What the DSA covers.

Disabilities covered by the DSA include:

SpLD’s like dyslexia, visual impairment, mobility impairment, hearing impairment, mental health and other ongoing health conditions.

What can the DSA provide?

The award covers extra costs a student may meet whilst studying, due to a disability. The DSA does not depend on you or your parents’ income and there is no upper age limit. The costs of your support are paid directly to the supplier. You do pay a £200 contribution for any computer system or upgrades you wish to make. Otherwise, you are not invoiced.

The amount part-time students are allocated is affected by “course intensity”. This is measured by the length of the course each year compared to a full-time course.

Here are the rates of allowances for the 2019/20 academic year:

  • Specialist equipment allowance:

Up to £5,684 for the whole of your course, for both full-time and part-time students. This can include a computer, scanner, specialist software such as Dragon speech recognition software, text-to-speech software and mind-mapping software. Some students may also receive a digital voice recorder, note-taking software, electronic dictionary and/or a spell checker. All items are fully insured for the duration of the course. Students have access to telephone support for technical queries and course-long product warranties.

  • Non-medical helper’s allowance:

Up to £22,603 per year of your course for full-time students.
Up to £16,951 for part-time students.
This can mean training to use your specialist equipment (this may be included in the equipment allowance); extra help to deal with study skills, reading skills, work organisation, grammar, spelling and numeracy difficulties. NMH does not cover extra tuition for your course.

  • General disabled student’s allowance:

Up to £1,899 for each academic year for full-time students.
Up to £1,424 for part-time students.
This allowance can meet the costs of extra photocopying, coloured paper or extra books if your disability means that you cannot read books in the library in the normal way. As with the non-medical helpers’ allowance, part-time students are eligible for an allowance of the equivalent percentage to their course.

Postgraduates can get a single allowance of up to £20,000 a year.

More information is available on the DSA overview pages of the website:

When can I apply?

Students can apply now, if you live in England and have a disability that affects your ability to study.

Important: You should apply as soon as you know you are going to university. However, you can only receive your equipment once you have been accepted to university and started your course.


You are not eligible for a DSA grant if you are:

A non-UK national student

Eligible for an NHS bursary. This is for students accepted for an NHS-funded place on a full- or part-time course which leads you to be professional registration. [[ this does not read properly]]
For more information on NHS bursaries, visit:

Getting equivalent support from another funding source. This includes funding from your university or a social work bursary.

On sandwich courses. If you are on a sandwich course you may apply for the Access-To-Work scheme during your year of work.

How long does it take to get your solution?

Have a look at the complete DSA supply process.

Microlink and the DSA

We have been supplying the DSA since 1992. Since then we have supported over 180,000 students and continue to support a further 40,000. We have made it our business to understand and provide a professional service to all our customers, regardless of their disability. We are dedicated to surpassing the delivery requirements of the Suppliers Service Level Agreement.