DSA - Find Your Way

Evidence

To qualify for DSA you will need to provide evidence of your disability, long-term health condition, sensory impairment, mental-health condition, autistic spectrum condition or specific learning difference such as dyslexia, dyspraxia or AD(H)D - for example:

  • A diagnostic assessment for specific learning differences (dyslexia, dyspraxia, AD(H)D, discalculia, etc) undertaken by a qualified educational psychologist or specialist teacher assessor. If you are in England this assessment should be conducted at post-16 years of age - there is no age requirement for an assessment in Scotland.
  • Medical evidence from a suitably qualified medical professional for disabilities, mental health or long-term health condition

You may be required to pay for any assessments or evidence. If you cannot afford this it may be possible to get financial help through your University/College. Speak to your University/College Disability and Dyslexia Service Adviser for further information.

Evidence for a Disability

Including long-term health conditions, sensory impairments, mental-health conditions or autistic spectrum conditions.

In order to apply for DSA you will need to provide medical evidence. The medical evidence should be from a suitably qualified medical professional, such as a GP, specialist consultant, Community Mental Health Team (CMHT) consultant, psychiatrist or psychologist.

If you are from England or Wales ask your medical consultant to complete the disability evidence form for England or Wales.

If you are not from England or Wales your evidence should be a typed letter on headed paper, signed and dated. The letter should have been written within the last 6-12 months. If possible the letter should state the impact that your disability or medical condition will have on your daily life, and possible impact upon your academic studies.

Evidence for Specific Learning Differences

Including dyslexia, dyspraxia or AD(H)D.

Screening

If you experience difficulties with learning and have not previously been diagnosed with a Specific Learning Difference, it is advisable to undertake an initial screening process. Screenings are short meetings with a Dyslexia Advisor that may include discussions about your learning, and some learning exercises. A screening is designed to identify 'soft signs' of Specific Learning Differences. Speak to your University/College Dyslexia Service Adviser to discuss booking a screening.

Diagnostic Assessment

If you have a specific learning difference, you must provide evidence in the form of a post-16 years diagnostic assessment from a Specialist Dyslexia Teacher Assessor with a Practising Certificate, or a Chartered Psychologist with a Health Professional Council (HPC) Practising Certificate. You could get extra help to pay for a new diagnostic assessment through your University or college hardship funds. Contact the student services at your university or college to identify if you qualify.

A diagnostic assessment process takes up to three hours. You will undertake a short interview and some exercises to identify the way you learn. The assessor will complete a report following the session which will highlight your learning strengths, as well as areas of difficulty and will suggest strategies and adjustments to support your learning.

If you have undertaken a screening, and have been advised to book a diagnostic assessment you can search for a specialist dyslexia teacher assessor, or chartered psychologists using the following links:

To ensure your funding body will accept the report prior to attending and paying for your assessment check that your assessor:

Completing the DSA Application Process

This DSA application helper summarises the steps for completing the DSA application process for England, Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Research Council students including links to the DSA1 forms that you will need to complete.

Simply fill in the following statements:

I am






and I am

You should complete this form:

You should complete this form:

Note:Your disability or dyslexia advisor must complete a section of this form.
Note:This form can be completed digitally or by hand.
You should post your completed form to:
Student Finance England
PO Box 210
Darlington
DL1 9HJ
You should complete this form:
You should complete this form:
Note:Your disability or dyslexia advisor must complete a section of this form.
Note:This form can be completed by hand only.
You should post your completed form to:
Student Awards Agency for Scotland
Gyleview House
3 Redheughs Rigg
Edinburgh
EH12 9HH
You should complete this form:
You should complete this form:
Note:Your disability or dyslexia advisor must complete a section of this form.
You should post your completed form to:
Student Finance Wales
PO Box 211
Llandudno Junction
LL30 9FU
You should complete this form:
You should complete this form:
Note:Your disability or dyslexia advisor must complete a section of this form.

You should send your completed form to your nearest Education and Library Board.

You can find information on the DSA here:

You should contact your disability or dyslexia adviser to organise your Needs Assessment.

You can find information on the DSA here:

Apply for DSA through your Bursary Online Support System (BOSS) account. There should be a link to Disabled Students Allowances application on your BOSS homepage. NHS students who do not currently have a BOSS account will need to open one in order to prove that they are eligible for NHS funding before they can apply for DSA.

You can access information on creating a BOSS account and applying for DSA through the NHS bursaries website.

You can find information here:

Help and Assistance

The staff of the Higher Education Authority is happy to assist college personnel with any queries on application to the Fund. Please contact:

Applications

You must register with your Disability and Dyslexia service at your university who will support you to apply for the fund.