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DSA Information

Disabled Students' Allowance

Below are some of the most frequently asked questions about the DSA process:

What is DSA?

DSA is money that has been put aside to ensure that disabled students in Higher Education do not face additional difficulties when they study which could prevent them reaching their potential. In this context 'disability' can cover a range of difficulties and conditions - including:

Attention Deficit Disorder…Dyslexia… Dyspraxia … Epilepsy… Depression & Anxiety… An Autistic Spectrum Disorder… Chronic Fatigue Syndrome… Mobility Difficulties… A Visual or Hearing impairment… A Spinal Injury… Enduring Mental Health Problems… Cerebral Palsy… MS… And a lot more!

Find out how DSA could help you


Assessment Fee

The cost of the DSA Assessment is taken from a student's DSA Funding. The Higher York Access Centre will only charge a student a single assessment fee, that covers all work required for the duration of the course of study.

This includes:

  • Additional needs with which a student presents
  • Any activities undertaken by the assessor or centre to review the student's DSA support, for the duration of the original course.
  • Liaison with funding bodies, equipment suppliers, HEIs or other stakeholders for the purpose of review of the student's original needs.

Postgraduate and PGCE students may be eligible for a formal review of their needs, funded through the Postgraduate DSA.

  • All reviews must be authorised in writing by the Funding Body.



As is required by our DSA-QAG Key Performance Indicators, you will be offered an appointment within 15 Working days of Contacting us. Your Needs Assessment Report will be written within 10 Working days of your assessment.


How could DSA help me while I study?

Click here to find out!


How do I apply for DSA?

It can be quite a complicated and lengthy process, so it's a good idea to get started as soon as possible. Your first step is to look at the information provided by Student Finance England. Your Disability Adviser will be happy to guide you through the process, or you can contact us, and we'll be happy to advise.

Download an information sheet about the DSA process by clicking here


What can it pay for?

Disabled Students' Allowance funding can be spent on computer hardware and software, all sorts of enabling technologies and human support in the form of additional tuition or mentoring aimed to help you reach your potential in Higher Education.

What you will be offered will be the result of an assessment of your individual needs.


What is a Needs Assessment?

This will usually take place at an Access Centre and is simply a conversation between you and a specialist assessor to discuss your needs in relation to your course, and come up with some ideas about support and solutions.


What happens after the assessment?

The assessor writes a report which, once you've read and agreed it, is sent to your funding body (as well as your university and disability unit if you want it to). Student Finance should then approve the assessor's recommendations, and contact you to let you know how to proceed with getting the equipment and support.


How Long will it all take

Assessment Procedures and Timescales

The Higher York Access Centre complies with the procedures set out in the Quality Assurance Group for Disabled Students’ Allowances (QAG) Framework Policies and Procedures.

At the time of writing these are:

Before the Assessment

  • We will respond to your request for an assessment within 1 working day.
  • We will offer you an assessment date that is within 15 Working Days of your initial request, or put you in touch with another assessment centre.

The Assessment

  • Will take place in an appropriate space in accordance with QAG criteria.
    Will be conducted by an appropriate assessor.
  • Appropriate equipment will be available for the assessment.
  • The length of the assessment will vary from case to case, but is usually around one and a half to two hours.

The Report

  • Will be produced in a format that the student can access, this will be agreed at the time of the assessment between the student and the assessor.
  • Will be produced to QAG timescales, currently these are:
  • A copy of the report will be sent to the student within 10 working days of Assessment. HYAC give the student up to 10 working days to respond with any changes required. Changes in report are made if appropriate, sent back to student, if necessary, within 1 Working day.
  • Final Report will be sent to Funding Body, (and If permission given by student, also to University Department and Disability Unit). Within 1 Working day of receiving confirmation from student.

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Contact us

Higher York Access Centre
York St John University
Lord Mayors Walk
YO31 7EX
T: 01904 876542
E: accesscentre@yorksj.ac.uk