About the Exeter Access Centre
We conduct high quality assessments and reports for all students who meet the criteria for application for Disabled Students’ Allowance (DSA) and are applying to study, or already studying, in Higher Education.
We charge a single assessment fee which will cover all work required for the duration of the course of study (usually 3 years). Postgraduate and PGCE students may be eligible for formal Review of their needs, funded through the post-graduate DSA.
We provide reports to be used as part of DSA applications to Student Finance England (SFE); Student Finance Wales (SFW); the Student Awards Agency for Scotland (SAAS); Student Finance Northern Ireland (SFNI); the NHS and research funding bodies.
In particular SFE require that the definition of disability is aligned to the Equality Act 2010. This brings the regulations into line with other Government departments and is the definition already used by institutions when considering reasonable adjustments. This will help ensure consistency across both types of support. The change clarifies existing practice and will not result in disabled students becoming ineligible for DSAs. Students need to provide Post-16 evidence that their disability is an impairment that has a long-term adverse effect on their ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities (for prospective students this included their ability to study).
We aim to match students with an assessor who is best qualified to assess for the student’s particular disability. The assessor will produce a report which will form a comprehensive description of the impact of the disability on learning and studying. The report will make a range of recommendations for support adjustments and equipment to help students to progress through a programme of study. Find out more about the assessment process.
We work within the DSA QAG Assessment Framework Document to ensure that the standards of service to students are maintained and all students receive and a meaningful and effective assessment of their needs. As part of the framework, we are audited to check that we are providing a good service to students. We are part of a National Network of assessment centres (NNAC) and attend regular regional meetings to ensure that we share best practice, support our staff teams and all students receive a similar experience of assessment.
As part of this process, the Access Centre will contact each student a minimum of twice, at agreed intervals, to gain feedback on the assessment experience and to ensure the support provided remains appropriate to their disability needs.
We are part of a National Network of Assessment Centres (NNAC) and the Access Centre Manager attends regular regional meetings to ensure that we share best practice, support our staff teams and all students receive a similar experience of assessment.
“All staff are highly experienced and this allows for students of all disabilities to be assessed effectively and personally.”
Auditor comment regarding Best Practice