Disabled Students Allowance

What is Disabled Students Allowance (DSA)?

Students who have a disability or a health condition, including Mental Health Difficulties and Specific Learning Difficulties such as Dyslexia or Dyspraxia, may be entitled to an additional allowance called the Disabled Students Allowance (DSA).

What can I get through DSA?

DSA is divided into three categories:

  • Basic Allowance (e.g. photocopying costs, small items of equipment, special dietary needs etc)
  • Large Items of Equipment Allowance (e.g. IT equipment, ergonomic furniture etc)
  • Non-Medical Personal Help Allowance (e.g. the costs of a note taker or interpreter etc).

You may apply for a DSA at any time before (once you have a conditional or unconditional offer) or during your studies. If you have ongoing costs (such as photocopying, ink cartridges, note taking) you are entitled to make a new application every year.

The Disability Adviser or Student Mental Health Adviser provides advice and assistance with your claim, as a counter signature is required.

How do I apply for DSA?

This section tells you how you can apply for your DSA support for students who are funded by SAAS. All other students should consult their funding body for the application form or ask their Adviser.

1st time applications

For your first application to DSA you should attend an Accessibility & Inclusion Service drop-in session in the first instance.

In order to apply for DSA the first time, all students need to engage with the needs assessment process. Details of the Needs Assessment process and what you may expect to happen are contained within the following document: Disabled Students Allowance: Assessment and application process

Repeat DSA applications

You can either:    
1.download the appropriate DSA application from the SAAS website
2.Collect an application form from the Disability Service.

Before sending your form to SAAS, remember to have it approved by an Adviser in the A&I Service or it will be returned to you.

Closing dates for DSA applications

Students funded by SAAS must apply before 31st March each year.

Ordering DSA equipment organising non-medical personal helpers

Once you DSA has been approved you may be expected to order and in some cases pay for your equipment as well as make arrangements to start working with your non-medical personal helper where required (e.g. Dyslexia Tutor, proofreader, Mental Health Mentor or Personal Learning Assistant).

Guidance on ordering equipment and arranging your helper can be found in the following documents:

Disability Employing your NMPH helper (pdf)

Disability Process of ordering IT Equipment (pdf)

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