The funding is actually made up of four different components that fund different types of support – equipment, non-medical helper, general and travel. Before listing what may be available through each of these, there are two fundamental principles to understand when thinking about what you might get:
1) The DSA funds any additional study costs that a student incurs as a direct result of studying as a disabled student.
So, for example, a student may need to travel to hospital appointments when at university, meaning that they have additional travel costs to cover. However, because this cost is not directly related to their studying, it would not be covered by the Disabled Students Allowances. Alternatively, a student has a long-term back injury which means that they require specialist ergonomic seating when studying. As the cost of a specialist chair is due to the back injury and enables the student to study more effectively, this would be covered by the Disabled Students Allowances.
2) The DSA provides the funding to cover the cost of the support needed, rather an amount of money to be used as needed.
In the examples above, if these situations related to the same student, they would not be permitted to use the money that was allocated to purchase an ergonomic chair and use this to pay for the travel to the hospital appointments.
So, with these guidelines in mind, here is an overview of what the DSA can fund:
- A contribution towards the cost of a computer if you don’t already have one and if you are recommended any of the specialist programs marked with a * in the software section below (see funding for a computer for more details about how much you get)
- Recording equipment (usually a microphone for your phone/laptop and specialist software but can also be a digital reorder)
- External monitor
- Radio aid systems
- Video magnifiers
- Ergonomic equipment (e.g. ergonomic chair, specialist keyboard and mouse, footrest, height adjustable desk, laptop/monitor stand)
- Text-to-speech software* (e.g. ClaroRead or Texthelp Read&Write)
- Voice recognition software* (Dragon Professional Individual)
- Audio recording software (e.g. Sonocent Audio Notetaker)
- Mind mapping software (e.g. MindView or Inspiration)
- Spelling/grammar software (e.g. Global Autocorrect, Grammarly or Medincle)
- Screen reading and/or magnification software* (e.g. JAWS, Supernova or ZoomText)
- Typing tutors
- Specialist one-to-one study skills support (for students with specific learning difficulties, including ADHD, and/or Autism spectrum disorder)
- Specialist one-to-one mentoring support (for students with mental health condition, ADHD, and/or Autism spectrum disorder)
- Notetaking support (for students who are blind/visually impaired, or Deaf/hard of hearing)
- Mobility training/sighted guide support (for students who are blind/visually impaired)
- BSL interpreters
- Assistive technology training
- Money toward the cost of printing and photocopying
- The additional cost of using a taxi to travel to university
- A mileage allowance for students who drive to university