Disabled students' allowances
The government offers Disabled Students' Allowances (DSAs) to help meet the extra costs of studying that some students face as a direct result of a disability, mental health difficulty, specific learning difficulty or chronic medical condition.
The allowances are designed to help disabled students study on an equal basis with other students and can be applied for by full-time, part-time and postgraduate students.
The allowances are not means-tested or repayable.
- A non-medical helper, such as a specialist tutor, mentor or note-taker. - Disability related travel costs. - General costs, for example, photocopying or ink cartridges. - Specialist equipment you need for studying, eg, computer hardware/software.
Some students benefit from a specialist Mentor.
A mentor can help with one-to-one solution-focused support and can help identify barriers that may arise in your study, living, social, health, financial or personal life that may impact on your studies and/or emotional well-being.
You may be eligible for study support tutorials funded through DSAs. These aim to move you on at your own pace, and encourage independent working, for example:
- Planning – work and your time - Library research and note-taking - Assignment and structure - Using references - Making the most of your equipment and training - How to correct your work - Exams and exam revision - Becoming a more independent learner.
Complete the DSAs application form for your relevant funding body, at www.gov.uk/disabled-students-allowances-dsas (for Student Finance England, Student Finance Wales and Student Finance Northern Ireland), or http://www.saas.gov.uk/forms_and_guides/index.htm (for Student Finance Scotland).
If you are eligible your funding body will write, giving permission to book a Needs Assessment.
The Needs Assessment can be held at:
- Buckinghamshire New University with a visiting Assessor from the West London Assessment Centre (WLAC).
- Contact them on 01895 266704 or firstname.lastname@example.org
- other assessments, which can be found at www.dsa-qag.org.uk
The Needs Assessor will discuss your entitlements from the DSA Allowances in relation to your medical evidence. Their report will be sent to your funding body.
Your funding body will then write to you about your entitlements and what to do next.
Further information about Disabled Students’ Allowances is available at www.gov.uk/disabled-students-allowances-dsas, or for student-nurses enrolling before 2017/18 at https://www.nhsbsa.nhs.uk/nhs-bursary-students.
If you would like further information or advice, please contact the Inclusion, Diversity and Disability team.
Some students are not eligible for DSA funding, for example, non-UK students, students on a one-year Foundation Art programmes, students on a short-course. Students may contact the Inclusion, Diversity and Disability team to discuss further support.