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Detailed Assessment of Speed of Handwriting (DASH 17+) - DASH 17+ Approved for DSA

Pearson Assessment is pleased to confirm that the Detailed Assessment of Speed of Handwriting (DASH 17+), (Barnett, A; Henderson, S.E; Scheib, B; Schulz, J, 2010), has recently been approved for assessing students for the Disabled Students' Allowance (DSA) in the area of writing.

See the official guidelines (pdf) >DASH 17+ cover

DASH 17+ is a statistically reliable, nationally representative assessment and is the only standardised test recommended by the SpLD Assessment Standards Committee for this area.

As a child gets older, slow handwriting can become a major issue and performance in examinations can be affected (Connelly, Dockrell & Barnett, 2005; Connelly, Campbell, MacLean & Barnes, 2006). It is therefore crucial that those with handwriting difficulties, including those with inadequate speed, are identified and supported.

One example of the DASH 17+’s discriminative validity is shown in a small research study undertaken at the time of standardisation, of age-matched controls with and without dyslexia.

The groups showed statistically significant differences on all of the core DASH 17+ tasks, indicating that the students with dyslexia wrote more slowly than their age-peers without dyslexia. Students with dyslexia actually report that writing is their biggest and most persistent problem (Hatcher, Snowling & Griffiths, 2002; Mortimore & Crozier, 2006).

The DASH 17+ can be individually or group administered by tutors, teachers or psychologists to students in further and higher education in the age range 17.0 – 25.11 years. It is an upwards extension of the best selling DASH, 2007 and the full battery can be administered in 30 minutes.

The five subtests which examine perceptual-motor competence include among others a free writing task and a task to examine a student’s ability to increase speed while maintaining legibility.

Information from the DASH 17+ also provides relevant information for planning intervention.


Key Information


A reliable, age-appropriate measure of handwriting speed for students aged 17-25 years in further and higher education


Anna Barnett

Sheila E Henderson

Beverly Scheib

Joerg Schulz

Publication Year


Age Range

17 years to 25 years


Individual or Group - Complete battery: 30 minutes

Qualification Code


£115.50 (Complete kit price from)
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