Assessment Centre | University of Oxford
Disability needs assessment
Student taking notes in a seminar, University of Oxford, UK
Copyright © PS:unlimited. This image comes from Oxford University Images. All rights reserved.

Assessment Centre

The Oxford University Assessment Centre (OUAC) provides study needs assessments for any student who is applying for a Disabled Students' Allowance (DSA).

The study 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 two hours, carried out at OUAC, and involves:

  • an assessment based upon your individual requirements
  • a wide range of assistive technology available for you to see and try
  • advice and guidance with any stage of the DSA and assessment process, including help with ordering your equipment and arranging follow-up assessments
  • a written report sent to your funding body.

It takes an average of 13.5 working days from when you first make contact to the final needs assessment report 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

Once you have received a letter from your funding body asking you to arrange a study needs assessment, contact the OUAC. If you have given consent, the Disability Advisory Service will forward your funding body’s letter to OUAC directly, in which case they will contact you to book the appointment. The OUAC will usually book you in for a DSA needs assessment appointment within the next week, and always within 10 working days.

Once your appointment has been booked with OUAC:

  • you need to send copies of your authorisation letter and evidence that you are disabled (for example, educational psychologist’s report, letter from your GP etc)
  • think about what support you think will help you when studying, including previous study strategies you feel were effective, or not, for you.