Welcome to the Regional Access Centre

COVID-19 update:

Regional Access Centre East London (RACEL) is now operating remotely and are carrying out Needs Assessment appointments via telephone and video call.

Please contact us on racel@uel.ac.uk, +44 (0) 20 8223 4118 or on 07342 190 751 if you would like to make a booking or have any questions.

What we do

At RACEL we undertake Study Needs Assessments for any student, with any disability, who is eligible for the Disabled Students Allowance (DSA). We are based on the Stratford Campus of the University of East London and we are a fully equipped, accredited assessment centre. Due to Covid-19, we are now operating remotely and are carrying out Study Needs Assessment appointments via telephone and video call.

At the Study Needs Assessment you’ll discuss with a Needs Assessor what type of disability-related support you could get through the DSA. Your needs are assessed based on the medical evidence or diagnostic report you submitted to your funding body and your personal account of the difficulties you are experiencing with your studies. 


The Assessment is not a test, but more of an informal interview to:

  • Discuss the impact of your disability/Specific Learning Difference (SpLD) on your current and previous education.
  • Consider the requirements of your chosen programme (e.g. research, lab sessions, placements, exams, etc).
  • Identify the best study strategies to enable you to achieve your goals.
  • Identify the best study aids, to help you meet your programme requirements.

A Study Aids and Strategies Assessment, which is also referred to as a Study Needs Assessment Report, is then written by your Assessor. This report outlines the technological and personal support we are recommending to assist you in your studies, as part of your application for the DSA. This report is then sent to your funding body (e.g. Student Finance England, Student Finance Wales etc.) for approval.

Once your funding body receives your Study Needs Assessment, they will review the recommendations and make the final decision about what support you can have.

Inclusive Fee

RACEL will charge a fee to undertake your assessment from your DSA. This will be a single assessment fee, which will cover any work required for the duration of your course of study, which will include:

  • Additional needs which are related to the condition you were originally assessed for.
  • Any activities are undertaken by your Needs Assessor or the Centre, to review your DSA support needs for the duration of your original course.
  • Liaising with your funding body, equipment supplier, HEI or other stakeholders for the purposes of review of your support needs.

You will not be charged for the Needs Assessment, your funding body will be invoiced directly.

In some circumstances, your funding body may agree for you to attend a second “funded review” assessment which they will also pay for. This is known as a paid Review of Needs.

For more information or to book an appointment please contact us.

If you have more questions about what a Study Needs Assessment entails, see our FAQs section.