What is the Needs Assessment?

The Needs Assessment is an important part of the process of getting additional support at college.


The Needs Assessment tends to be a structured but fairly informal one-to-one discussion with the Disability Officer which will usually last around 1 hour. You won’t be tested or have to complete any assessment yourself, but you will be asked specific questions in order to explore your support needs.  You will have provided your Evidence of Disability to the Disability Service in advance of the meeting.

How could this affect me?

The Needs Assessments allows you to talk to someone about aspects of your education such as,

  • the positive and negative aspects of studying in the past
  • the positive and negative aspects of any support you have received in the past at home/school
  • any worries you might have about going to college
  • what you’re excited about and think you will do well at
  • what you think might help you achieve that success

You will also get to learn a bit more about the kind of help that is available to you – many students don’t really know much about this and are amazed to find out what is out there and how it may work for them.

What to do next?

If you have ticked the Disability box on your CAO application, the Disability Officer will email you after you accept a place and invite you to a meeting. If you have not ticked the box then you should email disability@dkit.ie to let the Disability Officer know you will need support and would like a meeting.

Questions to think about

  1. How do you feel about making notes in lectures, where most of what is said does not end up on a whiteboard or the PowerPoint slides? It is also not possible to write down every word that is said.
  2. Would being able to record lectures help you?
  3. How do you make and organise your notes when reading or revising?
  4. Do you enjoy going to new places?
  5. Do you find new places easily?
  6. Does it help to have someone with you when you go somewhere for the first time?
  7. What are you most excited about when it comes to your course?
  8. What would you like to know more about or might need support to do before you get excited?
  9. How do you feel about group work?
  10. How do you manage your free time?
  11. Are you always on time for appointments without help from someone else?
  12. Do you like to be in busy, lively places or quiet places?
  13. How do you find out about new topics?
  14. Do you find it easy to organise your ideas and structure them in writing?
  15. Do you find academic writing easy? How about spelling, punctuation and grammar?
  16. Would you like somebody to talk to about your autism who has a good understanding of both autism and university?
  17. Do you have any other conditions like dyslexia, dyspraxia or ADHD?
  18. Does it help you to read information from the internet if you can print it out?
  19. Who supported you with your work at school and what did they do that was helpful?
  20. What helps you when you’re stressed? Music, exercise, art, reading, playing games, talking to others?
  21. Did you use any tools like visual schedules, social stories, coloured overlays, coloured paper or alarms to help you at school or college?
  22. How do you feel about talking to people about your autism, including lecturers and other students?