Upgrading your DSA order


So you’ve had your DSA needs assessment and your funding body has told you that they will pay for a computer of a certain value (less your £200 contribution).

Your Needs Assessor will have recommended that you receive a solution from a DSA Quality Assurance Group (DSA-QAG) registered Assistive Technology Solutions Provider (ATSP), such as Avantek Computer Limited which is capable of running all of your assistive software. However, if you have seen an alternative to the system you have been recommended and are prepared to pay a bit more, before you decide to buy elsewhere you should know more about what you will be missing.

What is different about Avantek?

We specialise in configuring, insuring, repairing, and supporting complete assistive technology systems, software, hardware and peripherals. We also offer training on the systems. We are specialists who are audited each year to ensure that we are conforming to the DSA-QAG Quality Assurance Framework. This sets standards for what we supply to students, how quickly we must respond, how we deal with complaints and many other things. We have to provide Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) to DSA-QAG each month to show that we are meeting the standards.

In short, the ATSPs role, developed over the last 20 years, is to make sure as far as possible that you have a fully functioning computer, with all the Assistive Technology, at every stage of your university course that you need it. You rely on it. You need it. You don’t want to be without it!


We can provide a choice of alternative and higher specification machines, too. They may not be the exact model you have seen advertised online or in a shop, but we will usually have something fairly equivalent.

Value for Money

At first sight you might think that the offer that you have found is better value than your ATSP is offering. But you need to ask yourself these questions, which will make you realise that your ATSP offers a unique value service:


  • Does it cover you for the length of your course? Without any excess? For multiple claims? Against theft? Overseas? Will they reinstate your system and AT software to the state it was originally supplied?

Support and Maintenance

  • Will the warranty that you get cover you for the length of your course? Will they reinstate your system and AT software to the state it was originally supplied after a repair? Help you with backups if necessary when repairing your kit? Provide a loan machine with AT if the repair will take too long? Phone you back rather than expect you to pay for support calls? Sort out your AT software problems over the phone or on-line? Fix viruses (once at last) free and keeping your AT software going.


  • Don’t underestimate the advantages of a “one-stop-shop” (your ATSP). That is why specialist DSA ATSPs have been developed. We handle it all. There is less risk of arguments between your hardware and software suppliers, blaming each other for the problem; of arguments between insurance and warranty. “It’s damage”. “No, it’s general wear and tear”. Leaving you stuck in the middle. Either way, with an ATSP it is their job to sort it.
  • It will probably take two or three weeks extra to make arrangements with SFE if you decide to buy your computer elsewhere after your assessment.