The Disabled Students’ Allowance (DSA)
Students with a disability, long term health condition, mental health condition or a specific learning difficulty such as dyslexia may be eligible for funding from the DSA. The allowance is paid on top of other student finance and does not have to be repaid.
This comprises three separate funds, which can be used to pay for specialist personal assistance (such as support tutorials, IT training), purchase of specialist equipment or consumables. The DSA will also fund a needs assessment to make specific recommendations for specialist equipment and support. You should approach Student Finance England for an application form. Further details about the DSA are available in a DfES leaflet ‘Bridging the Gap’. This can be downloaded from the DfES website on: http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/DisabledPeople/EducationAndTraining/HigherEducation/DG_10034898
Access to Work – Government Funding for Disabled People in the Workplace
Access to Work (AtW) is a government funded grant aimed at making meaningful reasonable adjustments in the work place for disabled people. If the grant is applied for within the first 6 weeks of employment, the government, via Job Centre Plus, may provide a grant. If AtW is applied for after the first 6 weeks of employment, payment will reflect the size of the organisation. A relatively small organisation may only be required to pay 10% of the overall bill for the reasonable adjustment. (A large organisation or governmental department may not be eligible for the grant in full). Following an application to the Job Centre Plus Disability Officer, a specialist Assessor will meet the individual employee and make an assessment of need. A report of this assessment is then sent to the employer and employee.