Why do I need to have an assessment of my needs?
Your Funding Body will ask you to have an assessment carried out so that your needs can be matched with your course to ensure that you get the help that you need which can include software, equipment and other support.
How soon can I have an assessment done?
Once your Funding Body has established your eligibility for the DSA, a DSA assessment can be arranged by calling KAS. If you are about to start your course, it may be possible to have an assessment before the start of term, and even before you have a confirmed place at an institution.
How can I arrange my assessment?
Contact KAS if your Funding Body have written to you to ask you to contact an assessment centre.
You can get in touch with KAS via email@example.com, 0203 732 2088 or text 07730691642. This date will be confirmed once you have sent the following: (we need this five working days before your assessment).
What happens during the assessment?
Your confidential assessment is a chance for you to discuss your extra learning needs within the context of your studies. Your assessor will consider any items of information/communication technology and ergonomic equipment you may need, together with support strategies including note-taking, 1:1 specialist support (dyslexia), mentoring, etc. Other disability related spending may be considered, such as book, photocopy and Internet allowances.
How long does an assessment take?
We recommend that you allow up to 2 hours for your assessment.
There is no testing involved.
What do I need to bring with me to the assessment?
Examples of your work are helpful, eg notes, assignments/ your timetable.
What happens after my assessment?
Your assessor will prepare your report with recommendations. You will be sent a copy of your needs assessment report within 2 weeks.
If you accept the recommendations in your report, KAS will send a copy to your Funding Body for authorisation.
What will be written in my report?
Your Assessor will write a report based on your discussions and the documentation you provided. All recommendations need to be justified, based on your disability-related needs for the course to enable your Funding Body to release funding from the Disabled Students’ Allowances (DSA) or other funding sources. Your report will suggest study strategies which you can use and will recommend the support you require from the DSA.
Recommendations usually include:
- Details of costs and suppliers of specialist equipment
- Maximum weekly hours and suggested rates of pay for any personal assistance (non-medical helper) you need
- Reasonable claims for additional study-related miscellaneous/travel costs.
Who will receive the report?
A final copy of the report will be sent to you, the Funding Body Awards Officer and, with your permission, to your University / College Disability Adviser.
How will payments be made?
Your funding body (eg SFE / NHS / OU) will write to you to tell you how to order your equipment.
General allowance items (eg printer cartridges, books, photocopying) that you have bought will be refunded when you send in your receipts with a ‘reimbursement of claims’ form.
When will I receive my equipment?
You should hear if your report recommendations have been approved roughly 4 weeks after the report has been received by the funding body.
Do not purchase items until your funding body has confirmed that you can.
I've already bought a computer!
You are strongly advised NOT to buy computers or any other equipment in advance of the assessment.
Can I receive equipment before my course begins?
Once you are eligible for DSAs, payments for items of recommended special equipment can be made shortly before your course begins (so you can become familiar with the equipment before starting your course).
You will need to provide evidence that you have been accepted on your course before your funding body will agree to pay for items. If you do not start your course, you may be required to refund or return any equipment.
Will my report be confidential?
- All notes and copies of the final report will be kept securely.
- An electronic copy of your report may be retained for up to 7 years.
- A copy of the report will be sent to your funding body). It is a condition of the assessment that you agree to the above.
- A copy of the report will also be sent to the support staff at your university / college if you agree.
Can I keep my equipment when my course ends?
All equipment bought with DSAs is, and will remain, your property.
Do I have to pay you anything for my needs assessment?
No. Your funding body will organise payment and our fee is fully inclusive (eg it covers your assessment and all follow up work for the duration of your study).