The Disabled Students’ Allowance is a grant that provides funding to cover additional costs incurred by a student in accessing their course due to their disability. The allowance is divided into four components:
Equipment Allowance: this can cover hardware (for example: computer, laptop, printer, digital recorder), assistive software (for example: text-to-speech, speech-to-text, mind-mapping), ergonomic equipment (for example: chairs, adjustable desks, wrist rests) or any other physical item that may be required to assist with accessing the course;
Non-Medical Helper Allowance: this component of the grant is for human support and can cover specialist tuition, mentors, BSL interpreters, etc.;
General Allowance: this component can cover consumables and other items not covered by the other allowances;
Travel Allowance: this component can cover the additional costs in travelling between a student's term-time address and the university campus which are incurred due to disability, for example, if you need to use a taxi instead of a bus then this allowance will reimburse the difference in cost. You would still be required to pay the amount the bus would cost.
The DSA does not cover costs that all students on your course will incur or costs that you would incur if you were not studying. It can only cover costs that you incur as a result of your disability/ies in accessing your course, for example, it will not pay for core books, food, standard accommodation, or personal care.
The DSA is not means tested and it does not affect any other benefits you may receive.
The DSA allowance is attached to the course you are studying. If you complete the course and decide to take up another course you can apply for a new DSA allowance for that course.
For full details of the DSA regulations and the current year's allowance limits go to: www.gov.uk/disabled-students-allowances-dsas and download the 'Bridging the Gap' document.