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Disabled Student Allowance (DSA)

Disabled Student Allowance (DSA)

Explore the frequently asked questions below to learn more about the services available to you. If you're unable to find the information you need, contact us and we'll ensure your query is directed to the relevant service.

If you are eligible for DSA, you will get a 'go-ahead' (DSA1) letter from your Student Funding body two to four weeks after applying for DSA. This letter will tell you to book a Study Needs Assessment. The letter will explain how to find a Needs Assessor near you. The closest Needs Assessment Centre to the University is Contact Associates based in the Exchange Building, Penryn.

This is funded by the DSA (no charge to you). You will need to provide a copy of your evidence and DSA1 letter when you book. A Needs Assessment is an informal discussion about how best to support you on your course. It may cover equipment, software and 1:1 support.

Your Needs Assessor will write a report with details of the recommended support. This will be sent to you and your Student Funding body, who will then send you a Letter of Entitlement (DSA2) confirming the support. (Please see our other FAQs on setting up your support and ordering your specialist equipment.)

We advise and support students with disabilities, health conditions and specific learning differences, such as dyslexia. Our aim is for all students to feel equally valued and included.

Find out more about what we do.

In this case, please contact the supplier of the equipment. You will find their details in your DSA letter of entitlement (from Student Finance). You can find a copy of this letter on your Student Finance portal. You can find out more information here.

Your letter will give you contact details of the different providers of your support. Please email or phone the support provider to arrange it. You may need to send them a copy of your letter. If you need help, please email 

Your DSA Letter of Entitlement will tell you what Assistive Technology and other Specialist Support they will pay for from the Disabled Students’ Allowance. There will be contact details for your equipment supplier in this letter. You may need to send a copy of this letter to the equipment supplier.

Some DSA Letters of Entitlement mention reimbursements of costs such as printing, photocopying, paper, or laptop insurance. The form for this can be found on the DSA Government site.

Please contact Accessibility so one of our advisers can make sure any reasonable adjustments are shared with your course team (through your ILP (Individual Learning Plan).

You can still claim Disabled Student Allowance if you are studying for a post graduate degree. Please email if you need support with this.

The Disabled Students’ Allowance (DSA) is government funding for students with a wide range of disabilities: from mobility to mental health and SpLDs (dyslexia and dyspraxia). You will need to provide evidence of your condition – see the DSA website for more information. The DSA can provide funding for support workers, IT equipment and specialist software. 

There are many drop-ins, workshops and free apps for all students. For full details, see Free Support.

Not found the information you need? Contact us.