What is a Needs Assessment?
A Needs Assessment is an informal meeting between you, a Disability Adviser and a Technology Adviser. The purpose of this meeting is to explore any impact that your condition or impairment may have on your studies and your ability to access the University and its services. An assessment usually lasts from 1-2 hours and you should leave with a clear understanding of what support has been recommended.
What can I expect from the Needs Assessment?
The Disability Adviser will consider the impact of your condition or impairment on particular study related tasks, and whether reasonable adjustments should be made to how your course is delivered or how you are assessed (for example, in exams). With your signed consent, your Departmental Disability Coordinator (DDC) and Exam Coordinator will be informed of these adjustments and any other teaching staff will be able to search for these via Pegasus. Please note that access to these adjustments is only given to certain members of staff and no other information relating to you or your disability is given out.
The assessment will usually involve a discussion and demonstration of assistive technology led by the Technology Adviser. Any effective support or technology you have previously used, and any preferred methods of study will be discussed and considered.
Can I bring someone to accompany me to the Needs Assessment?
It is important for us to learn from yourself, as an independent learner, what support will be effective. We do appreciate that in some circumstances, students will wish someone else to contribute to the assessment, such as a communication support worker, advocate or occupational therapist. Please however inform us in advance if someone will be accompanying you so that we can make suitable arrangements.
Is there anything I can do to prepare for my Needs Assessment?
Yes. It is important that you have an understanding of what your course will involve so that you can think about how your condition or impairment may impact on different aspects of study. For example, does your course involve practical or lab based work, placements, exams, essay or report writing, extensive reading or note-taking? If you're not sure, you can refer to the course description in the prospectus, or on the University website. The Advisers will also have some knowledge in how your chosen subject is taught.
You should also have completed and returned a ‘Tell us about your need’ questionnaire, and submitted this with a copy of diagnostic evidence.
What is evidence and why do I need to provide it?
We may need a written statement from an appropriately qualified person, confirming your impairment or condition.
Different types of evidence are appropriate for different conditions or impairments, and for access to different services and facilities, but what we are trying to gather is evidence of how your impairment or condition might impact on your study, or your ability to attend theUniversityofStrathclyde.
It is what you already know, and what you tell us, about how your condition or impairment impacts on your learning…
The responses you provide in the completed questionnaire will help us to understand what your needs might previously have been, and how these have been met.
It is a written statement, from an appropriately qualified person, confirming your impairment or condition …
If you require adjustments to how your course is assessed (such as additional time in exams), or if you require access to additional equipment or services which carry additional expense, you must provide us with this written evidence. This might consist of:
- A letter from a medical professional, such as a GP or Consultant.
- A copy of a Certificate of Vision Impairment or a letter from an Audiologist.
For students with a specific learning difficulty (such as dyslexia), a diagnostic report, or a letter signed by an Educational Psychologist confirming your diagnosis. There are several ways to obtain such a report:
- If you are under 19 and still at school, or if you are attending college, ask your school or college to arrange an assessment with their Educational Psychologist.
- Dyslexia Action conducts diagnostic assessments for a fee.
- TheUniversityofStrathclydemay be able to arrange an assessment once you have firmly accepted an unconditional offer of a place to study here. Please be aware that this can take several weeks to arrange.
Please note that we cannot usually accept a letter from your school confirming that you have had support with your learning or additional time in your SQA exams as diagnostic evidence. However, you will still be able to access all on-campus facilities and services
When will I be invited for my Assessment?
At busy times of the year (particularly from September to December) you are likely to have to wait for your Needs Assessment appointment.
The waiting list will be managed on a first-come-first-served basis, although we will reserve the right to prioritise students with complex requirements whose immediate needs cannot be met though general campus based provision.
If you have any questions or problems regarding your Needs Assessment, or if you have not been contacted by the disability service and feel that you may benefit from some support, please do not hesitate to contact us.