My experience of the DSA assessment

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-Eirlys-
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I thought I would write this because I know new students may be unsure or nervous about applying for DSA, especially if they've had bad experiences from applying for other disability related support like PIP. Hopefully this can help ease your worries about it and to realise it's a very different experience. It's important to remember that the 'approval' stage is when student finance agrees to support your DSA application, the DSA assessment is only assessing what you might need.


After filling in the form and being given the green light, I had to find a place who could do DSA assessments near me. I sent them the evidence of my DSA being approved and booked an appointment online for a couple of days time.

The day comes for my appointment, I go in and speak to the receptionist to inform them of my arrival. Shortly after, a nice lady came to greet me and she asked if I would like to take the stairs or the lift, I chose the latter.

We walk into this big room where they have some equipment lying around, but I don't use them for the assessment. I sit at the desk and she has two desktop screens, one pointing at me showing what she's doing and referring to. She offers me a drink from a fridge nearby.

She checks that they've got the right details in regards to my health conditions and goes through a number of boxes. The assessor will usually go through your information prior to your assessment and choose things they think may be helpful. She goes through my application, paying attention to certain aspects of my conditions that could be helped with certain equipment or software. She shows me how each piece of software works and asks me what type of equipment I'd like, particularly the laptop specifications.

We have a general conversation about my conditions, how they affect me and she asks me if certain things would be beneficial. She's quite generous with what she offers me too, with a "it's there, so take it" kind of attitude, which I didn't expect but kind of made me feel better.

The conversation was mainly talking about one aspect of my condition, the assessor suggests something that could help and shows it to me, I say whether I think it would be beneficial or not and then they write it into the long application document as you go along. She writes briefly what I mention during each box or equipment request.

At the end, it's reviewed and she asks if there's anything that may have been missed. I then sign a digital copy of the equipment request form which is basically an invoice that has to be accepted by student finance, she explains the next steps and when I will hear from someone and then I left.


And that's it! Now I have my equipment ready for my next academic year! If you have any questions, feel free to ask below and I'll try my best to answer them.

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Computerbot212
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were does your equipment get delivered to and do you have to set it up?
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-Eirlys-
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(Original post by Computerbot212)
were does your equipment get delivered to and do you have to set it up?
Sorry, I didn't see your message until now.
The equipment is delivered to your house and is set up for you.
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Computerbot212
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(Original post by -Eirlys-)
Sorry, I didn't see your message until now.
The equipment is delivered to your house and is set up for you.
would it not be to your uni accomodation?
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-Eirlys-
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(Original post by Computerbot212)
would it not be to your uni accomodation?
I study with the OU so I study from home.
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Desideri
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Thanks for this. I also have POTS and am in the process of applying for DSA.

How long did it take to get approved and book your assessment?

Also FYI for people applying this year - my local assessment centre are currently doing assessments via video call rather than going to the centre, so other centres might be the same.
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CoolCavy
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Useful thread :yep: assessment makes it sound scary but in my experience at least it was a relaxed chat

(Original post by Computerbot212)
would it not be to your uni accomodation?
If you are living in uni accommodation then yes :yep: i got a huge box delivered to my accommodation reception
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-Eirlys-
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(Original post by KittyN)
Thanks for this. I also have POTS and am in the process of applying for DSA.

How long did it take to get approved and book your assessment?

Also FYI for people applying this year - my local assessment centre are currently doing assessments via video call rather than going to the centre, so other centres might be the same.
You're welcome. I can't remember it taking too long for it to be given the go ahead and it took a short time to book my assessment online through their website. I uploaded my evidence and information to their website for them to read it before the appointment. Booking the assessment was a smooth process.
I wish you luck!
(Original post by CoolCavy)
Useful thread :yep: assessment makes it sound scary but in my experience at least it was a relaxed chat
Thank-you and yes, that's why I thought I'd share my experience as I know some people feel anxious about it.
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Espançais
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This is such a useful thread, wish I’d seen something like this before I had mine! I agree it’s very chill and they’re trying to get you as much support as possible. Mine was over video call, which was less awkward than I expected. They screenshared to show me the assistive technology too.
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Phoenixfeather99
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Hi.
This experience is very similar to what I had last year. It very much a take everything we offer because “why not?” There’s also no pressure to use the stuff if you don’t find it useful. I got some software that I really don’t like so I just ignore it.
All my equipment was delivered to uni for me.
You do however have to phone the suppliers or email them to organise the delivery of the stuff.
Also, your assessment centre will still be there after the assessment. If you have any issues just give them a ring or send them an email and they will try and help you out. They are honestly nothing like PIP or any of the benefit people where you feel judged and it’s a battle to do anything.
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TsRtSr1001
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Can you mention things not on the DSA application? I applied for autism but am also likely to have dyspraxia and my uni is going to pay for me to be assessed once term starts but idk when exactly. That would affect me more in terms of equipment I need than the autism itself.
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-Eirlys-
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(Original post by Espançais)
This is such a useful thread, wish I’d seen something like this before I had mine! I agree it’s very chill and they’re trying to get you as much support as possible. Mine was over video call, which was less awkward than I expected. They screenshared to show me the assistive technology too.
I'm glad that this is a useful thread. I see a lot of people worried about it so I thought it'd be a good idea to share my experience and for others to do the same.
(Original post by Phoenixfeather99)
Hi.
This experience is very similar to what I had last year. It very much a take everything we offer because “why not?” There’s also no pressure to use the stuff if you don’t find it useful. I got some software that I really don’t like so I just ignore it.
All my equipment was delivered to uni for me.
You do however have to phone the suppliers or email them to organise the delivery of the stuff.
Also, your assessment centre will still be there after the assessment. If you have any issues just give them a ring or send them an email and they will try and help you out. They are honestly nothing like PIP or any of the benefit people where you feel judged and it’s a battle to do anything.
Thanks for sharing your experience.
(Original post by TsRtSr1001)
Can you mention things not on the DSA application? I applied for autism but am also likely to have dyspraxia and my uni is going to pay for me to be assessed once term starts but idk when exactly. That would affect me more in terms of equipment I need than the autism itself.
I don't think it would hurt to mention it, but I think they may focus more on the medical evidence they have. The things they provide you for autism may be useful for dyspraxia too, hopefully.
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TsRtSr1001
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(Original post by -Eirlys-)
I don't think it would hurt to mention it, but I think they may focus more on the medical evidence they have. The things they provide you for autism may be useful for dyspraxia too, hopefully.
Thank you. I’ll make sure I word it more to the autism side so it’s more likely to happen. After you have finished the form in the meeting, is it possible to not get the stuff on there? So if I asked for a speech to text software as I use a laptop for everything but that causes wrist pain and headaches, can they put it on the form thing but then deny it?
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Espançais
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(Original post by TsRtSr1001)
Can you mention things not on the DSA application? I applied for autism but am also likely to have dyspraxia and my uni is going to pay for me to be assessed once term starts but idk when exactly. That would affect me more in terms of equipment I need than the autism itself.
Unfortunately you might have to wait until you've been assessed for dyspraxia and then re-apply for DSA, but hopefully they should give you some of the same stuff anyway. I have dyspraxia too, if you pm me I'm happy to list what I was granted if that would be useful?
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TsRtSr1001
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(Original post by Espançais)
Unfortunately you might have to wait until you've been assessed for dyspraxia and then re-apply for DSA, but hopefully they should give you some of the same stuff anyway. I have dyspraxia too, if you pm me I'm happy to list what I was granted if that would be useful?
Yes thank you. Idk how to pm though.
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(Original post by TsRtSr1001)
Yes thank you. Idk how to pm though.
I'll try and find you
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donz_8
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How long does DSA take to be accepted
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Espançais
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(Original post by donz_8)
How long does DSA take to be accepted
Think they usually say up to 12 weeks
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-Eirlys-
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(Original post by donz_8)
How long does DSA take to be accepted
By who? It kind of goes to a bunch of people. I think it takes about a week or two for student finance to give the go ahead on the invoice from the company who provide the equipment. It can take many more weeks for your equipment to actually arrive.
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Espançais
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Basically, if you need it for next academic year, get the application in as soon as you can! As a rough time line, I got my diagnosis in the middle of February (late late late lady lol) and everything was in place/ equipment set up by the end of June
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