Contact Associates provide a nationwide DSA assessments assessment service for students who have applied for Disabled Students Allowances. We aim to offer appointments within 2-3 days from the time you get in touch with us, and can often offer next day appointments. At most DSA assessment centres, assessments are available between 10am and 4pm, from Monday to Friday.
We have a network of DSA-QAG accredited centres located across England and a fully equipped centre in Northern Ireland. Some centres are located within universities, but students studying at any university or college can have their assessment in any centre.
About the DSA assessment
A DSAs needs assessment is an informal meeting of up to two hours with an assessor experienced in recommending support and equipment for students applying for the Disabled Students Allowances. The assessment is not a test of any sort, but an opportunity to assess the different options available to support any difficulties that studying at university or college may present.
The dsa assessment has two main parts – firstly your assessor will ask you for more information about how you study and the areas that you feel you may struggle with. This will include talking about things like carrying out research for assignments, writing essays, taking notes, revising for exams, undertaking practical work, getting around university or college and more.
The second part of the DSA assessment will be a chance to evaluate different types of support. This will usually include looking at some different software and equipment to see how they can support you, and discussing one-to-one support. You will be asked whether you think the support will benefit you and be given the opportunity to ask questions yourself, so it’s good to have a think beforehand about any particular areas you are worried about or want more information on.
At the end of the assessment, you and your assessor will have agreed what will be recommended and your assessor will then go away to write your needs assessment report. This outlines all of the recommendations and explains how they will support you. A copy of the report is sent to you, your funding body and (with your permission) to your college or university. This is so that all the people involved with helping to put in place the recommended support have a copy of the DSA assessment report.
What happens after the DSA assessment?
After processing your report, your funding body will get in touch to confirm which recommendations they agree to fund (usually all of them), and what to do next in terms of ordering equipment and arranging any one-to-one support. However, if you are not sure what is happening at any stage of the process, you can just get in touch with us.
As part of the General Allowance allocated to you as part of your DSAs, a fee for the assessment will be deducted. This is an inclusive fee and covers all work that may be required for the duration of your course. The fee which Contact Associates charge is £600 (+VAT).
If, owing to a change of course, a break in study or a new diagnosis, you are subsequently made eligible for a further assessment (called a ‘Review of Needs’), we may charge a further £300 (+VAT), depending on the volume of work required. This would also be deducted from the General Allowance part of your DSA.