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Disabled Students Allowance cuts deferred

12 September 2014

Planned Government cuts to the Disabled Students Allowance (DSA) have been postponed by a year

Originally the government announced that, from September 2015, DSA will only pay for support for students with specific learning difficulties, such as dyslexia, if their needs are "complex".

The key changes are to DSA support are:

  1. DSAs will pay for higher specification or higher cost computers where a student needs one solely by virtue of their disability but will not pay for standard specification computers.
  2. Students with Specific Learning Difficulties will continue to receive support through DSAs where their support needs are considered to be more complex.
  3. DSAs will still fund the most specialist Non-Medical Help.
  4. DSAs will not fund the additional costs of specialist accommodation, other than in exceptional circumstances.
  5. The definition of disability, for the purposes of receiving DSAs, will be the same as that for the Equality Act 2010.
  6. Providers offering DSA study needs assessments and DSA assistive technology service providers will need to register.

Other support for disabled students will have to be met by Higher Education Institutions.

Tony Stevens, of Disability Rights UK, was interviewed on this issue in the Guardian.

Postponement of changes to Disabled Students Allowances

Greg Clark, the universities and science minister, has today made a written ministerial statement announcing that some of the changes to DSA will be postponed until 2016-17.

This means that during 2014 - 2015 DSA's will continue to provide:

  1. Funding for higher cost computers and assistive software, subject the the student contributing the first £200 of the computer's cost.
  2. Funding for the additional costs of specialist accommodation, other than where funding is provided by the institution or an agent of the institution.
  3. Non-medical help.

Disability Rights UK had already noticed that more disabled people were questioning the wisdom of going to university and chaired a campaign against these proposed changes.

You can find out more about DSAs in our applying for disabled students’ allowances factsheet