Some students arrive at University with a diagnosis of dyslexia or another Specific Learning Difficulty (SpLD), such as dyspraxia, ADHD, Autistic Spectrum Disorders or dyscalculia. An individually-tailored programme of support can be quickly implemented for these students, ensuring that their learning difficulties are supported and they can access all the resources they need. For more information on the support and equipment available to students registered with the Disability & Dyslexia Service, please see support and services
However, many students encounter study difficulties whilst at University and discover that these are the result of a Specific Learning Difficulty, such as dyslexia. There is the opportunity to get these difficulties investigated through the Disability & Dyslexia Service, and a comprehensive programme of support put in place.
What should I do if I think I may have dyslexia or Specific Learning Difficulty?
If you think you have dyslexia or another SpLD then the University’s Disability & Dyslexia Service (DDS) can help. The DDS conducts many diagnostic assessments with students for dyslexia and other learning difficulties every year. The assessments are conducted on site by appropriately qualified specialist assessors. The DDS is also highly experienced in effectively supporting students with dyslexia and other SpLDs during their time at University.
Below is a step-by-step guide through the process of getting assessed for a specific learning difficulty at the University and arranging subsequent support. All or just some of these steps might apply to you: staff from the Disability & Dyslexia Service (DDS) will tell you which steps apply, and will provide you with information and individual assistance throughout.
- Step 1 – Online Screening Tool
- Step 2 – Paying for a full Diagnostic Assessment
- Step 3 – Diagnostic Assessment
- Step 4 – Diagnostic Assessment Feedback
- Step 5 – Needs Assessment
Step 1 – Online Screening Tool
To establish whether you need an assessment for dyslexia or another SpLD, you should first complete the DDS Online Screening Tool. This quick, simple tool takes about 5-10 minutes to complete and will provide you with instant feedback. If there is evidence of study difficulties that may be as a result of a learning difficulty, you will be advised to make an appointment with a Disability Adviser at Student Services Reception or via the online appointment booking system
Step 2 – Paying for a full Diagnostic Assessment
The cost of a diagnostic assessment within the University is £300.
To proceed, you should meet with a Disability Adviser who will assist you in applying for diagnostic funding from the Hardship Fund or give you advice on how to pay for the assessment in full if you are unlikely to be eligible for the Hardship Fund. You can make an appointment to meet with a Disability Adviser at Student Services Reception or via the online appointment booking system.
This fund is means-tested, i.e. an evaluation of your income against your expenditure will be made to determine if you are eligible for financial support. If you are not eligible for this financial support, you may have to cover the cost of the diagnostic assessment yourself.
You will need to bring the following documents with you to your appointment:
Statements for all bank and savings accounts for both you and your partner or spouse (if applicable), covering the periods:
Autumn Term: 1st Aug 2016 – 19th Sept 2016 (inclusive)
Spring Term: 14th Nov 2016 – 23rd Dec 2016 (inclusive)
Summer Term: 20th Mar 2017 – 1st May 2017 (inclusive)
You must annotate any transfers into/out of these accounts if they are over �500 and
explain what they are. Information about any children and the benefits you receive must
also be identified and bank statements or entitlement letters provided.
Once confirmation of your diagnostic funding is received, the Adviser will reserve a Diagnostic Assessment for you and contact you with details of your appointment via your University of South Wales e-mail account.
Step 3 – Diagnostic Assessment
Your diagnostic assessment will be with a suitably qualified specialist assessor, who is experienced in conducting assessments for learning difficulties such as dyslexia, dyspraxia and dyscalculia. This assessment will look to investigate the nature of learning difficulties you have, as well as identify areas of strengths.
Initially, the diagnostic assessment will consist of a two-hour appointment: should further information and testing be required, your assessor will arrange this with you at the end of this first meeting.
External Assessments: Some learning difficulties and health conditions require input from specialists outside of the University in order to meet a student’s needs. If this is the case, the DDS may make the necessary arrangements for an appointment, in consultation with you.
Alternatively, you may wish to arrange an independent assessment. Once again, a member of the DDS will be available to discuss the details and processes particular to your circumstances.
Step 4 – Diagnostic Assessment Feedback
Once you have completed you diagnostic assessment, you will need to wait for your assessor to complete a diagnostic assessment report. Once this report has been completed (approximately 2 weeks), your assessor will contact you to invite you in to discuss the findings of this report. The report will detail the results of the assessments you have undertaken and whether you have a Specific Learning Difficulty. The report will also highlight some of the support that would benefit you during your time at University, even if you are not diagnosed with a learning difficulty.
With your consent, we will send a copy of your diagnostic assessment report to your funding body to apply for Disabled Students Allowance: Disabled Student’s Allowance is designed to cover the cost of equipment and support a student with dyslexia (or other health condition) will need during their time at University. The equipment and support a student receives is based on individual need, but this may include dyslexia-friendly software and a computer to run this on, one-to-one tutorials with a Study Skills Tutor , examination support and note takers in lectures.
Step 5 – Needs Assessment
Most students who have been diagnosed with a Specific Learning Difficulty will be eligible to apply for Disabled Student Allowance to cover the cost of support and equipment. A Needs Assessment is designed to establish exactly what support and equipment a disabled/dyslexic student needs in order successfully complete their course. The equipment and support received by a student with dyslexia or other SpLD is based on individual need: however, this may include a laptop or PC, dyslexia-friendly software, one-to-one tutorials with a Study Skills Tutor , examination support (e.g. extra time, a separate room) extra time in and note takers in lectures.
Further details of Needs Assessments will be provided to you when you meet with a member of the DDS.