Advising students about dyslexia assessments

If AccessAbilityTutors want to advise students who know they have a specific learning difficulty about assessment by an Educational Psychologist or Specialist Assessor, the following points may be helpful.

For accessing the Disabled Students' Allowance at university a full and formal report required.  As long as all relevant tests were used in the assessment it can be from any point when the student was at school or college.  Reports no longer need to be done after the age 16.  If in doubt, reports students have already should be sent to Student Finance with their Disabled Students' Allowance form before going through a reassessment.  See the site below for more information about Disabled Students' Allowance.

Some students may have an alternative exam arrangements ‘report' for GSCE and/or A level examinations which would allow the AccessAbility Centre to make a similar arrangement for examinations at the University but it is unlikely to be adequate for their Disabled Students' Allowance application.  For this a full Educational Psychologist or Specialist Assessor’s report is necessary and should include:

  • The student’s details and the date of the assessment
  • A clear statement of the presence of a specific learning difficulty
  • A detailed description of the tests used which must conform with guidelines available to assessors on:

A complete breakdown and analysis of test scores

  • Conclusions which explain why there is a statement of disability
  • Recommendations:
    • Reasonable adjustments such as
      • Extra time in examinations (this is usually 25%)
      • Departmental and subject specific support recommendations
      • Extensions for course work with the relevant conditions
    • Assistive technology recommendations related to the nature of the specific learning difficulty (essential for Disabled Students' Allowance purposes)
  • Any other referrals which might be necessary such as optometry assessments or speech and language therapy assessments, but these are not common and cannot be paid for by the University.

Applications for the Disabled Students' Allowance can take some time to process – at least 4-6 months.  It is important to stress that students should apply for the DSA as soon they can before their course starts.  They do not have to wait until they have a confirmed place. Forms can be downloaded from the web and sent off with a copy of their assessment report.  The Disabled Students' Allowance will be dealt with by Student Finance England for those students resident in England.

Student Finance England
PO Box 210

Tel: 0845 300 50 90

If students have any queries about the Disabled Students' Allowance they  can contact Student Finance England or the AccessAbility Centre (e-mail or 0116 252 5002).

Students in other parts of the UK should contact the equivalent authority in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Students can have support from the AccessAbility Centre as soon as they have made themselves known to the University.  They do not have to wait until their DSA comes through to use the AccessAbility Centre or make appointments with staff.


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