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What happens at an assessment

  • An assessment is not a test. It is an informal discussion on a one to one basis to identify and recommend a bespoke study support package for you. It should last around 2 hours depending on the impact of your disability and what is discussed or demonstrated.
  • The Assessor's approach is professional but very relaxed and friendly as they focus on learning and support needs in the context of your chosen course of study. Assessments are interactive - anyone undertaking an assessment will get opportunities to ask questions.
  • The assessment will take place in two main parts, firstly you will discuss how you study to identify any areas difficulty. Your assessor will ask about many different areas of your study, for example; research, writing and reviewing academic work, note taking, managing time, exams, social interaction, travel etc. The second part is where you will discuss and agree with your assessor what support you feel will be most useful. You would usually be given the opportunity to experiment with assistive technology however this may be limited due to the remote nature of your assessment however you can still explore many different support options.
  • Following your assessment your assessor will write a Needs Assessment Report, based on the discussion you had at assessment, which is sent to your funding body and (with your consent) the Disability Support Team at your university or college. The recommendations in the report are then reviewed by your funding body and they contact you direct to confirm what support has been approved.
  • The confirmation from your funding body will also include details of how to set up your support and order any equipment. We will contact you at the same time offering our help and advice. It is important that you order equipment and set up support as soon as possible to ensure you can benefit from it fully.  You can find more information about what happens after your assessment on our after assessment information helpsheet.

Our staff have many years of assessing experience along with a wide range of professional expertise and skills. We can assess a wide range of needs including:

  • specific learning difficulties - SpLD e.g. dyslexia and dyspraxia
  • autism spectrum disorders
  • sensory impairments
  • mental health difficulties
  • physical disabilities (including mobility, dexterity and co-ordination)
  • medical conditions

Although we are based in Disability Services at the University of Sunderland we can assess eligible students attending any University or College.

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