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DSA Book Allowance Question

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    Its the Disabled Forums Favourite Question!

    I've looked into this on the net and managed to find diddly squat as to what books you are allowed to claim for. I've also found contradicting evidence (albiet anecdotal) that SLE will pay for most (even core) books.

    A found a PDF from SFE which can be found here: http://www.heiinfo.slc.co.uk/media/1...may%202011.pdf

    DSA BOOK ALLOWANCE
    The DSA book allowance is only intended to pay for non-course related books to assist students with their disability, for example presentation skills or assignment writing techniques.
    SFE will not reimburse disabled students for course related books. Students should be encouraged to use printers or scanners as an alternative to buying or borrowing course books.
    It basically states that books related to your course will not be reimbursed and that it is intended to purchase books related to your disability/ability to work e.g. Presentation techniques

    Anyone got any clue what the current score is?
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    Just to confuse matters!

    http://www.slc.co.uk/media/56577/dis...ne_2011_v2.pdf


    DSA BOOK ALLOWANCE
    There has been no change in policy regarding the DSA
    book allowance. Provided recommendations are backed
    up with specific justification in the needs assessment
    report, the allowance can be used for the purchase of
    course related books.
    For example, dyslexic students can potentially receive an
    allowance for textbooks (i.e. course related books) so that
    the student may use them to implement various reading
    strategies, such as bookmarking and highlighting key
    words. The rationale for this is that a dyslexic student may
    need to purchase more of the textbooks on their reading
    list than their non-dyslexic counterparts for whom library
    loans may suffice for a larger proportion of the books they
    need to read.
    June 2011
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    (Original post by RA3)
    Its the Disabled Forums Favourite Question!

    I've looked into this on the net and managed to find diddly squat as to what books you are allowed to claim for. I've also found contradicting evidence (albiet anecdotal) that SLE will pay for most (even core) books.

    A found a PDF from SFE which can be found here: http://www.heiinfo.slc.co.uk/media/1...may%202011.pdf



    It basically states that books related to your course will not be reimbursed and that it is intended to purchase books related to your disability/ability to work e.g. Presentation techniques

    Anyone got any clue what the current score is?
    DSA provide for course related books (textbooks/books on reading lists). However, there is the usual stipulation that only non-core books are allowed. In other words, course related books that every student is expected to buy can't be claimed for. When providing receipts to your funding body you may require a letter from a person at your university confirming that the books you are claiming for are not books students are expected to buy (My LEA never asked for this, however).

    So, if your reading list has one or two key general textbooks that all students are expected to buy, DSA does not usually cover this. But will cover all other books (e.g. books you've found yourself, other books in module reading lists).
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    (Original post by River85)
    DSA provide for course related books (textbooks/books on reading lists). However, there is the usual stipulation that only non-core books are allowed. In other words, course related books that every student is expected to buy can't be claimed for. When providing receipts to your funding body you may require a letter from a person at your university confirming that the books you are claiming for are not books students are expected to buy (My LEA never asked for this, however).

    So, if your reading list has one or two key general textbooks that all students are expected to buy, DSA does not usually cover this. But will cover all other books (e.g. books you've found yourself, other books in module reading lists).
    I've been pretty much told the same thing, that I'm not allowed to claim for core text books that everyone is expected to buy, only additional ones, so for example there might be a book on a suggested reading list but only one copy in the library that everyone is trying to fight over. I don't find 3 day loans from the library of much use, and it's even harder if a book is restricted to the library, so in this case my DSA would cover the cost of this non core, but suggested reading book.

    I was also told by my needs assessor that I would be able to use the book allowance to claim the cost of a CD Rom Oxford English Dictionary or similar software if I would find it useful. However my DSA form that came back from SFE after my needs assessment doesn't go as far as saying this, it only mentions non core books.
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    (Original post by pipsi)
    I was also told by my needs assessor that I would be able to use the book allowance to claim the cost of a CD Rom Oxford English Dictionary or similar software if I would find it useful.
    Interesting. I was bought the software as part of DSA and it had nothing to do with my book allowance.
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    (Original post by pipsi)
    I've been pretty much told the same thing, that I'm not allowed to claim for core text books that everyone is expected to buy, only additional ones, so for example there might be a book on a suggested reading list but only one copy in the library that everyone is trying to fight over. I don't find 3 day loans from the library of much use, and it's even harder if a book is restricted to the library, so in this case my DSA would cover the cost of this non core, but suggested reading book.
    Do you have extended library loans? Five days instead of three? I know it's only an extra two days but it's worth getting if you don't.
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    (Original post by River85)
    Do you have extended library loans? Five days instead of three? I know it's only an extra two days but it's worth getting if you don't.
    I get normal three day loans extended to five days, but that's only if no one else requests the book. As far as I'm aware if someone else wants the book, the same rules apply to me as everyone else.

    As a post grad I get quite long loans on normal books but again if someone else requests it i have to return it within the normal time frame.
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    Thanks for the replies.

    So if you were say doing Computer Science, you could claim the cost of a book on say, uh, Linux, as long as its not on one of the core reading lists? Or CBT Strategies if doing Psychology etc.

    We havent actually been given a definitive reading list per se but we can access module information online. Generally each model has 2-5 Core books but then maybe another 5 or so recommended reading. So the recommended reading books would be fine then?

    About as clear as mud!
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    (Original post by RA3)
    Thanks for the replies.

    So if you were say doing Computer Science, you could claim the cost of a book on say, uh, Linux, as long as its not on one of the core reading lists? Or CBT Strategies if doing Psychology etc.

    We havent actually been given a definitive reading list per se but we can access module information online. Generally each model has 2-5 Core books but then maybe another 5 or so recommended reading. So the recommended reading books would be fine then?

    About as clear as mud!
    Yes, recommended reading books are fine, but you can't claim for core books that everyone is expected to buy.
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    I'm assuming then that books that are related but arnt on the list at all would also be fine?
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    (Original post by RA3)
    I'm assuming then that books that are related but arnt on the list at all would also be fine?
    Yep, anything that will aid your studies, for instance I do Computer Science and got books on Essay writing and Critical thinking skills. They aren't on the reading lists but will help my studies therefore the DSA will allow it.
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    Yeah, and I guess also any books for a specific essay would also be allowed, useful if otherwise it would mean fighting over one copy that several people doing the same essay question all want.
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    Understood. Thanks for the replies.

    I'm hoping this thread will provide a bit more info for those people who are searching for info in the future.
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    I have a question; I have had my needs assessment for next academic year when I'll begin my MA. i have already received my equipment, but I wondered if I will be able to purchase things before the academic year such as books. I bought a book on Amazon yesterday which will be useful for my course next year and I was wondering whether I will be able to claim the cost of this book as part of my book allowance or whether I have to wait until the beginning of next academic year?
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    (Original post by pipsi)
    I have a question; I have had my needs assessment for next academic year when I'll begin my MA. i have already received my equipment, but I wondered if I will be able to purchase things before the academic year such as books. I bought a book on Amazon yesterday which will be useful for my course next year and I was wondering whether I will be able to claim the cost of this book as part of my book allowance or whether I have to wait until the beginning of next academic year?
    Needs assessment for next academic year- no such thing in theory. If you are starting a new MA course then you can access a new stream of DSA funding, but some uni's are giving students the opportunity to study an extra year and get a Masters. In this case you're extending studies so need to get your funding body to approve additional extension to general allowance and equipment insurance warranty etc. for the year. This can be done through your assessment centre, but not on a needs assessment basis, just topping up.
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    (Original post by NJones)
    Needs assessment for next academic year- no such thing in theory. If you are starting a new MA course then you can access a new stream of DSA funding, but some uni's are giving students the opportunity to study an extra year and get a Masters. In this case you're extending studies so need to get your funding body to approve additional extension to general allowance and equipment insurance warranty etc. for the year. This can be done through your assessment centre, but not on a needs assessment basis, just topping up.

    This is complete rubbish and the complete opposite of my experience. Sorry, but it just isn't helpful and didn't answer the question I asked.
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    Your experience is probably with someone who doesn't understand the processes. I'm an assessor and this is the process in place. You can buy books and submit for each academic year, ie. any you buy now can be reclaimed from September 2012 onwards if you have already submitted for last academic year.
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    I was told you don't get another assessment unless your needs / course changes. I got one when I changed from brick to OU; but most of the work is different. I was told I may get another assessment (although, don't think they can do anything much) due to my Autism diagnosis.
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    Some uni's are trying to pull a fast one on students and allow them to do an extra year study and get a post grad degree. In this case no additional enrolment takes place so the student doesn't technically become on a new course, as a result they cannot claim a new 'pot' of DSA funding. If you needs change you can request a 'top up' assessment which builds on previous one- if your funding body agrees.
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    (Original post by NJones)
    Your experience is probably with someone who doesn't understand the processes. I'm an assessor and this is the process in place. You can buy books and submit for each academic year, ie. any you buy now can be reclaimed from September 2012 onwards if you have already submitted for last academic year.
    My experience is with the assessors at Durham and other staff in the Disabled Students Service office. I'm sure they know what they're talking about, it is their job after all.

    I had my needs assessment for next year's study because I submitted my DSA form for the next academic year, which also happens to be the first year of my new course. I already have my equipment and have started trsinging for the equipment so unless someone has screwed up massively at the university or SFE it must be OK to complete this part of the process in advance.

    My question above was, am I able to buy books in advance of the academic year to get some reading done in preparation for starting my new modules? or do I have to wait the start of the academic year to purchase books I wish to claim the cost back through my book allowance? Or buy them now but pay for them out of my own pocket?

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