AbilityNet urges disabled students to claim grant

abilitynet-studentsWith Fresher’s Weeks and the new term about to kick into action national disability charity AbilityNet is encouraging students to find out if they are eligible for extra Government funding through a grant called the Disabled Students’ Allowances (DSA). According to the Higher Education Statistics Agency, over half of eligible students do not claim the DSA, which can pay for software, hardware and extra learning support to ensure that students complete their studies successfully.

Nigel Lewis, CEO of AbilityNet said:

“We’re concerned that not enough students are claiming the support they are entitled to. Disabled Students’ Allowances can help students with all sorts of extra needs – you don’t have to be registered disabled to claim it. This extra funding has been a vital part of helping disabled people achieve success in higher education for many years and is under threat of further cuts, but it’s still available.

“Many parents, teachers and students still don’t know that students with a disability such as dyslexia are eligible for a DSA at university or college. DSA is a direct grant that doesn’t have to be paid back.”

Students with hearing impairments, visual impairments and mobility impairments are eligible for DSA, as are students with a learning difficulty such as dyslexia, mental health conditions such as depression and health conditions such as diabetes.

Abbie C, a first year student who claims DSA, passed on her advice on claiming DSA:

“Get it. It’s worth it. It will help you a lot throughout your studies and don’t worry about disclosing your disability or learning difficulty because by doing so, you’ll get all the support you can possibly think of and makes your experience at university a lot more fulfilling.”

A national charity, AbilityNet helps people with disabilities use digital technology at home, at work and in education. Disabled students can book a DSA Needs Assessment at one of AbilityNet’s DSA Centres via the AbilityNet website: www.abilitynet.org.uk

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