Disability Resource Centre (DRC)

Dyslexia and specific learning difficulties

The Disability Resource Centre provides an advice and assessment service to students at the University of Cambridge on Specific Learning Difficulties (such as Dyslexia).

You may have been referred to us via your Director of Studies or Tutor to be tested for a Specific Learning Difficulty. Alternatively, you may be concerned that you might have a specific learning difficulty and it is affecting your academic performance.

The Assessment Process

How do I get assessed?

The first step in being assessed for a specific learning difficulty is to make an appointment to meet an Adviser who is a specialist in this area. In order to arrange this interview, please contact the DRC.

This initial interview usually lasts up to 1 hour and here you will get an opportunity to discuss your difficulties. The Adviser will then be able to guide you as to whether a full assessment for a specific learning difficulty should be the next step.

If it is recommended that you get a full assessment, the next step will be an appointment with a diagnostic assessor (such as an Educational Psychologist or specialist teacher). The diagnostic assessor will meet with you and administer a series of tests. This appointment could take up the best part of the day. The diagnostic assessor will then provide a report within 21 working days of this meeting.

Are there any costs involved in getting assessed?

The initial meeting with an Adviser has no charge. Once you have met with the Adviser, the decision of moving onto a formal assessment by a diagnostic assessor (such as an Educational Psychologist or specialist teacher) can be taken.

If you are formally assessed by a diagnostic assessor there is a cost of around £400. If you require assistance with this cost, please contact your college Tutorial Office as you may be eligible for a grant from the Access to Learning Fund (ALF).

The ALF is principally for 'Home' students but some other categories of student, including certain EU students who satisfy the residence requirements for statutory support, may be eligible. Further information regarding eligibility should be sought from College Tutors.

Further information about the Access to Learning Fund can be found on the Student Registry pages.

Students who do not meet the eligibility criteria for the Access to Learning Fund should approach their college to discuss what support might be available.

After the assessment

Once the assessment process has been completed and you have received a report from the diagnostic assessor (such as an Educational Psychologist or specialist teacher), you will need to contact your Disability Adviser to discuss the findings of the report and its recommendations. You must provide a copy of your report to your Tutorial Office. Your report may have the following recommendations:

Exam Access Arrangements
If your report has recommended exam access arrangements such as the use of a PC or extra time, it is essential you alert your Tutor and Tutorial Office. It is important this is done at the earliest opportunity as there are strict deadlines that govern this process. More information on this process can be found in the Exam Access Arrangements section of this website and on the Board of Examinations website.
Disabled Students' Allowances (DSAs)
The report may recommend that you apply for the Disabled Students' Allowances, if you are eligible. Further information about this can be found in the Funding section. However if you are unsure of how to do this or would like some advice, please do not hesitate to contact your Disability Adviser. The Disabled Students' Allowances can help fund equipment and Specialist 1:1 study skills during your studies.

The DRC offers a variety of support such as specialist study skills to students with specific learning difficulties. Please do not hesitate to contact the DRC to ask how we can support you through your studies at the University of Cambridge.

More information about specific learning difficulties

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