How to write a disability discrimination complaint letter

By going through the formal complaint process, Caprice was able to change university policies for future disabled students. She shares her top tips for writing a complaint letter and shares her own template letter.

Check your university’s complaints procedure

Most procedures have three different stages.

Stage one

Informal Complaint (for example, trying to resolve the matter by talking to your course leader/student services, or sending an email to any party involved).

Stage two

Submit a Formal Complaint. You should be able to submit your complaint through your university’s website, where you can also upload your letter and supporting evidence.

Stage three

Your university should explain what happens at stage three, in their complaint’s procedure. When I went to stage three, my university’s secretary handled my complaint, but every university is different!

Top tips for writing your complaint letter

  1. Never be brief! Go into as much detail as you possibly can.
  2. Don’t be afraid. Writing a complaint letter can feel scary (trust me, I know). You deserve to be heard and complain about the things that you are entitled to have as a disabled student.
  3. If you are invited to a meeting to discuss your complaint, don’t be intimidated. You can also bring someone with you for support.
  4. Prior to your meeting, write down notes so you don’t forget anything.
  5. Make sure you have a pen and pad to take notes in your meeting. 
  6. If you don’t get the reasonable adjustments, you require from your first complaint letter – keep going! Your university will have another stage, where you can take your complaint even further.
  7. Remember, you’re never alone in what you’re going through. I’ve been there. It will feel tiring and draining to re-live everything, but you’ve got this.
Grace, Change 100 intern, writing in her notepad while working from home
Caprice in her "disabled looks like me" tshirt