Disabled Students Allowance

Disabled Students Allowances (DSAs) are funds available to dyslexic students in higher education (universities). This has been used to pay for a Davis dyslexia correction programme.

The Disabled Students Allowance can be used to pay for a Davis Correction Programme if you are studying in a university. Contact your Special Needs Officer to see if they will support you in this. 

What you need in order to use the allowance for a Davis programme:
  1. An Ed-Psych report to prove dyslexia;
  2. A Needs Assessment which determines how much money will be allocated to the particular student and crucially highlights a need for study support;
  3. The client needs to be in higher education (foundation upwards).
If these things are done then it is very straight-forward.

The Disabled Students Allowance is intended to assist students with disabilities to realise the full potential of their courses. 

These allowances help to pay for any extra costs or expenses incurred by a student in attending their course that arise because of their disability. They are not meant to pay disability related costs that a student would have whether they were a student or not. These allowances are not assessed on income.

If you are in university, you should be able to locate a Special Needs Officer within the university.

The best place to locate this is to Search for Disability Co-ordinators on the Skill website which is a national bureau for students over 16 years of age with any form of disabilities.

You could also look at the The National Network of ACCESS Centres website (www.NNAC.org.uk) to find a person to assess your need for support.

It is recommended that diagnostic reports are provided by chartered, educational, clinical and works psychologists (previously known as occupational psychologists) or other qualified individuals - usually teachers - with a qualification in assessing students with specific learning difficulties.

There are four components of the Disabled Students’ Allowances available to help you pay for extra costs you have on your course because of your disability.The four allowances are:

  1. Specialist equipment - Up to £4,565 for the whole of the course for major items of specialist equipment, for example a computer or special furniture.
  2. Non-medical helpers - Up to £11,550 a year to help pay for helpers, for example , sign language interpreters or note takers, that are necessary for students to benefit fully from their course. For part-time students this allowance will be paid as a percentage of the full-time rate. For instance, if you were studying 50% of the full-time equivalent, the maximum amount you could receive per year would be £5,775. This is the budget that could potentially be used for a Davis Programme.
  3. Other/general expenditure - Up to £1,525 a year to help pay for any costs related to a student’s disability and study, for example books, tapes, CD’s or Braille paper that are not covered by the other allowances. It can also be used to top up the other two allowances. This budget could also potentially be used for a Davis Programme.
  4. Disability-related travel costs - no maximum limits. There is no travel allowance category in Scotland.
A leaflet is available which answers the most frequently asked questions about the Disabled Students’ Allowances. This is called Bridging the Gap. To request a leaflet call the DCSF on 0800 731 9133