DSA Needs Assessor Toolkit

All the resources and tools you need to match student needs and make referrals

More than an academic organiser

Brain in Hand is a holistic needs-based support solution. Designed specifically for students with additional needs, it helps them organise their time, remember things, deal with difficult situations, and develop self-awareness to build self-efficacy and improve wellbeing.

It is for anyone whose day can be disrupted by anxiety, unexpected events, or the need to make decisions under pressure.

The best of digital and human support

  • Keep track of everything you need with personalised routines, prompts and reminders
  • Access solutions for unexpected and overwhelming situations
  • Access a library of practical ready-made solutions for everyday challenges
  • Monitor your mood, reflect on emotions and communicate how you feel
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When to recommend Brain in Hand

Brain in Hand is for any student whose day can be disrupted by anxiety, unexpected events, or the need to make decisions under pressure. Students don’t have to have a specific condition or diagnosis. Brain in Hand is often used by autistic people, other neurodivergent people, or people who experience anxiety. You can recommend Brain in Hand for any student with executive functioning impairments, memory deficit, and/or mental health needs.

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Evidence-based, proven support

We support thousands of students funded through DSA each year. We continually evaluate Brain in Hand to ensure we can demonstrate impact around independence, wellbeing, and participation at university.


of students said that they feel more confident managing their day-to-day activities


of students felt more able to participate at university


of students felt more able to cope with day-to-day stressors

How to recommend Brain in Hand

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Check DSA eligibility

and confirm that the student has access to a compatible device (iOS or Android). Click here for compatibility information.

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Refer and get a quote

This can be done directly from Brain in Hand or via the SLC eQuote portal. For more information email us or call us at 01392 247909.

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Let us and the student know

When you get approval please share the student’s DSA2 entitlement letter. Students can get Brain in Hand by registering directly with us or directly with the equipment supplier.

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Brain in Hand will report usage rates directly to the funding body/bodies. Based on usage we will renew the student annually. SAAS-funded students will require an annual assessment with a needs assessor.

More resources

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Recommendation guide

This guide will help you easily match students' needs to Brain in Hand features and how it will support them. It includes example justifications for Needs Assessment Reports.

Download now
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Book a webinar

This 30-minute online session introduces BiH, the digital support system, research insights on how BiH has helped DSA students achieve more and explains the three step referral process.

Book now
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Features at a glance

This one-pager lists our digital and human support features in a brief and easy to understand manner

Download now