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Higher York Access Centre

York's longest established DSA Assessment Centre, located in the centre of York.

We provide Study Needs Assessments for your Disabled Students Allowance. Our experienced assessors aim to ensure our assessments are of the highest quality to ensure each individual student has access to appropriate support.

If you are not sure if you have applied for DSA yet, or need help applying please contact your Disability Advice Team at your University or College who will be able to assist you.

If you have not yet started university and want more information about DSA - you can visit the .gov website to learn more information 

How can I book my needs assessment?

Although we usually see students face to face, we are currently taking advice from Public Health England and working remotely.  We can still offer you an appointment, and this will be carried out either by telephone or a Zoom meeting on your computer.  You can contact us to arrange this by:


Contact us by:

On line: On-Line Booking Form 


Or by phone: 01904 876542 

Address: Higher York Access Centre, York St John University, Lord Mayors Walk, York, YO317EX

We are open: Monday to Friday between 9.00am - 4.00pm. 

Normally our earliest assessment appointment is at 9.00am, and our latest at 3.00pm, but we can be flexible.

The next appointment with us for a DSA needs assessment with us is 5-10 working days.

How to find us

We are a short walk, (15 minutes), from York Railway station, and close to many bus routes. Pay and display parking is available across the road from the University. Travel costs including car parking are refundable from your DSA Allowance.  The Centre is accessible and we have accessible parking available should you need us to arrange this for you; please make us aware of this when booking your assessment if necessary.

The University's main reception is based in the Holgate Building.

DSA funding is available to support students with disabilities studying in Higher Education. In this context 'disability' can cover a range of difficulties and conditions, including:

  • Attention Deficit Disorder
  • Dyslexia
  • Dyspraxia
  • Epilepsy
  • Depression & Anxiety
  • An Autistic Spectrum Disorder
  • Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
  • Mobility Difficulties
  • A Visual or Hearing impairment
  • A Spinal Injury
  • Enduring Mental Health Problems
  • Cerebral Palsy
  • MS

Disabled Students' Allowance funding can be spent on computer hardware and software, all sorts of enabling technologies and human support in the form of additional tuition or mentoring aimed to help you reach your potential in Higher Education.

What you will be offered will be the result of an assessment of your individual needs. 

Your first step is to look at the information on the Government website Disabled Students' Allowance DSA) to find out about applying for DSA.

Your Disability Adviser will be happy to guide you through the process, or you can email us at, and we'll be happy to advise.

Download the Disabled Students Allowance Flowchart (doc, 32.5 kB) for more information. 

A Study Needs Assessment usually takes place at an Access Centre and is simply a conversation between you and a specialist assessor to discuss your needs in relation to your course, and come up with some ideas about support and solutions. 

You will meet with an experienced assessor who will discuss your disability and the way it might affect your studies and talk to you about the specialist equipment, assistive software and support available to you at University.

You will have the opportunity to:

  • Discuss how your disability impacts on your studies.  Each person's disability can affect them in different ways, so your views and experiences are important to us. 
  • Have the opportunity to try out some equipment and discuss situations where non-medical helpers may be used; this may include study skills tuition or mental health mentoring.
  • Ask questions about the support or suggest strategies that you think may be helpful to you.

Your Assessor will produce a report within ten working days of the assessment based on your discussions and the recommendations you have agreed.

Your funding body will then consider the recommendations made within the report and will write to you to tell what has been approved and what you need to do next.

"My assessor at the University of York St John was absolutely amazing at understanding my needs and making me feel valid for the support I needed. I couldn't have asked for a better assessment and result."

"Thank you for helping me with my needs assessment! I graduate in November with a First! Primarily I think that this is because of the help I gained from the needs assessment."

"The lady who assessed was lovely - made me feel very comfortable and was professional."

We are committed to continuous improvement and your feedback is important to us. We will contact you after your Study Needs Assessment to request feedback and check how you are getting on.

The Higher York Access centre is committed to giving its clients the best experience it can. If you wish to make a complaint about an aspect of your assessment experience. please don't hesitate to contact the Centre Manager, Jenny Anderton, who will strive to correct any issues.  If you will to make a formal complaint, please visit for information on how to do this.

  • We aim to offer you an appointment within fifteen working days of you requesting an assessment.

  • If you do not wish to see a draft report we aim to send the report to both you and the funding body within ten working days of the assessment, or fifteen working days if you have requested a draft copy.

  • We charge £500 plus VAT for an assessment. This is funded from your DSA and you do not have to pay it.  This is a fully inclusive assessment fee. This means all work for the duration of your original course of study is covered.

  • We are accredited by Disabled Students’ Allowances Quality Assurance Group (DSA-QAG) and a member of the National Network of Assessment Centres (NNAC).

The Higher York Access Centre is committed to fully complying with the General Data Protection Regulations May 2018.

All personal information will be handled in accordance with the above to ensure that individuals are protected from misuse of personal details and that any information is handled appropriately and within the individual's rights.

Why do we collect it?

We need to gather and process information to allow us to write a detailed report for your Disabled Students Allowance. 

What do we collect?

We collect information about where you live and study, the impact of your disability, information about your university or college and what support you are getting.  We present this information in your formal DSA report.

How long do we keep it?

The DSA may ask us to complete follow on work at any point during your academic course, or follow on academic courses.  Therefore we hold your data for six years from when you contact us and provide us with personal information. After this time, any indefinable information relating to you will be deleted.

Who might we share it with?

We send a copy of the report to your funding body (so you can get the support).  We ask permission during the assessment to share your report with your university, and if we are able to share your report when we get audited. 

When we transfer data, any sensitive data shared will be encrypted using PGP encryption, or passed to the third party using password protected documents.

Any questions?

Please direct any questions about your data to the Higher York Access Centre Manager.

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