Disabled Students Allowance (DSA-QAG)

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About the DSA Needs Assessment Process

Access Independence Consulting provides Disabled Students Allowance (DSA) Needs Assessments. The DSA covers any extra study-related costs you incur due to an impairment, mental health condition, or learning difficulty. It is neither a benefit nor a loan, so it does not need repaying. The Needs Assessment identifies how the DSA should be utilised in each individual case.


How do I book a DSA Needs Assessment?

Once your eligibility for the DSA has been confirmed, contact Access Independence Consulting to book your DSA Needs Assessment. Appointments are available within 2 working days.


Where can I be assessed?

Our Assessment Centres are:


What happens at the DSA Needs Assessment?

The Needs Assessment occurs in a relaxed environment by one of our team of qualified assessors. They will identify the strategies which may enable you with your studies. This may include the consideration of assistive technology, specialist support and travel assistance. All strategies will be demonstrated and discussed, with specialist consideration of your condition, course and place of study.


When will I receive my DSA Needs Assessment Report?

This will be issued within 10 working days of your Assessment.


What do I do after I receive my final report?

Your Funding Body will issue a Letter of Entitlement which will advise you what to do next. On receipt of this, please contact the suppliers to arrange delivery of your support.


Our Costs

In accordance with DSA-QAG standards, Assessment Centres will charge a single assessment fee.

The Assessment is funded through the General Allowance of the DSA, so you do not have to pay for it yourself.

Our Assessment fee is inclusive of all work required for the duration of your study. On occasion, we may be asked to undertake a Funded Review of your needs which falls outside the single fee arrangement e.g. if you take a break from studying, start a new course or provide medical evidence to your funding body of an additional disability.


Do I have to attend the Needs Assessment Centre?

DSA-QAG state that Needs Assessment should take place at an accredited centre. However, if due to you disability you are unable to attend a Needs Assessment Centre or you may have to travel more than one hour to get to your nearest Assessment Centre, an Individual Student Response (ISR) may be appropriate. An ISR can take the form of a home assessment; a Skype or telephone assessment; or an assessment at an alternative venue.

If you prefer to have an ISR please let us know why you find it difficult to attend your nearest Assessment Centre, and we will then seek permission from your Funding Body accordingly.


What if I need additional advice or support?

Please contact use via phone or e-mail. We will acknowledge receipt of your request within a working day and you will receive a full response within 10 working days