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Information for assessors

This section provides important information for DSA-QAG assessors from external assessment centres, including NMH rates, support available within the University and how to access details of courses for UG and PG students at the University of Manchester

DASS Team contact details:

The Disability Advisory and Support Service is usually referred to as DASS.  There are 6 Advisers who have caseloads of students; these caseloads are divided up by School.  3 Assistant Advisers work with the Disability Advisers on their caseloads. 

Our general contact details are available as well as the direct contact details for the caseworkers for students.


Disabled Student Service provision

Quick Query Appointments

Students can book short 20 minute Quick Query appointments – these are released each week on a Thursday for the following week. 

University Support Plans

DASS will provide all disabled students with a University Support Plan (USP) if they are fully registered with DASS

An USP will tell the student about support in Exams, from the Library and their School.  If students don’t feel this is fulfilling their needs, or they don’t think they have a USP etc. please ask them to contact DASS

Specialist Mentor Support for students with severe and enduring mental health condition - Mood Swings Network

The University is happy for appropriate DSA funded students to be supported by Mood Swings.  Please include Moodswings as one of the 2 quotes for this NMH provision in your DSA needs assessment report.  This support is most appropriate for students with severe and enduring mental health difficulties e.g. bipolar, psychosis, schizophrenia, personality disorders etc.  However, it can be also extremely useful for student with severe anxiety. 

Our advisers are happy to discuss referrals to Mood Swings with you; if you’re not sure whether this is the most appropriate support.

How DASS contacts students

DASS and the rest of the University will primarily contact students via their student email addresses; this will give important information about their support, library loans, registration etc. It is important that any issues with accessing, checking or using email are addressed in the assessment.  Applicants should use the email address that they provided to UCAS.

Exam support

Students will need to have their exam support assessed by a Disability Adviser, this will form part of their University Support Plan.  Please note that DASS will usually follow exam recommendations in Educational Psychologist’s reports.

Students who have been so assessed, can use stickers on their exam scripts to indicate a SpLD.  However, please note that students at the University of Manchester cannot use stickers on coursework

Core competencies and Course Information

Please bear in mind that adjustments cannot be made to the core competencies of a course.  Additionally, professional courses may have a fitness to practise element to them (e.g. Medicine, PGCE, Dentistry, Pharmacy, Nursing, Midwifery, Social Work, Audiology, Speech and Language Therapy).  If you need to discuss whether a particular DSA funded adjustment can be accommodated, please contact DASS.

Prospective students

Prospective students who declare a disability to the University on UCAS etc. will be contacted by DASS.  If you see prospective students who have not yet had contact with DASS, please do encourage them to contact DASS so we can discuss support.

It would be useful to emphasise that the DSA assessment will not include Academic/Library/Exams support, and this will need to be arranged via our office.

Course Details

Basic course details including information about assessment methods can be found on the University website:

 Support available within the University

DSA Needs assessors are requested to advise all applicants / students to discuss any University support that they require with a disability adviser in DASS.  We value any information that assessors can provide about the difficulties that students might have, but we do not require assessors to make any recommendations for specific institutionally funded support.

Workshops and online resources

The University has an award winning skills programme called My Learning Essentials.  Students can book online onto workshops, access online resources and attend drop-in sessions

Interim Equipment Loan

DASS has a variety of equipment which it loans out to students who are awaiting DSA on a short-term basis.  This equipment is varied, ranging from digital recorders, laptops to mice, keyboards etc. 

To ensure that students’ expectations can be managed, please note that this is a limited resource, and the need to provide this will need to be assessed by the Disability Adviser.  Therefore if you feel a student may benefit from some equipment being loaned, please contact the Disability Adviser first, to see if anything suitable is available.

Recording lectures – Lecture Capture

The University of Manchester has deployed a highly automated system which allows teaching staff without video production experience to produce recordings of their lectures. No video cameras are used in the teaching environment, but instead the podcast system directly records the output of the projector and theatre microphones.

This is not in place for seminars and tutorials, but for centrally timetabled lectures only.  Please advise students to talk to their School Office if they have questions relating to podcasts. 

Please read our further information about the podcasts, including a list of the rooms that they are activated in

Transcription/Alternative Format and Digitisation of resources

The University has an agreed process for the digitisation and production of alternative formats.  Students should contact DASS asap (see 1 above) if they feel they may need electronic teaching resources or other alternative formats.

The University also has an inclusive teaching and learning materials policy

 Assistive Software available on University networked computers

The University has a wide range of software available on its networked computers.

DSA £200 contribution

Students who are unable to fund the £200 contribution towards their DSA equipment allowance can apply to the Manchester Hardship Fund for assistance towards these costs.  

This fund usually requires that students have already completed 1 year of study before they are eligible to apply.  However, students who have not yet completed 1 year of study, but are applying for assistance towards the £200 DSA contribution ONLY should complete the same application form, but return this to dass@manchester.ac.uk .  Students will be assessed for hardship via the same process and if an award would have been awarded if theywere eligible, the University will award them £200 for the DSA contribution.

Other people who can help students

Please feel free to direct students to our web pages about other services that can support students at the University of Manchester.  There are lots of people who can support students at the University, from the Counselling Service to the Students’ Union Advice Centre.