking inappropriately
  • Avoid labelling people and do not isolate or use inappropriate language or images of someone
  • Respect each other’s cultural practices and traditions – this includes food, clothing and spiritual/religious practice
  • Behave in a manner that could not be considered offensive to other students, staff or the general public