Disability and Dyslexia

DSA and other funding

Image -  Disability and Dyslexia 
 DSA and other funding

Disabled Students’ Allowance (DSA) and other funding


DSA is a UK government-funded support package that provides additional support to disabled students whilst studying at university.

It is not means tested against your income, but it is based on your disability related needs. Please see below for examples of DSA funded support.

Here are examples of support that DSA may fund based on your disability-related needs:

  • Specialist equipment such as a laptop/ergonomic equipment etc.
  • Specialist Assistive Technology (AT) software and training
  • Non-medical helpers (NMH) support such as Specialist 1-1 Study Skills, Tutors Specialist Mentors, Sign Language Interpreters etc.
  • A general allowance for printing
  • Taxi travel allowance to support you in attending your course/ placement;

  • Medical or diagnostic evidence of your disability which indicates it is a long term medical/mental health condition or Specific Learning Difference (SpLD) that impacts on your day-to-day life and your ability to access your course
  • You have lived in the UK for three years prior to the start date of your course
  • You are on a full-time undergraduate or postgraduate course
  • You are on a part-time course that is not less than 25% of the full-time course equivalent
  • Your course lasts at least a year.

Unfortunately, International and some E.U. students are not eligible for the DSA.

You can usually apply for DSA 6 months prior to the start of your course. There is no deadline to applying for DSA.

You need to apply via your funding body and we recommend that you do this at the earliest opportunity. Please not the DSA process can take up to 14-weeks to complete at busier times of the academic year (September-December)


Because it can really make a difference, and this is what some of our students have to say:

“My mentor was always supportive and remembered things I had mentioned in previous sessions without me needing to repeat myself, which made me feel really listened to. She made some really helpful suggestions and gave plenty of time to explore each of my concerns.”

“My mentor really made me feel supported and valued. He reminded me of my strengths and helped me to develop skills. He gave me confidence in my personal and academic life, I am very grateful to him for that.”

“My tutor has taught me many transferable skills to help manage my dyslexia.”

“My tutor has been amazing from the moment I first received her (and didn’t utilise her) until the end when I basically couldn’t continue without her support.”

“The help and support I have been given through both my study skills and specialist mentor have been incredible and a huge asset to my well-being and academic success over the last year.”

NMH feedback poster document

You could be entitled to regular weekly 1-1 Study Skills support with a Specialist SpLD Tutor (online or in-person session for an hour) who will develop an Individual Learning Plan (ILP) to support your individual needs. Areas covered can include (but not limited to):

  • Reading, note taking, research strategies and critical thinking skills
  • Planning, structuring, writing style, grammar, spelling and proof-reading strategies
  • Memory, Presentation and Exam strategies
  • Developing time management, organisational and Assistive Technology (AT) skills
  • Enhancing metacognition and utilising your strengths to evaluate academic feedback and develop independent study skills.

You could be entitled to weekly 1-1 Specialist Mentor support (online or in-person session for an hour) who will develop an Individual Learning Plan (ILP) to support your individual needs. Areas covered can include (but not limited to):

  • Presentation and oral seminar skills
  • Communication and social interaction skills
  • Time management skills
  • Personal organisation
  • Build confidence and self-esteem
  • Dealing with change
  • Skills in accessing relevant course-related information
  • Prepare for field trips or practical placements.

If you are not eligible for DSA, you may be eligible for other funding and support, such as:

NHS Bursary: if you are funded by the NHS, you will need to apply for a student bursary via your BOSS (Bursary Online Support System) account.and then apply for the DSA via BOSS.
Access to Work: if you are completing your studies with a salaried work placement.


If you are an international or E.U. student, we would recommend looking into funding/support/insurance options that may be offered through your home country.