No, you won't be expected to prove your disability in the session. The purpose of the assessment is to ascertain what strategies and support you need.
Providing you have received a letter from your funding body confirming your eligibility for DSA assessment, we can offer you an appointment when you contact your chosen centre. It is therefore useful if you have a copy of your timetable to hand when contacting us.
Appointments are offered Monday to Friday (see opening times), excluding public holidays. Subject to your availability, the assessment will usually be arranged within 15 working days of you contacting us.
When booking your assessment we will request information about your contact details, nature of your condition and your course. Any special requirements for your assessment should also be discussed at this time.
After making your appointment, you will be sent a letter with your appointment details and directions to the centre. You will be requested to send medical evidence or a copy of your diagnostic report to us, as well as a copy of your letter confirming DSA eligibility, within 5 working days.
Please be aware that it is the student's responsibility to submit this paperwork and failure to do so may result in the appointment being postponed.
Unless sufficient details are gathered at the time of your booking, you will also be sent a pre-assessment form requesting information about your course and your condition(s) before your assessment.
Assessments typically last between 1.5 - 2.5 hours but may be longer or shorter depending on the impact of one's condition and the discussions and demonstrations performed.
You should ensure that you bring the right equipment with you to your assessment, including reading glasses and a hearing aid if necessary. If you use a hearing aid, the assessor may require a note detailing the model of device.
Click here to find out what else you can do to be prepared.
This session takes the form of an informal structured interview which is typically conducted on a one-to-one basis between you and the assessor - 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.
Click here to find out more about what the assessment entails.
Assessors aim to make recommendations to provide suitable support for the duration of the student's course.
However, for students who don't know how they will fare with the demands of their course, or if a condition develops or worsens, there is the opportunity to approach the assessment centre at a later date to review the recommended support.
In some cases, students will be advised by an assessor to make appointments with a support provider - for example, a dyslexia support tutor, or an ophthalmic optician if visual sensitivity testing is recommended.
You are strongly recommended to make an appointment with your Disability Advisor to discuss the recommendations made for academic support in your assessment report, and to finalise arrangements for examinations and co-workers etc.
DSA stands for Disabled Students’ Allowances. This is funding that disabled students can apply for, providing the extra financial support they require during their higher education studies.
You may be entitled to apply for DSA funding if you have a disability, a special learning difficulty, an ongoing health condition or a mental health condition.
DSA funding can be used to pay for specialist equipment required because of your condition, non-medical assistance, extra travel required because of your condition, or other disability-related costs of studying.
For more information, visit the www.gov.uk website.
Students are predominantly assessed on a one-to-one basis. To prevent distraction and others answering questions on behalf of the individual being assessed, admission of children or relatives is discouraged, though this may be possible in extreme circumstances at the discretion of the assessor.
Exceptions will be made if communication or mentor support is necessary. The needs assessment report will reflect the discussion that takes place during the assessment and list the items recommended, so there is no need for the individual to remember everything that is said in the assessment.
If strategies are agreed during the assessment interview and no further research is necessary, the draft report stage can be omitted by mutual consent between the student and the assessor. However, if you require a draft report, there might be more to consider.
Click here to find out more about the post-assessment process.
Based on the assessment centre despatching your report within 10 working days, prompt delivery/return of the agreement form, the funding body processing the report within 2 weeks, prompt placement of the order, and supplier despatch times of approximately 10 working days, you should receive equipment within 7 weeks of your assessment date.
Possibly; for students who have yet to enrol on their chosen degree, your funding body is likely to request evidence that you have been accepted onto your course before they permit items to be ordered.
If it is vitally important that you have support in place from day one of your course, or you require time before starting your course to become familiar with adaptive aids, your funding body may permit DSA funds to be released earlier than usual.
DSA can only be used to fund training in adaptive aids and assistive technology. It does not cover training in course-related specialist software.