This guide to the Disabled Students Allowances has been created by the Disability Advisory Service at the University of Reading.
Overview Support for disabled students at university generally comes from two different sources. One is the university itself, and there is lots of information about this in our How the University of Reading supports disabled students guide. The other is through something called the Disabled Students Allowances (or DSA for short), which is funding provided by the government to cover the costs of any support you may need. This guide provides all the information needed to know what the DSA can provide and how to apply. DSA – key facts # DSAs do not need to be paid back and are not means tested # DSA is available to pay for support for students with mental health conditions, specific learning difficulties, long-term illnesses, visual and hearing impairments, Autism spectrum disorder and students with physical impairments. # Around about 6% of all students in higher education (about 80,000 students) get support through the DSA
Why should you apply for DSA? Good question – if the university is ensuring it is making any reasonable adjustments that disabled students need, do you also need funding for individual support? Perhaps not, but the DSA can crucially provide two things worth thinking about. Firstly, it provide is a package of support which is individually tailored to your specific requirements, and secondly it funds support that isn’t available through the university. Here’s a breakdown of how some of the support available through the university compares to options provided through the DSA: University The university’s study advice service, providing one-to-one study advice, online resources and regular study advice seminars The university Counselling and Wellbeing Service providing shortterm counselling and mental health support DSA Specialist one-to-one study skills support for students with specific learning difficulties for the duration of their course (if needed) Specialist one-to-one mentoring support for students with mental health conditions for the duration of their course (if needed) Access to specialist software (textto-speech and mind mapping programs) via the university’s Apps Anywhere portal A more comprehensive range of specialist software and equipment, plus funding toward the cost of a computer