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DSA needs assessment process | Other services

Access@SW15 provides Needs Assessments for students who have successfully applied for Disabled Students Allowance (DSA) funding. The centre was established in 2004 and is based at the University of Roehampton in London. 

  • We offer a friendly, professional and efficient service that is tailored to your individual needs as a disabled student.
  • We provide expert advice and guidance on disability support, equipment and specialist software and pride ourselves on our high levels of quality and service.

dsa-qag logo 140As a nationally DSA/QAG accredited assessment centre we are able to assess students and applicants from any University, you do not have to be studying at Roehampton.

Your DSA funding will pay directly for your Needs Assessment. Our current fees are £660 for a standard assessment - this is a Fully Inclusive Assessment Fee which covers your assessment and all reviews for the duration of your study. This includes:

  • Your initial needs assessment; 
  • A review of your needs, should you present with an additional diagnosis during your course; 
  • A review of your DSA support, if required, for the duration of your course; 
  • Liaison with funding bodies, equipment suppliers, HEIs or other stakeholders for the purpose of reviewing your needs; 

If you go on to study as a Postgraduate or PGCE student, you may also be eligible for a formal review of your needs, funded through the postgraduate DSA. 

Please note: A £50 charge may apply if you cancel an assessment with less than 24 hours notice.

Please contact us if you have any questions, or to book your needs assessment appointment.

 

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The DSA needs assessment process

Making an appointment

Wait until you have received written confirmation from your funding body that they approve your DSA application and agree to fund a DSA Assessment at Access@SW15 before contacting us to make an appointment.

Once you have this letter, contact Access@SW15. We will ask you a few questions before booking your appointment. All information is kept in accordance with the Data Protection Act (1998). We will ask you what type of disability you have (according to the categories UCAS use) and whether there is any additional information about your disability we should be aware of. We ask this so that Access@SW15 can ensure that your DSA Assessor is most suited to your needs.

Please have your diary ready so you can ensure you are available for the appointment we book for you. You will be given an appointment within 15 working days of your call. You will be asked to provide a copy of the agreement letter from your funding body asking you to attend a needs assessment. You will also be asked to provide diagnostic or medical evidence prior to your appointment, to ensure that your assessor is prepared for your meeting. If you are unable to provide this, your appointment may need to be rescheduled.

Prepare for the appointment

You can prepare for the assessment by finding out as much as possible about your course, what teaching methods it involves, whether there is any specialist equipment that you will need to use, how you will be assessed on your course, etc.

Speaking to your course tutors and the disability support staff at your institution about your specific needs will also be useful as they may have some helpful suggestions. It would be useful for you to have some information about the support that your institution can provide you.

During the assessment process the DSA Assessor will, with your permission, normally make appropriate contact with your institution to discuss these things. It is also useful to think about how effective your previous study strategies were. Did you have help from family, friends or teachers - people who might not be able to help as much now?

Think about what would help you most whilst studying at university and come along prepared to discuss this with the Needs Assessor. If you have previously used equipment or support that you have found useful, mention this to your Needs Assessor. We cannot guarantee that you will get everything that you might want, as there are strict guidelines determining the type of support we can provide you with. However, having an idea of what would help you is often very useful.

Before you set out for your appointment, make sure that you know how to get to Access@SW15, and contact us about arrangements for any personal assistance, transportation or communication support you might need during the visit.

What will happen at the appointment

You should expect your appointment to last for two hours. Please arrive in good time before it starts.

During the DSA assessment appointment you will, in partnership with the assessor:

  • consider your previous education and employment history and what support you have had in the past.
  • consider all the things you will need to be able to do when taking the course.
  • think about how your disability(ies), dyslexia or other medical conditions might affect you on the course.
  • look at the strategies you could use, some of which might involve using technology aids, to allow you to be as independent a learner as possible.

How to assist your assessor:

  • If possible bring along some examples of your written work (lecture notes, essays).

During the appointment you will be asked for your permission for Access@SW15 to make contact with your University/College. Access@SW15 and your funding body will treat any information about your disability as confidential, but if you choose not to tell your University/College about your disability, it will make it difficult for reasonable adjustments to be made for you.

Towards the conclusion of your assessment, the assessor will review the discussions you have had and summarise the proposed recommendations which will be put into your report.

If you have any questions about the DSA assessment that has just taken place, this is a good opportunity for you to ask them.

After your appointment

Following your DSA assessment, you will have an opportunity to view a draft copy of your report. Once this has been agreed, you will receive a copy of your final report within 10 working days. It is important that you inform the Access Centre promptly of any amendments you would like made. 

Your funding body will then receive a copy of your DSA assessment report. They will process your report and decide whether they are going to fund all of the recommendations. Once they have made this decision, your funding body will write to you, and will explain how you can go about putting your support in place. 

At this time it would be a good idea for you to meet with your Disability Advisor at your University/College who can help you put your support in place.

To book your needs assessment

Please contact Access@SW15 by telephone (020 8392 3403) or email us at accesscentre@roehampton.ac.uk.

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Other services

If you have had a DSA Assessment and your funding body has approved funding for any of these services, you can contact Access@SW15 to arrange an appointment.

Assistive Technology (AT) training

Many students who are recommended software or hardware in their DSA assessment benefit from AT training to ensure they are confident in using it. All suppliers are required to set up the equipment and make sure it is working for you. Training is another service that you receive on top of this. Details of how much training you are entitled to, and the AT provider agreed by the funding body, can be found in your DSA2 letter.


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Contact Access@SW15

Access@SW15,
Richardson Building,
Digby Stuart College,
University of Roehampton,
Roehampton Lane,
London, SW15 5PU. 
Tel: 020 8392 3403.
Email: accesscentre@roehampton.ac.uk.

Opening hours

  • Monday to Friday, 9am – 5pm, throughout the entire year.

  • Assessments are available on Thursdays and Fridays, between 11am and 3.30pm.

  • Monday to Wednesday - please call to check availability as assessments are often available on these days.

  • We are closed between Easter Friday and Easter Monday, between Christmas Eve and New Year and on all bank holidays.

How to get to Access@SW15

 

Waiting times

There is currently a 2 working day waiting list for most assessments.

Please call now for an appointment.