At NUA, all SpLD support comes via the Disabled Students’ Allowance (DSA) and you will have to apply for this before you can receive support.
What to do if you already have a formal SpLD/dyslexia diagnosis
If you already have a diagnosis of a specific learning difference (SpLD) such as dyslexia you can apply for DSA. You will need to provide evidence of your SpLD in the form of a diagnostic assessment carried out by an Educational Psychologist or a Specialist Teacher.
If you are applying for a full time undergraduate course you can apply for DSA online at the same time as applying for your student finance. This is the best route for getting your support in place as quickly as possible if you already have a diagnosis of SpLD.
If you are an undergraduate who is not applying for any finance, or if you are a postgraduate student, you can apply for DSA on paper.
I think I might have dyslexia but I don’t have a diagnosis
If you think you have dyslexia, or another SpLD, then you can make an appointment to see one of our SpLD Specialist Tutors for a screening. Just pop in to Francis House reception and ask to make a screening appointment, or give them a call on 01603 610561.
A screening is a short, informal conversation where you and the tutor will discuss the challenges you have been facing, and if there are signs of SpLD the tutor will refer you for a diagnostic assessment. It is not daunting and you will not be asked to take a ‘test’.
Often students have struggled through their school experience without much understanding or support from teachers. You may find therefore that you come to University and find you have all the same challenges, but don’t know who to talk to. We strongly encourage you not to wait, but to book a screening straight away. Our tutors are very knowledgeable and experienced in helping students with SpLD, and will talk you through the process of applying for support without judgement. Our sole focus is to support you in your learning and to receive the most effective support you can to help you fulfill your goals.
What happens if the screening suggests I am dyslexic?
If appropriate, it will be recommended that you have a full diagnostic assessment with a Specialist Teacher. An SpLD assessment arranged through NUA costs £200, although the University is able to contribute £100 towards that cost for the vast majority of students. Additional funding support is also available if you are in receipt of an NUA bursary, and through the Financial Support Fund. So, please don’t be put off by the cost of an assessment, just come and talk to us.
If SpLD/dyslexia is confirmed, then you will be eligible to apply for the Disabled Students’ Allowance (DSA). You will be invited to make a feedback appointment with an NUA SpLD Specialist Tutor who will talk you through your diagnostic assessment report, answer any questions you may have, and assist you to apply for DSA.
What benefit will I get from receiving DSA?
As part of the process of applying for DSA you will be asked to attend a Needs Assessment where you will have the opportunity to discuss the difficulties you may experience as a result of your SpLD, and your Needs Assessor will recommend appropriate support and equipment for you. The Needs Assessment is not a test, it is a just a conversation, so it’s important to be honest about the challenges you experience as there is a wide range of support available. Quite often a Needs Assessor will recommend you receive Specialist Study Skills Tutorials, which you may be able to access via NUA*. These tutorials are intended to help students develop the skills they need to overcome their specific challenges, so this could be anything from essay planning and reading strategies to time management and presentation skills. Your Needs Assessor may also suggest some Assistive Technology you might find useful, such as TextHelp Read&Write, ClaroRead, or Grammerly.
*please note that the Specialist Study Skills provider is chosen by the Needs Assessor, so you may be referred to an external provider rather than NUA. The University has no control over this decision.
I get DSA and have my tutorials provided by NUA. How do I book an appointment?
Tutorials are available in hourly sessions, and must be booked in advance through Francis House reception (01603 610561). Please note that normally only one tutorial per week is available. This is to ensure that all eligible students have the opportunity to access this support.
Once you have made an appointment, we expect you to keep it. If for any reason you are unable to do so, then we do require you to contact us within a reasonable time, (minimum of 24 hours) so that we are able to re-book the time slot. We also need to know why you have not attended as we have to pass this information to Student Finance England.
Is there a waiting list for tutorials?
During particularly busy periods when the deadlines for essays or the Research Report are looming, you will need to book well in advance.
If I have SpLD, is any special consideration offered to me, such as an extension to an academic deadline?
Where a student is receiving tutorial support for SpLD, the disability will not be considered as a reason for an extension to a deadline or for extenuating circumstances, because the student has access to ongoing support through the duration of their course. In very few cases, where the disability has only recently been diagnosed, the student may apply for an extension or extenuating circumstances.
Is there any other support available to me?
There is a wealth of information you can access online that is designed to help you with your study skills. Take a look at the Study Skills section of this website. You may also find our page on Assistive Technology useful. For more guided assistance, a ‘Successful Study’ course is run by the Norfolk and Suffolk Wellbeing Service.
“Dyslexia Support has been essential for my time at NUA. Specialist dyslexia tutors made my research report manageable and were a constant source of reassurance. I can’t thank/praise them enough!”