Print
Reads out text

What support is available?: 1. Disabled Students Allowance (DSA)

1. Disabled Students Allowance (DSA)

If you are a higher education student living in England, you can apply for a Disabled Students’ Allowance (DSA) if you have a disability, including a:

  • long-term health condition
  • mental health condition
  • specific learning difficulty, e.g. dyslexia

The support you get depends on your individual needs and not on income. 

How do I qualify?

To qualify you will need to be able to prove that you are eligible. For specific learning difficulties this means that you will need to provide a ‘diagnostic assessment’ from a psychologist or suitably qualified specialist teacher - you’ll need to get reassessed if you had this done when you were under 16.


What can the Disabled Students’ Allowance pay for?

You can get help with the costs of:

  • Specialist Equipment and Aids
    • a computer, specialist software such as voice recognition, mind mapping and screen reading software
  • Specialist Support (also known as a non-medical helper’s allowance) 
    • specialist tuition, study skills support, note-taker, etc. 

How do I apply?

Depending on where you currently live, you should apply to one of the following agencies for Disabled Students’ Allowances:

  • In England apply to Student Finance England. You can apply at the same time as making your online UCAS application. For NHS-funded courses, you need to apply to NHS Student Bursaries for your Disabled Students’ Allowances.
  • In Wales apply to Student Finance Wales, or NHS Wales Student Awards Unit for NHS funded courses.
  • In Scotland apply to the Student Awards Agency for Scotland (SAAS) for any course.
  • In Northern Ireland apply to Student Finance England or your local Education and Library Board (ELB). For NHS-funded courses contact the Bursary Administration Unit.[1]

Find out more at Disability Rights UK or at GOV.UK. 

Did you know?

Assistive technologies help with everyday literacy and organisation tasks from reading or writing to planning or making calculations.

tech thursday

Read our bi-weekly blog on how technology can help.