Getting Assessed for Dyslexia and other Specific Learning Difficulties (SpLDs)

Getting Assessed for a Specific Learning Difference such as; Dyslexia / Dyspraxia

I think I could have a specific learning difference, such as dyslexia. How do I find out?

Getting assessed for a specific learning difficulty (SpLD) is the first step to getting appropriate support from the University to help you with your studies. It also helps you better understand how you learn, why you face certain difficulties and what you can do to overcome these.

How do I get an assessment?

Please Note: we advise that you must have had an eye test within the past two years to ensure accuracy of results

1. You can choose to go to an independent assessor.

The assessment must be carried out by a qualified educational psychologist or dyslexia assessor who is holding an approved qualification and a current Practising Certificate (as noted in the SpLD Working Group 2005/DfES Guidelines).

Assessors can be found through the British Dyslexia Association and PATOSS websites. Assessments can vary in costs from between £250 and £500.

2. You can be assessed at University of Worcester

If capacity allows our in-house assessment service can be available to prospective students in the months preceding the start of their course.

Current students can access the service at any time during their studies.

In order to be assessed at the University you will need to be able to attend appointments here at the St John’s campus, University of Worcester.

Our team of registered assessors can identify dyslexia or other SpLDs like dyspraxia.

How does the UW assessment process work?

1. Contact firstpoint who will give you a password to take a free LADS+ test in the Peirson building. This takes about 30-40 minutes and you will need a pair of headphones (these can be borrowed from firstpoint if needed). Once you have completed the test go to firstpoint and they will print out the results and tell you what you need to do next.

2. Depending on what the LADS+ test says you may be given the option to book in for a SpLD screening and assessment. You will need to pay for the screening and assessment at the time of booking.

a. The screening lasts up to an hour plus there is some paperwork to complete beforehand. At the screening, you will find out if there is sufficient evidence to go on to the full assessment which will follow on from the screening.

b. If you need to proceed to the full assessment this will take a further 3 hours. During this time you will complete a range of tests and these will inform the final report which the assessor will write for you.

Do I have to pay for screenings and assessments?

LADS+ is free

A full assessment is £270 but if you become a student at Worcester University you will become eligible for a £220 reimbursement 3 to 4 months after starting. 

Current students can book a screening and assessment for £50.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Q: What happens if I can’t attend an appointment?

If you have to cancel you must let DDS know 24 hours before. If you don’t give us reasonable notice, we have to charge you £20 for the missed screening appointment and £30 for a missed assessment appointment.

Q: What happens during the screenings and assessments?

You will be asked to carry out reading and writing tasks. Assessors will also talk to you about your education and early development.  Bring glasses if you use them.

Q: What do I do once I get a diagnosis?

You will be sent an appointment to meet with a Disability Adviser to discuss your next steps.

Q: What happens if I do have a specific learning difference? 

You will be told about all the support available.

Q: What happens if I do NOT have a specific learning difference?

Other support or assessments will be recommended.

Q:       Are the assessments confidential?

Yes, and we will only share information with your permission in order to arrange support.

Q: Can I still be assessed during the Coronavirus Pandemic?

Yes. This will be the same process, but you will be assessed remotely. You will need to contact DDS for further information. 

Contact us

We meet with students in a confidential space in firstpoint.  To book a Disability Advisor appointment please contact or visit firstpoint, which is open Monday to Friday 8:30am - 5:30pm, and is situated in the Peirson Study and Guidance Centre on St Johns Campus.  

Telephone: 01905 542551    Email:

To contact the team directly please email or telepone 01905 855531

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A detailed access guide to the Peirson Centre can be found on