How do I set up support

You can choose who provides your support as the funding belongs to you. If your university or current supplier cannot meet your needs then you can swap to another supplier such as Diverse Learners. We believe that you should have access to top quality support that is ACCESSIBLE and AVAILABLE and FLEXIBLE enough to fit in with shifts and/or caring responsibilities. Hence, we are open 7 days a week 9am – 10pm ALL year round.


Do you have DSA (Disabled Students Allowances)?

If you are a student in Higher Education you can have your support paid for as part of Disabled Students’ Allowances (DSA), if it is recommended in the Needs Assessment. The process of getting Disabled Students Allowances this can be found on the page and  for NHS students we have produced an overview with relevant links here.

If you already have DSA you can choose who provides your support as the funding is yours and you can change from your “university” support to another supplier. Not many students know this but you do not have to stay with the supplier of your support if you they do not meet your needs, do not have the days and times such as evenings and weekends available or have provided a poor service. Not many students are told this so we wrote about it in the Nursing Times and Nursing Standard and Student Nursing Times.

We are a registered supplier and audited every year.

If Diverse Learners is your named supplier you may wish to scroll to the bottom of the page to see the next steps to setting up support.



If you want to use Diverse Learners but we are not your named supplier –

  • you are an NHS bursary student – contact your needs assessor or NHS bursaries DSA team and request a change of supplier
  • you are a student who’s DSA is funded by Student Finance England and your current non-medical helper supplier cannot meet your needs  (for the reasons listed above) – contact SFE
  • you are a student who’s DSA is funded by Student Finance Wales (SFW) contact your – the needs assessor/access centre (the person and place who wrote your assessment of needs listing the equipment and support you can have).
  • If you haven’t had your needs assessment yet – you can request Diverse Learners as your preferred supplier.

Access to Work

Those in work can have their support paid for by the employer or Trust, through Access-to-Work  (ATW) via a self referral or via occupational health or can pay privately. Information about Access to Work (ATW) is available here,  To contact your nearest Access to Work Centre click here and to click  “what you’ll get” to see the list of support available. Need help navigating the system then please contacts us and we’ll talk you through it.

If you are an employer, OT, Diversity and Equality lead or manager interested in referring your staff to Diverse Learners please  contact us to discuss how we can work with you to support your employees needs by calling 01964 536596. If you require disability awareness training then please click on the following link to our training and consultancy page. 


Needs Assessments or Workplace Assessment

A needs assessment is sometimes called a Study Aid and Strategy Report or Assessment of Needs or if in employment A workplace assessment . This is the document you receive after you have had a meeting with the person who discussed all the software, equipment and help you might need to support your studies whilst on your course or in the workplace. During the assessment they may have demonstrated some software on a computer and discussed the various types of support that may be useful to you. The assessment document is usually very long and includes a number of quotes/price lists.

In the needs assessment Section D called Non-Medical Helper (NMH) support lists the support that is recommended for you. This is the support that Diverse Learners provides. We are all classed as Non–Medical Helpers and we have a lot of experience in this area.

The type of support depends on the type of disability or difficulties you have, how severe those disability–related difficulties are, and what coping strategies you already have in place.

The non-medical helper support is usually listed in a table in section D or F along with prices of support and could include:

Specialist one-to-one Study Skills and Strategy Support

This is SpLD / Dyslexia Support that is usually provided to people who have:

  • dyslexia
  • dyspraxia
  • ADD/AD(H)D

Kerry and Michelle and Pauline provide the Specialist Study Skills tuition at Diverse Learners.
You can find out more about the Specialist Study Skills Tuition here.

Specialist Mentor Support / coaching

A mentor is usually provided to people with:

  • mental health conditions – depression, anxiety, bi-polar disorder
  • long term health conditions – epilepsy, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, M.E.
  • ADD/AD(H)D
  • Asperger’s syndrome
  • a combination of difficulties e.g. dyspraxia and mental health issues

Some people who have a combination of disabilities may be given Specialist one-to-one Study Skills and Strategy Support and Specialist Mentor Support.

Pauline provides mentoring at Diverse Learners alongside Michelle and Kerry.
You can find out more about the mentoring here.

Embedded Assistive Technology

Everyone who have been given specialist software (e.g. mind-mapping, Text-To-Speech programs, etc.) will have training included in their DSA / Access to Work package of support. At Diverse Learners we believe that using Assistive Technology (AT) can really make a difference to how you learn. We strongly advise you to access your training from your Assistive Technology trainer.

Our mentors and tutors will also encourage you to use your AT software packages in sessions. We embed this is sessions too and will not only demonstrate how to use it to refresh your memory and gain confidence in using it but model how to use your AT to help you read more efficiently, plan, structure and record your ideas.


If Diverse Learners is your named supplier here’s how to set up support – Step 1

If you have an Needs Assessment  or Workplace assessment that lists us as one of the suppliers for your support (usually in section D or F) then give us a call  us on 01994 536596 or email us on

In order to start getting support from Diverse Learners we need:

  • Your entitlement letter –  the letter that says you can have support – called a DSA2 for Disabled Students Allowances. Your funding body insist that we have a copy of this letter before support can be provided.
  • A copy of your needs assessment document – though you can choose not to share this with us if your prefer not to

Your assessment centre will have a copy of your needs assessment so you can request an electronic copy if you do not have yours. You can then send it to us at

You will receive a “next steps” email to remind you what will happen and the documents you need to send us.

Setting up support – Step 2

If we are your named supplier and you have sent us your DSA 2 letter then you can book your first appointment. Just email us on

We will discuss your needs and allocate you a tutor or mentor

We will agree a date and time for your first session and send you a calendar invite (with a reminder that goes off 15 minutes before your session)

We will send you the contact details of your tutor or mentor including Skype name

The tutor or mentor’s Skype details will be sent to you via Skype – you will need to click “accept” contact. This is to make it as easy as possible to connect to your tutor. The Skype name will also be sent via email.

If we are your named supplier and you are not sure if support via Skype is for you then we are happy for you to have a trial 30 minute session.

Please note if your funding body is Student Finance England then their rules state that you must try a session with the named supplier before you can change your supplier. If, after the trial / first session you do not think support via Skype suits your needs then we will tell you how to change your support to a different supplier.

All our mentors and tutors are very experienced and want the best support for you. Therefore, if for any reason, at any time you feel a different tutor would be more suitable for you we will allocate another member of the team for you.