Under current UK legislation, disabled students and those with learning difficulties or long term health problems are eligible for additional financial support to assist them with their studies. Disabled student allowance, or DSA for short, is a non repayable grant. which is not subjected to means testing. Both part time and full time students are eligible to apply.
Because the amount of DSA awarded is dependant upon the needs of the applicant, the student must undergo a needs assessment interview to determine what equipment and support is applicable to their needs. The aim of the assessment is to minimize the impact disability has on the students education.
In addition to funding the purchase of specialist equipment, and training associated with its use, further funding can be awarded for the provision of non medical helpers. General expenses are also taken into account, this element of the grant covers day to day expenses such as photocopying fees, blank CD's and the purchase of books.
Applying for disabled student allowance is a relatively straight forward process. The first step is to fill in a DSA application form, for English students this can be done on the Student Finance England website. The application should be supported by evidence of your disability or long term health problems, this is normally a doctors letter or diagnostic assessment.
Upon approval of your application for DSA, you will need to book a needs assessment appointment with DSA QAG approved body. The needs assessment appointment is an informal meeting, the assessor will discuss assistive technologies and specialist support that is applicable to your needs.
There are DSA QAG approved assessment centres across the UK, a full list of assessment centres is available on the DSA QAG website. Students living or studying in the London area can contact Access 1st to arrange a needs assessment appointment.