I'm in my first year of uni and I have my Assessment needs appointment tomorrow. I was diagnosed a couple of months ago. When I started uni, I had this really crappy netbook which you cant really do anything on. I heard that you *can* get a computer from DSA but I couldnt wait that long (it's now halfway through the academic year) so I went ahead and bought a new laptop.
So my question is, should I tell the Assessment needs people "may I have a laptop as I write too slow etc etc" (and then sell that laptop so I essentially get my money back for the laptop I'd bought first) or should I say "I already have a laptop, please can I be reinbursed". I'm really worried that I wont be reinbursed if I tell them I've already bought a laptop??
(Original post by OU Student)
What would be the point? If the OP has a decent laptop, then there's no way they'd get one. I only got a desktop (upgraded to laptop) because mine was a few years old, used by family and very slow.
But I got it *because* of my disability *and* I coudlnt wait until end of March or whnever to get it.
Surely if you have the money to buy one yourself you shouldn't get a free one. I'm currently using a laptop loaned to me from the Disability office in my uni because i can't afford a new one since the one I've had for six or seven years broke a few months ago, the one i have on loan is mine to use until my DSA comes through and I'm able to get one with my allowance from that.
I don't mean to get people angry and i agree that to a degree DSA should not be means tested but it does annoy me when people who don't need equipment because they already have it play the system and make money from it.
I agree that if you can afford a laptop yourself then try to avoid claiming one from the DSA. Of all the budgets to 'play' one reserved for people with disabilities is probably not a very moral choice.
Having said that the DSA is not (currently) means tested and therefore you are entitled to a laptop or desktop and - yes - sometimes reimbursement if you have purchased one specifically to overcome a disability that is affecting your course. The provision of a laptop or desktop or any other equipment or strategy is determined by you and your DSA needs assessor. If, for example, they recommend a desktop worth £500 then that's what you should get back towards the cost of the laptop. *If* they see that your disability affects your course and computer will help you overcome this.
Telling needs assessors that you 'need a laptop' is not recommended. Instead clearly explain the way in which your disability affects your ability to study and as experienced professionals they will discuss possible options with you.
(Original post by OU Student)
They would more than likely only give you a desktop anyway.
If you already have one, can't see them reimbursing you.
Most assessors recommend laptops now as cost has come down. If you bought your laptop for your course the assessor can recommend full or partial refund of the laptop, compared to one of the standard specs. If you laptop is a high spec above the DSA spec then your funding body may only pay for up to the DSA spec- around £400.