If you have a disability and are studying or plan to study a Higher Education course (for example BSc, BA, DipHE, HND, HNC), you may be entitled to a Disabled Students’ Allowance (DSA) from your Local Authority (LA).
The allowance is payable to students who may have disability-related costs whilst studying. It is available to both full and part-time students, and for undergraduate and postgraduate study, and is not means tested. You can apply for the DSA any time before starting your course, or at any point during your course.
The allowance can help you get equipment or personal help to assist you with your studies. There are three areas to the grant:
- Special Equipment Allowance: a one-off payment for large items such as personal computers, cassette recorders, etc
- Non-medical Helpers Allowance: an annual allowance to cover costs of practical help including signers, readers, note takers, and personal assistants
- General Allowance: an annual allowance for small items and consumables, which can also be used to supplement the other allowances.
In addition to the three areas above, reasonable travel costs will also be covered if any extras are incurred because of your disability. For further information, look at the links provided or contact your LA.
Skill produces a number of information booklets, including one on ‘Applying for Disabled Students’ Allowances‘. This is available online via the link above, or by calling 0800 328 5050.
Who can help?
Visit the Department for Education website. They will have details of any financial assistance you may be entitled to.
Skill, the National Bureau for Disabled Students will be able to offer you all the information you may need on any issue affecting you. Visit their site at www.skill.org.uk or call 0800 328 5050.
You can also have a look in the Yellow Pages or visit their website www.yell.com.