What is a DSA needs assessor?
A Disabled Students’ Allowance (DSA) needs assessor is there to help establish what equipment, software and support you will need to fully access your learning at university.
They should have specialist knowledge and experience of the equipment and support students with disabilities need to study successfully at university.
How can they support you?
The DSA needs assessor will ask you about your educational history, how your disability affects your studies and any current support arrangements you may have. They will then explore different support options with you and together you will come to a conclusion about the study aids and strategies most appropriate to your needs.
This could include:
- Specialist equipment, assistive technology and software, along with the appropriate training from an assistive technology trainer(s).
- Non-medical help (NMH) human support such as specialist support professionals, notetakers, readers, scribes, mobility training, sighted guiding and other specialist support.
- Assistance with travel to and from university.
The needs assessor is there as an independent expert, using their skills and knowledge to advise you on the best options and make recommendations to the funding body. They will explain the equipment and other resources available to you and you may even be able to test out some of the equipment.
How do you access their support?
DSA needs assessors are based in a DSA needs assessment centre. Once you have applied for DSA you will receive a letter to say whether your application has been successful or not, this is called a DSA1 letter. If your application has been successful, you will be asked to contact a DSA assessment centre to organise your assessment. You will be sent a list of assessment centres. To find out more about DSA and the application process, check out our guide to DSA!
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