Top 5 DSA assessors in the UK

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Cliff Weitzman
By Cliff Weitzman Dyslexia & Accessibility Advocate, CEO/Founder of Speechify in Accessibility on April 28, 2023
Find the best DSA assessors in the UK. Get the help you need to succeed with the top DSA needs assessors.

    Top 5 DSA assessors in the UK

    From physical disabilities to learning difficulties, there is a wide range of conditions that can impact a student’s ability to learn and succeed. As a result, there has been a growing need for qualified assessors who can provide support and guidance to disabled students. In this article, we will highlight the top 5 disabled student assessors in the UK who have a proven track record of providing excellent student support and guidance.

    An overview of disabled student assessors

    Disabled student assessors play a critical role in helping disabled students access the support they need to achieve their academic goals. They work closely with students to identify their needs and provide recommendations for accommodations and adjustments that can help them succeed.

    The Disabled Student’s Allowance

    The Disabled Students’ Allowance (DSA) is a grant provided by Student Finance England, Wales, Scotland, or Northern Ireland, designed to assist students with disabilities or specific learning difficulties (SPLD) in accessing higher education. The DSA is intended to help these students to overcome barriers and allow them to reach their academic potential.

    What does the DSA cover?

    The DSA is an essential support service for disabled students or those with SPLD and covers a range of items and services, including laptops, assistive software, assistive technology, and non-medical helper (NMH) support, such as study skills support and note-taking. NMH support can also include the provision of a support worker who can provide assistance with academic tasks and mental health conditions.

    Overall, the DSA offers a wide range of support to ensure that students with disabilities or learning difficulties can fully participate in university life and reach their academic potential.

    DSA eligibility

    To be eligible for the DSA, students must be enrolled in a higher education program and have a disability or SPLD that impacts their ability to study. This can include difficulties with reading, writing, organization, memory, and concentration. Students with a range of disabilities or specific learning difficulties (SPLD) may be eligible for the Disabled Students’ Allowance. This includes students with physical or sensory impairments, mental health conditions, and SPLD, such as dyslexia, dyspraxia, and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Students with autism or autistic spectrum disorders may also be eligible for the DSA. This can include students with Asperger’s syndrome or other related conditions.

    How eligibility is determined: The DSA assessment

    To determine eligibility, students must undergo a DSA needs assessment conducted by a DSA needs assessor. This assessment considers the student’s individual needs and how they impact their ability to study. Based on the assessment, the student will receive a needs assessment report outlining which items and services they are eligible for under the DSA.

    The assessment centre will provide the student with a list of recommended items and services, and the student can choose which ones they require. The student’s academic institution will then arrange for the provision of these items and services.

    The DSA application process

    The DSA application process can be daunting for first-time students, especially those with little prior knowledge of the support available. However, universities often provide information sessions or webinars to assist new students with the application process and provide further information on the DSA. The application process varies based on the university and funding body, so it’s best to check with the school.

    The DSA is available to both undergraduate and postgraduate students, and students must apply for it each academic year. The grant is not means-tested, and students can apply at any point during their academic program.

    Top DSA assessors in the UK

    In the UK, there are several DSA assessors who specialize in assessing the needs of disabled students and identifying appropriate support services, so here are the top five places to find DSA assessors in the UK who are renowned for their expertise and experience in supporting disabled students.

    1. Enable Study

    Enable Study is an organization that provides disability assessment and support services for students in higher education. Enable Study assessors work with universities and colleges to identify the needs of students with disabilities and recommend reasonable adjustments to support their learning.

    2. Randstad

    Randstad is a global human resources consulting firm that provides a range of services, including disability assessment services for students who are applying for disabled student allowances in the UK. They have a team of experienced assessors who are trained to provide impartial and effective assessments and offer both face-to-face and remote assessments to meet the needs of the students.

    3. Broadbent & Co

    Broadbent & Co. is a leading assessment service provider which offers needs assessments via face-to-face or remotely to ensure that their students’ needs continue to be met. The high-quality remote assessments allow students to access their services remotely from anywhere in the world, making the service more accessible to a wider audience. Broadbent & Co also welcomes students at 41 different assessment venues to meet with their specialized DSA assessors.

    4. Student Loans Company (SLC)

    The SLC is a non-profit organization that manages the student finance system in the UK, including the DSAs. They have a team of assessors who are trained to evaluate applications for DSAs and determine what support is needed for each student.

    5. Disabled Students’ Allowances Quality Assurance Group (DSA-QAG)

    The DSA-QAG is an independent organization that is responsible for monitoring the quality of DSAs assessments and ensuring that they are consistent across the UK. They have a network of assessors who are trained to carry out assessments and ensure that they meet the required standards.

    How to use the DSA to cover speechify

    If you require assistance with reading and note-taking due to a specific learning difficulty or learning disability, such as dyslexia, dyspraxia, or ADHD, or a physical disability like a vision impairment, Speechify may be eligible for funding under the DSA. To determine eligibility, you will need to undergo a needs assessment, and if approved, you can then apply for funding to cover the cost of the software.

    With Speechify’s text to speech technology, you can turn any physical or digital text into audio files. By providing an alternative way to engage with course materials, Speechify can help students to improve their academic performance and achieve their goals. Try Speechify for free today to see how it can help you.


    How much is the DSA allowance UK?

    The amount of disabled students’ allowance a student can receive varies depending on their individual needs and circumstances.

    How much money does DSA give?

    The funding depends on the students individual needs and is determined by a DSA assessor’s assessment.

    What qualifications do you need to become a DSA assessor

    To become a Disabled Students’ Allowance (DSA) assessor in the UK, there are no specific formal qualifications required. However, most employers would expect you to have relevant experience, knowledge, and skills related to disability support and higher education, such as a degree or experience working in the fields of health care, disability support or education, or assistive technology.

    Is there training to be a DSA assessor?

    You will be expected to complete training that is recognized by the Department for Education (DfE) or Student Loans Company (SLC), which usually involves a combination of online training and practical experience. This would give you the necessary skills and knowledge to conduct assessments and recommend appropriate support services to disabled students.

    How can I find a DSA needs assessor in the UK?

    Check out the DSA assessors outlined in this article or search online. Please note our list is not exhaustive, and there are many other reputable DSA assessors in the UK. It’s always a good idea to do your research and read reviews before choosing an assessor.

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    Cliff Weitzman

    Cliff Weitzman

    Cliff Weitzman is a dyslexia advocate and the CEO and founder of Speechify, the #1 text-to-speech app in the world, totaling over 100,000 5-star reviews and ranking first place in the App Store for the News & Magazines category. In 2017, Weitzman was named to the Forbes 30 under 30 list for his work making the internet more accessible to people with learning disabilities. Cliff Weitzman has been featured in EdSurge, Inc., PC Mag, Entrepreneur, Mashable, among other leading outlets.

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