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DAS Guide to Disabled Students Allowances

This guide to the Disabled Students Allowances has been created by the Disability Advisory Service at the University of Reading.

What about funding for a

What about funding for a computer, how does that work? Some students may have heard that you can get a free laptop through the DSA and others may have heard that this has been scrapped. The truth is something between the two – if you are recommended certain pieces of software and do not have a suitable computer for running these programs, the DSA will provide you with funding towards the cost of a computer. If you’re funded through Student Finance England or a Research Council, you will receive about £150 toward the cost of a computer. There are computers available through the funding which will cost you £200 (plus the contribution from Student Finance England) but you do not have to get one of these if you would like something different. However, if the cost of the computer that would like is more expensive, you have to pay the difference. For example; a student gets recommended ClaroRead (text-to -speech software) to help with reading. They have an old (over five years) laptop which isn’t working reliably and so is eligible for some money through the DSA to replace it. The student would like a MacBook costing about £850, and so has to pay £700 themselves and claim the remainder back through the DSA. For students funded by Student Finance Wales or the Student Awards Agency for Scotland, the full cost of a laptop can be funded through the DSA. However, this can’t be used to pay for any laptop that the student wants, it’s for a standard laptop available through the funding which costs about £350. Students still have the option to pay extra to choose something different, but can get basic laptop without having to pay anything themselves.

How to apply You can apply at any point on your course, or from about February of the year that you have applied to start university in. How you apply depends of who is funding your course and there are also different forms to complete depending on whether you receive core student finance funding: Funding body Student Finance England Student Finance Wales Student Finance Ireland Student Awards Agency for Scotland Self-funded students Research Council Link to more information and application forms dsa_forms.htm Apply through you the funding body of the country that you are resident in Contact the Disability Advisory Service NHS Bursaries Applications must be made through the Student Services Bursary Online Support System (BOSS): http:// If you would like to see some video demonstrations of the main software programs provided through the DSA, as well as links for downloading trial versions, please go to

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