Over 120 support staff across the UK
Average student confidence increases from 3/10 to 8/10
85% of our team self-identify as disabled or neurodiverse
For every £1 spent with D&A, a return of £16.55 of social value is created (New Economics Foundation 2020)
3062 students supported in the 2019/20 academic year
16 872 support sessions delivered in the 2019/20 academic year
Who we are
We celebrate diversity through adversity, and we measure our success against our impact on society.
We are disabled-led so our support is empathetic and delivered from a place of mutual understanding. We believe that peer-to-peer support, respect, and empathy – delivered by those who share a lived experience with their students – can fundamentally change the way the DSA is used and perceived.
If used and accessed well, the DSA has the potential to make a life-changing difference for learners in Higher Education. We’re excited to share that difference with you!
What sets us apart
We champion a goal-setting approach, allowing students to take ownership of their support on their journey toward enablement and independence. Our support is individualistic, tailored to a student’s individual learning style, specific needs, and course requirements. We achieve this high level of support in a number of ways:
- Our active training and innovations team assures the quality of our support is maintained. Regular internal skill-sharing, peer-to-peer supervision and CPD days allow supporters to feel part of a wider inclusive team
- Our dedicated Services Co-ordination Team, most of whom have received DSA support themselves, carefully and emphatically guide students through the DSA process, making sure students feel listened to and supported all the way from take up to graduation
- Our custom build CRN system, Pistachio is tailored to efficiently record and monitor each student’s support while also allowing the student themselves to track their progress and focus on their goals
- Our agile recruitment process means that no student is ever waiting longer than a week for their first session. Pistachio allows us to actively monitor capacity and if this drops below 10 sessions a week, we begin our recruitment process. Even during busy periods, we are able to bring on a new supporter within two-weeks, from interview to first session.
Documenting a journey
We evaluate our impact and measure our success by writing Individual Learning Reviews (ILRs). These document the student’s journey throughout their sessions. We believe these are extremely useful for a number of reasons:
- Transparency of service provided
- Quality assurance purposes
- Record of enablement
- Opens up a line of communication between the student’s support network, allowing the different support strategies to be consistent, reinforced and built upon by the different practitioners involved
As a company we get excited about the idea of Open Source, we believe that sharing is caring. That’s why we share our information and guidance in a way that’s accessible to anyone and everyone!
Our Resources page contains reviews on the very best of DSA, Open Source, and freeware software, services, and apps. We’ve created some wonderful video guides, PDF handouts, and other downloads. We’ve then made them all available for free.
Additional training and support can be offered through our group workshops. These are customised around you and your team and can cover a wide range of topics. Contact us directly to find out more.
“Before, I knew how the programs worked but didn’t feel like they were useful for me and didn’t use them in effective ways. My trainer was really helpful in showing me how to best use my Assistive Technology software to fit my needs, now I actually use the programs!”
– Mathilde, Undergraduate, Imperial College London
“The training was life-changing. My trainer was very patient and went above and beyond to ensure I understood how the software worked. I’m looking forward to using the software and skills to further my education.”
– Aisling, Undergraduate, Goldsmiths University of London
“My mentor is wonderfully supportive and gives great advice. I’m beyond impressed; the mentoring has far surpassed my expectations. I wish I could carry on forever!“
– Natasha, Undergraduate, Goldsmiths University of London
“My tutor has been so understanding and patient with me over the past two years. I don’t think I would be where I am with her help. She has helped me with my studies but also taught me how to manage stressful situations- talking to her really helps bring my anxiety down.”
– Charlie, Undergraduate, Plumpton College