What is the Disabled Students Allowance?

Why Choose Our DSA Needs Assessment Service? 

Our assessors are friendly, professional, and experienced in disabilities, including physical, medical or invisible. We have extensive experience and knowledge of neurodiverse and mental health conditions as well as the extensive impact they have on learning and day-to-day life. Our experience allows us to work with our clients to identify the best support package for -your education and learning needs rather than a “standard – one size fits all – package” that does not work for anyone.  

We ensure we keep up to date with the different types of equipment, and software available. Choosing the ones that we think will work best for you based on your current strategies and needs.  

Some of our assessors have worked as specialist study skills tutors, mentors and assistive technology trainers. This allows us to help explain what the support will do and how to make the best use of it. Our DSA Needs Assessment Centre regularly ask for feedback from past students so we can ensure we are suggesting the best support for you. 

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DSA Needs Assessment
Frequently Asked Questions

What is a DSA Needs Assessment?

A DSA needs assessment is an informal meeting of up to two hours with one of our experienced assessors, who can then recommend the support and equipment required for students who are eligible for DSA (disabled students allowance).

Why do I need to have a DSA needs assessment?

Your Funding Body will ask you to have a DSA assessment carried out so that your particular needs can be matched with those of your proposed course to ensure that you get the help that you will need. The DSA centre assessment may identify the types of equipment and other support you will need, how much it will cost and where to get it from. It will also identify any training you might need to make best use of the equipment recommended and detail any special examination arrangements.
The cost of your DSA assessment will be paid from your General Allowance. If you need help with travel costs to the assessment, you should ask your Funding Body whether they can help as this can be paid from the General Allowance of the DSA.
You should not arrange for a DSA assessment without first confirming with your Funding Body that they agree for you to do so.

How soon can I have an assessment done?

Your assessment can be done once your Funding Body has confirmed you are eligible for the DSA. An assessment can be arranged by booking an initial appointment here or through the booking links on our contact page.
It is possible to have your assessment prior to starting your course or even before having your University place confirmed.

How can I arrange my assessment?

You can get in touch with PDC by email, telephone or online booking:
Email: support@phoenixdyslexiaconsulting.com
Telephone: 020 3286 7427
Online: Online Booking Form on this Page
We will send you a short questionnaire about your course and disability, we will then agree a convenient date, time and the location for your assessment.

What evidence do you require?

An eligibility letter from your Funding Body (e.g. Student Finance England/NHS) confirming you are eligible for DSA, the disability(ies) you are eligible for and that your ‘next steps’ are to arrange for an assessment.
Evidence of your disability (a photocopy or photo is sufficient), for example, a letter from your Doctor or Consultant or an Educational Psychologist report.

What happens during the assessment?

The assessment is an informal meeting that lasts around two hours. Your assessor will start by learning about you, your challenges, and your university course. Together with your assessor, you will look at the different areas of study, such as carrying out research for assignments, writing essays, taking notes, revising for exams, organisation skills, writing skills, proofing, and editing as well as undertaking practical work, getting around university or college and more.

How long does an assessment take?

We recommend that you allow up to 2 hours for your assessment but they are often completed sooner. There is no testing involved in this process.

Who pays for my assessment?

PDC will charge a student’s funding body a single assessment fee which will cover the cost of all the work required for the duration of the course of study. If a Review of Needs assessment has been granted by your funding body, we can also arrange for this to take place.
This will include:
Considering additional medical evidence of a student’s need which has been approved by their funding body following the Needs Assessment.
All activities undertaken by the assessor to review the student’s DSA support for the duration of their undergraduate and postgraduate studies as and when required.
Liaising with funding bodies, equipment suppliers, HEIs, and other stakeholders for the purpose of reviewing the student’s support needs.
Following an assessment, students who present medical evidence of any additional diagnoses which have been accepted by their funding body during the course will receive a response from PDC, in accordance with the above points.

What do I need to bring with me to the assessment?

Examples of your work are often helpful, e.g. lecture notes, assignments, a course outline, and a copy of your most recent timetable.

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