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The needs assessment


The study needs assessment is not a diagnostic or medical assessment. There are no tests or examinations.

The assessment is a conversation between you and the assessor, focusing on the difficulties you are experiencing or will encounter on your course because of your disability/ies.

Assessments usually take between one and two hours. The assessor may introduce you to a range of equipment. Any equipment discussed will be demonstrated for you and you will be offered the chance to try it for yourself. The assessor will discuss the possible recommendations with you and identify which are most appropriate to your needs in order to help you overcome the difficulties you are experiencing or will encounter.

Before your appointment
  • Ensure you have sent us all the paperwork we need by the date indicated in your appointment confirmation letter. Your assessment may need to be cancelled / re-organised if we do not receive your information in time.
  • Take some time before your assessment to make a list of the problems you are encountering. This will ensure you can remember everything you want to discuss with the assessor.
  • Make a list of any equipment / strategies you are currently using or have used in the past.
During your appointment
  • Be prepared to discuss all areas of difficulty encountered because of your disability. The assessor will be able to identify areas that you may not have considered, especially if you have not previously studied at HE level.
  • Be honest about your difficulties. This will make it easier for the assessor to identify the strategies that will work for you. As with all disabilities you will have good days and bad days. The DSA needs assessment will focus on your bad days. This will ensure the support you need is there when you need it.
  • Ask questions and suggest strategies / equipment that you feel may benefit you. The assessor will discuss these with you and consider them in relation to the DSA guidance.
After your appointment
  • Respond to the draft report as soon as possible (if you opted to receive one).
  • Read your final report carefully, so you know what has been recommended and why.
  • Complete our customer survey (a link will be sent to you with your final report) to assist us in improving our services.
  • Order your equipment and organise your support as soon as you receive authorisation from your funding body.
I was really impressed. She was very nice and asked the right questions. People don't always do that.

What happens after the assessment?