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The Disabled Studentís Allowance (DSA) and Dyslexia

The Disabled Studentís Allowance (DSA) helps disabled people to study in higher education on an equal basis with other students.
DSA's are grants to help meet the extra course costs students can face as a direct result of a disability, ongoing health condition, mental health condition or specific learning difficulty such as dyslexia. They are paid on top of the standard student finance package and don't have to be paid back. The amount you get depends on the type of extra help you need - not on your household income.

Dyslexic people can often benefit from funding for specialist equipment (e.g. laptop computers, a dicta-phone, a printer, specialist software), extra tuition from a dyslexia qualified tutor and sometimes tinted lenses.
More details at

If you are dyslexic you will need an up to date diagnostic assessment for the DSA. If you have had a diagnostic assessment before you were 16 this can be updated (a Ďtop-upí assessment) otherwise you will need a full diagnostic assessment. This evidence has to be sent with your application for the DSA.

You will have to pay for any tests to establish whether you qualify for a DSA. If you need a test but cannot afford to pay for it, you may be able to get financial help through your university or college's Access to Learning Fund.
Access to Learning Fund: extra help if you need it (general education and learning section)

It is best to apply as early as possible for the DSA. Do not wait until you have been accepted on a course at university.

Details on how to apply can be found at:

A helpful booklet can be downloaded from: Download Bridging the gap: a guide to Disabled Students' Allowances in higher education 2010/11 (PDF, 684K)

Please contact me if you need a diagnostic assessment or a top-up assessment for your DSA.

Costs are:

Full diagnostic assessment for DSA £400.00
Top-up assessment for DSA £300.00
When an assessment takes place at an alternative location an additional charge will be made to cover travel costs.

A DSA Assessment should be conducted by a suitably qualified professional holding a current Practising Certificate in SpLD assessments (APC SpLD) issued by the professional association, PATOSS.
The report format and tests recommended in the DfES Working Party Report on Assessments in Higher Education should be used.
The assessor should be covered by Professional Indemnity Insurance.