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Oxford University Assessment Centre
The Oxford University Assessment Centre (OUAC) provides study needs assessments for any student who is applying for Disabled Student’s Allowance (DSA). You do not need to be a student at Oxford University to have your assessment here.
Students undertaking an assessment with us can expect:
- an assessment based upon your individual requirements;
- an assessment which, due to the centre’s association with the university, fully understands the demands of higher education;
- a wide range of assistive technology available for you to see and try during the assessment;
- advice and guidance with any stage of the DSA and assessment process, including help with ordering your equipment and arranging follow-up assessments;
- every effort to ensure reports are written and sent to the funding body as quickly as possible so that you are not delayed in getting your funding approved – currently it takes an average of 13.5 working days from when a student first makes contact with us to when we send out the final needs assessment report.
What is a Needs Assessment?
After sending your DSA application form to your funding body, you will be asked to arrange a DSA study needs assessment at a local assessment centre. This assessment is not a test, but an opportunity for you to discuss with a specialist assessor the areas of your studies that you may need support with, and for the assessor to then make recommendations on what support can be provided.
The assessment will take approximately 2 hours and will be carried out at OUAC. Following the assessment a report will be written outlining the recommendations made. This will then be sent to your funding body who will subsequently write to you outlining which recommendations they agree to pay for.
Booking an appointment at OUAC
Once you have received a letter from your funding body asking you to arrange a study needs assessment, please contact OUAC either in person, over the phone or by email. Please note, we cannot book your appointment without the letter from your funding body authorising it, so make sure you have that before you get in contact.
If you have given them consent, your Disability Service may forward the funding body’s letter to OUAC directly, in which case we will contact you to book the appointment. Once we have taken your details and booked you an appointment all the details will be confirmed in an email to you. Please let us know when booking if you have any accessibility needs.
Currently students are offered an appointment within an average of 9 working days of making contact with us, though if you are available you can often be booked in much quicker. We do everything we can to fit around your schedule and can offer appointments from 8am until 5pm to make it as convenient as possible for you to find time for the appointment.
If, for any reason, you may need to cancel your appointment, please contact us as soon as possible and, as a minimum, 24 hours prior to your appointment. This is so we can offer your appointment to someone else who is waiting.
Before booking an appointment at OUAC:
- check that you have applied for DSA and received written authorisation from your funding body that says you can book a needs assessment
- have your diary ready with dates and times you are available for your appointment.
Once your appointment has been booked with OUAC:
- you need to send copies of your authorisation letter and evidence that you are disabled (e.g. educational psychologist’s report, letter from your GP etc)
- try and find out as much as possible about what to expect from your course and studying at university
- think about what support you think will help you when studying, including previous study strategies you feel were effective, or not, for you.
At your appointment with OUAC:
- ask lots of questions – if you are unsure, say!
- if you choose to see a draft copy of your report before it goes to the funding body, try and read through it within 3 days and get back to us with anything you are unsure about
- if the support you require changes at any point during your course, get in touch with us and we can discuss whether any additional recommendations need to be made
- after a few months we will send you an email asking for your feedback on the support you have been recommended – any information provided helps us evaluate different strategies, so please use the questionnaire to let us know how things are going
- if, for any reason, you feel unsatisfied with any part of the process with OUAC please let us know and we will endeavour to resolve your complaint quickly and efficiently – click here to see our full complaints procedure: OUAC Compaints Procedure (105kb) .
Coming to OUAC
We are located on the ground floor of 3 Worcester Street, on the corner of Gloucester Lane and Worcester Street. A map of the location can be found at: http://tinyurl.com/DASphotoandmap.
Travelling by car
Most travellers by car use the city’s park and ride services, which will take you to within a few minutes walk of OUAC. However, if you want to drive directly into Oxford, Worcester Street car park and Gloucester Green car park are both a few minutes walk away. View directions and charges. Please note you are able to stop outside the building as a ‘drop off point’ but you are unable to park here.