Background In 2011 the third-year community course at the University of Liverpool was reorganised to have an emphasis on disability. The aim was to increase students’ understanding of some of the issues surrounding disability and what this means to individual patients. The rotation consists of six fullday, small-group tutorial sessions, five days at a GP placement where, amongst other things, they have to perform a ‘long case’ clerking of two patients with disabilities, communication skills sessions and visits to community disability centres. Methods Five focus groups were arranged with a total of 42 students from the third year at the University of Medical students’ views on the introduction of a community placement 37 Liverpool asking them their views on the rotation and whether it had increased their understanding of this area. Results The students had enjoyed the placement and felt it had increased their understanding of the issues surrounding disability. Seeing patients in the community, time spent being taught by a GP and seeing patients with a GP were particularly well received. The centre visits in particular 3 / 6 gave them an insight into people’s lives and the fact they had to log cases of patients with disabilities helped to ensure the aims of the rotation were met. Conclusion Overall the responses from the students were positive towards the block and the placement and they could see the value of a disability rotation based in the community.