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The Needs Assessment Process

The West London Assessment Centre booklet provides information about Disabled Students' Allowances and needs assessments.

Remote DSA Needs Assessment Process:

Once you have emailed us to request a DSA Needs Assessment appointment, we will reply to you with a request for information in order that we can set you up on our system and create a record for you.

We will then respond offering you dates and times for your remote assessment to take place at a time that is convenient for you.  We will ask you what your preferred method of remote assessment will be.

When we have heard back from you, we will book you in for your assessment appointment and email you confirmation of the appointment, the next steps, and advise you of who your assessor will be.

Your assessor will then contact you prior to your appointment to guide you through the remote assessment process that best meets your needs and requirements and assist you with what steps you might need to take to facilitate this process.

The DSA Needs Assessment appointment will, on average, last an hour and a half.

Following your DSA Needs Assessment appointment, you will be sent a copy of your DSA Needs Assessment report by email and a copy will be sent to your Funding Body, normally Student Finance England (SFE) and your University disability team (where you have given consent).

Should you have any comments on the report, please contact the assessment centre as soon as possible. Please email assessmentcentre@brunel.ac.uk

SFE will send you out a DSA Entitlement letter via email, about 4 weeks after you receive a copy of the report.  Please read this letter carefully, as it will detail the funding they have approved for your support and the steps you need to take to implement your support.  If you don't receive this letter call SFE on 0300 100 607 or email dsa_team@slc.co.uk

If you are not sure what to do, the disability service at your University should be able to help you with your DSA Entitlement letter.

If you can, please find out the following information to discuss with your assessor:

  • Investigate your course and the activities you expect to participate in.
  • How might the workload change over your course?
  • How is your course delivered (seminars, labs, lectures)?
  • How will you be assessed (exams and/or coursework)?
  • Will you need to use any particular equipment or software?
  • Will you be expected to use email and online resources?
  • Do you need to go on placements and/or field trips?

How to assist your assessor

  • If possible bring along some examples of your written work (lecture notes, essays).
  • Speak to your tutors and disability support staff about your needs.  They may have some useful suggestions.  A letter from your tutor or disability adviser can be brought to the assessment with you or emailed in advance, although this is not essential.

What happens next

Once you have met with your assessor, the Centre has a target of 10 working days in which to receive your report, have it proofread for quality assurance and send it to you.  You will have selected on your consent form if you wish to receive a draft copy for review or whether the report can be sent to you, your DSA funder and your University on the same day.

Your DSA funding will pay directly for your Needs Assessment.  Our fee £660 for a standard assessment.  If an assessment is cancelled with less than 24 hours’ of notice by you a £60 charge may apply.

Assessment Reviews

There may be occasions when your funding body asks you to have an official review of your needs conducted.  Please contact the centre that did you original assessment to arrange your review. Charges for reviews may vary, but are capped at £300 and paid for directly by the funding body.