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  Disabled Students Allowance (DSA)

DSA is specific funding for students diagnosed with specific learning difficulties, medical conditions or disabilities. The DSA is provided by your Student Funding Authority.

The fund is to help with the extra costs you will have whilst studying. In the Republic of Ireland, this funding is called Funds for Students with Disabilities.

Who is my Student Funding Authority?

Scotland: Student Awards Agency for Scotland (SAAS)

England: your Local Education Authority (Student Finance England)
Wales: your Local Education Authority (Student Finance Wales)
Northern Ireland: your Regional Library Board (Student Finance Northern Ireland)
Republic of Ireland: Higher Education Authority (National Office for Equity of Access to Higher Education)

Application forms and notes on the application process can be downloaded from these sites.

The following video explains the DSA application process. It is recommended that you watch the video and note the process to avoid running into difficulties. 

What can DSA pay for?

DSA can help with the cost of things like

  • Specialist study skills tutors
  • Proof readers 
  • Note takers
  • British Sign Language Interpreters
  • Printing and photocopying
  • Computers and other technological devices
  • Specialist equipment
  • Assistive software packages such as Mind Mapping tools, specialist spellcheckers, voice to text tools, proof-reading support or note-taking tools
  • Coloured spectacles, overlays or reading rulers
  • Digital stethoscopes

Who is eligible?

Eligibility for DSA depends on UK residency requirements and on the nature of your course arrangements. In general you are unlikely to be eligible for DSA if you are

  • An EU student receiving a ‘fees only’ funding award
  • A part-time student undertaking less than 50% of a full-time course
  • Undertaking a course below HNC level or if you are on an access course
  • A post-graduate student receiving funding from a Research Council or the Social Work Department
 

Evidence of your specific difficulty or medical condition is needed to process your application, for example a dyslexia report, or letter from your doctor or consultant confirming the nature of your disability. You will normally need to complete an application form and obtain any medical evidence required to support your application. You will also be required to provide your student reference. If you do not meet the requirements for DSA but we recognise you have additional support needs, other university arrangements can be made to provide you with support.

Your adviser at Edinburgh Napier University may need to sign the application form for you before it can be sent to your funding authority. You will also be asked to attend a meeting at which your support needs can be assessed before decisions are made about the support that can be funded for you.

Your adviser in the Disability & Inclusion Team can assist you with applying for DSA and answering any questions.

 
 
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