The application typically takes 14 weeks, so students should be encouraged to apply as soon as they have been offered a place – they should not wait until the place has been secured. Students should be directed to the information on making the DSA application that can be found on the disability pages of the Oxford student website.
If the student has registered with DAS, then their disability advisor will encourage them to apply for DSA.
The Study Needs Assessment
As part of the DSA application, each student meets with a specialist to assess what study support they will need for their course. This is called a Study Needs Assessment. The needs assessment is not a test, but an opportunity for the student to discuss with a specialist the study-related areas they may need support with, and for the assessor to then make recommendations to the funding body. The assessment will take up to two hours, carried out at the Oxford University Assessment Centre in central Oxford (or alternatively at an accredited assessment centre nearer to the student’s home), with the cost paid directly from DSA.
Once the assessment has taken place, the role of the Assessment Centre covers ongoing support throughout the duration of the student’s course, from helping to arrange the support itself, to trouble-shooting problems that arise during study, or re-assessing the student if circumstances change.
Study Needs Assessment Report
A detailed Study Needs Assessment report is sent to the student (and to DAS if permission is given for this). This document may be helpful in understanding the study needs of the student, and they may wish to share it with teaching staff or their disability coordinator, but this is the student’s choice. The Student Support Plan provides a broader overview of the student’s requirements (covering all the areas where adjustments may be needed), whilst the SNA report assesses only those needs that are relevant for DSA-eligible funding.