Frequently Asked Questions
How can I prepare for the appointment?
It will be helpful to both you and your assessor before you attend the appointment to take a little time to think about your course of study and the likely impact on you as an individual with needs. You can prepare for the assessment by finding out about the activities involved in the course you are/will be participating in, for example:
- How is the course delivered (eg lectures, seminars, labs)?
- How many teaching hours are there every week?
- How are you assessed (e.g. exams, coursework)?
- Do you need to use any particular software?
- Are students expected to use email and online resources?
- How much reading will you need to do?
- Do you need to go on a placement or undertake field trips?
- How might the workload change over the length of the course?
It is 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? We will send you a course requirements form to complete when your appointment is confirmed. Also make sure that you know how to get to Glyndŵr University Assessment Centre (click on the 'How to Find Us' link) and arrange any personal assistance, transportation or communication support you might need during the visit.
Can I bring someone with me to the assessment?
You are very welcome to bring a friend, family member or Advocate along with you. The Assessment Centre has a comfortable reception area in which they can wait for you whilst the assessment takes place. The majority of students prefer to have their assessment on a one-to-one basis with the assessor, but feel free to speak to a member of staff if you prefer to have somebody in the assessment with you.
Will the assessment process have any cost implication to me personally?
No, the cost of the assessment will be funded from your DSA.
In accordance with Disabled Students' Allowances Quality Assurance Group (DSA-QAG), Glyndŵr Assessment Centre offers a fully inclusive assessment fee. This means that all work required for the duration of your course study will be carried out under this single fee. This will include:
- Additional needs with which you present
- Any activities undertaken by the assessor or centre to review your DSA support, for the duration of your original course
- Liaison with funding bodies, equipment suppliers HEIs or other stakeholders for the purpose of review of your support needs
We will contact you as you progress through your course to gain feedback on how the assessement experience has been for you and to see how effective the support strategies have been.
However, please do contact us at any time during your course if you have any queries about your support recommendations.
What happens during the assessment?
Assessment sessions usually last from one and a half to three hours. The assessment is confidential and conducted in a relaxed and supportive environment by assessors with specialist experience of your disability or specific learning difficulty. The assessment is not a test but the opportunity for you to discuss your additional learning needs within the context of your studies.
You will have the opportunity to talk about your past experiences and any strategies you have developed to address your difficulties. Different support options will be explored, and between you, you will come to a conclusion about the study aids and strategies most appropriate to your needs.
Depending upon your individual support needs, these might include:
- A note-taker or scribe
- Computer equipment and software
- A recording device
- The services of an interpreter
- Additional photocopying costs
- A book allowance
- Extensions to library loans
- One-to-one Dyslexia support tuition
- A learning mentor
Towards the conclusion of a DSA assessment, the DSA assessor will review the discussions they have had with you during the assessment and summarise the proposed recommendations their DSA assessment report will contain.
The DSA assessor will also discuss with you the next steps in the DSA application procedure. If you have any questions about the DSA assessment that has just taken place, this is a good opportunity for you to ask them. Your DSA assessor will do their best to ensure they are addressed.
What happens after my assessment?
After the assessment, the assessor will produce your report. We aim to produce the report within ten working days of your appointment - although it can take a little longer if very specialist equipment needs to be identified. Please keep in touch with us if you have any concerns.
If you have already started your course, explain to your disability adviser at your college or university that you have had an Assessment of Need, as they may be able to put some temporary support in place or provide you with the use of some loan equipment. When we receive your approval of the report we will then send it to your funding body. They will process your application for support and decide whether they are going to support all of the recommendations in your report, or just some of them.
Once your funding body has reached a decision they will tell you in writing, and in detail, the recommendations they are able to approve. They will tell you which equipment suppliers and support providers you should use and the arrangements for payments that you must follow. With your permission, a copy will also be sent to disability support staff at your university or college to enable them to put your support into place.
When will I receive my equipment?
How long it takes for you to receive your equipment depends on your funding body. On average, you should know if the recommendations have been approved approximately four to six weeks after you have received the report. Your funding body may order your equipment direct from the suppliers or you may receive funding so that you are able to purchase equipment direct.
It is important that you do not purchase any items until your funding body have confirmed that you should do so. We will be happy to act on your behalf to arrange a supplier to deliver your specialist technology to your address. If you have any difficulties at any stage of the process, we would be happy to help, so please get in touch.
Will I get all the equipment I need?
Many students feel that computer technology would be useful to them. However, there are particular restrictions applying to these and both Glyndŵr Assessment Centre and your funding body have to follow strict guidelines from the government (Department for Education and Skills) which sets out the circumstances in which they may be recommended.
All recommendations made must be directly associated with a difficulty you have as a consequence of your disability. In some cases this means that we may be unable to recommend all the resources you feel would be useful. However, if this is the case, many funding bodies will allow you to add your own funds to the money they are able to make available to allow you to purchase additional or alternative equipment.
How long before I get any recommended equipment/help?
The length of time between a DSA assessment and receiving any recommended equipment/ help can vary. It often depends on the time of year. Non-medical help (dyslexia support, physical assistance, etc.) is often arranged immediately, as this can be put in place by your institution as soon as the report arrives.
Does it matter if I haven't had my needs assessment prior to starting my course?
This really depends on the nature and severity of your disability. If you are visually impaired, hearing impaired or have severe mobility difficulties then it is recommended that you get your assessment done before your course starts. The recommendations are likely to be important from day one. For some other disabilities the time scales are less urgent. The equipment may not be essential to initial teaching sessions.
Don't delay things longer than you have to. However, it can sometimes help an assessor to make recommendations if you already have some experience of your course.
Can I receive equipment before my course begins?
Possibly. Once your funding body has established that you are eligible for the Disabled Students' Allowance it can pay for items of special equipment recommended in your DSA assessment report shortly before the start of your course so that you may use them from the very beginning of your studies. However, your funding body will ask for evidence that you have been accepted on your course before they will consider doing so.
What happens to the equipment when my course ends?
All equipment bought with DSAs is, and will stay, your property. You may decide to offer the equipment either to your university or college or your funding body for other students to use. Or you can keep the equipment if you are intending to go onto a further course of study (for example, a postgraduate course).