Disability support

Support for disabled students is provided by our own Disability and Learning Support Service. Contact us about additional funding, disability legislation and policy, building access and additional arrangements for exams.

The Disability and Learning Support Service can help disabled students to apply for funds to cover the additional support they require during their studies.

Visit the Disability and Learning Support Service web page

Your Rights and Responsibilities: Claiming Disabled Students’ Allowance (DSA)

The Disability and Learning Support Service provides Needs Assessments for students applying for the Disabled Students’ Allowance (DSA). This is a joint process between you and a Disability Advisor or Specific Learning Difficulties (SpLD) Advisor. We advise that you have your Needs Assessment conducted at the Student Disability Service as we have an understanding of the context in which you will be learning. However there are many Access Centres throughout the country where you can also have a Needs Assessment.

Find a recognised Access Centre by postcode

We recommend that you contact us prior to the start of your course to arrange a Needs Assessment. Please note that there is usually a waiting list for a Needs Assessment during semester time.

Our responsibilities in helping you apply for Disabled Students’ Allowance (DSA) are:

  • To make appropriate recommendations that enable and empower you to become an independent learner
  • To ensure that all discussion is accurately captured in the Needs Assessment Report
  • To clearly explain the outcomes of the assessment and ensure you understand the DSA process
  • To work in a timely fashion to minimise delays to your support being put in place

If during the Needs Assessment the student or the Advisor feels the meeting is not productive, either party has the right to withdraw.

Your responsibilities in applying for Disabled Students’ Allowance (DSA) are:

  • If appropriate, submit a DSA application form to your funding body (if your funder is Student Finance England)
  • Provide us with evidence of your disability
  • Fully engage with the Needs Assessment process
  • Approve the Needs Assessment Report and sign the final copy in a timely manner
  • Adhere to the recommendations of the assessment, which may include attending 1-1 support e.g. IT training in the use of assistive software
  • Communicate with your funding body as and when required

If appropriate, return all receipts to your funding body

After the Needs Assessment we will:

  • Help you to understand the next steps in the DSA process
  • Communicate effectively with all relevant parties, e.g. your funding body, IT technology supplier and relevant academic staff
  • Provide you with training in the use of any assistive technologies recommended and organise 1-1 support, e.g. SpLD tutoring
  • Review and evaluate the effectiveness of any recommendations made by us, via an annual survey and informal feedback to Advisors


  • The Disability and Learning Support Service ensures that the waiting list for a Needs Assessment is kept to a minimum at all times
  • You will usually receive the draft Needs Assessment report within 10 working days of the assessment
  • There may be a delay if we have to make further enquiries or during our busiest time at the start of the academic year
  • You have a responsibility to comment on the draft Needs Assessment Report and sign the report as quickly as possible to reduce delays

Purchasing recommended equipment through Disabled Students’ Allowance (DSA):

  • You will be provided with a quote through our recommended IT equipment supplier. We strongly advise that you purchase any equipment through this supplier as they have specialist knowledge and experience of DSA.
  • However you are not restricted to purchasing equipment through this supplier. If you choose to purchase the equipment elsewhere, you must ensure that you purchase all items recommended in the Needs Assessment report including appropriate insurance and warranties to last the duration of your course.
  • Students funded by the Student Awards Agency for Scotland (SAAS) must return any unspent funds or, if purchasing equipment that exceeds that in the quote, must meet the difference through personal funds.

Help with disabled student funding applications