What does the assessment entail?
This session consists of an informal structured interview which is typically conducted on a one-to-one basis between you and the assessor. This is a person with experience and knowledge of the equipment and support which students with disabilities or Special Learning Difficulties (SpLD) require to study successfully at university.
The session takes the form of an informal one-to-one meeting between you and the assessor. Find out more about what to expect.
In this meeting, you will have the opportunity to discuss:
- Course demands - for example, note-taking, research, producing written work, using computers, and accessing practical activities.
- Prior experience - for example, difficulties you may have encountered in prior work or study, and strategies you have employed to combat these.
- The impact of the condition for which you are being assessed on your course.
The meeting takes place in an assessment room equipped with ergonomic aids and up-to-date software and technology. It will usually last approximately 1.5 - 2.5 hours.
Where relevant, equipment and strategies will also be demonstrated, and where appropriate, you will have the opportunity to trial and evaluate computer software and assistive aids.
The aim of the meeting is for you and the assessor to discuss and agree on a package of equipment, strategies and support that you need for your course, so that you can study as independently as possible. You won't be expected to prove your disability in the session. The intent is to ascertain what aids and strategies you require. No testing is involved.
After the assessment, the assessor will produce a written report. You will have the opportunity to receive and approve a draft of this report, before a final copy is sent to your funding body for their agreement. The assessment report is confidential and is used by the relevant funding body to determine the DSA support for which they are willing to pay.
DSA recommendations usually include some or all of the following:
- Information about what is being recommended and how to apply the various strategies and equipment discussed;
- Details of costs and DSA-QAG approved suppliers of specialist equipment;
- Recommended weekly hours, suggested rates of pay, as well as providers of any non-medical help you may require (human support);
- Details of any reasonable claims for additional miscellaneous or travel costs you might incur whilst studying, as a result of your disability;
- Advice and guidance to help you and your institution agree reasonable accommodations they can make to help you get the most out of your course.