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DSA Equipment & Support Guide

DSA Equipment & Support Guide

The Needs Assessment Centre at Queen’s assists students to apply for the Disabled Student Allowance (DSA) or similar award by offering advice, guidance and support through the facilitation of individually tailored needs assessments. The DSA application form and other student finance forms may be found using SFNI's Form Finder.

The assessments are designed to help students determine the best possible solutions to assist with overcoming study-related difficulties experienced as a result of a disability, long-term condition / impairment, mental health condition or learning difficulty.

The recommendations made during the assessment may include equipment, software and one-to-one (ie person-to-person) support.  Any one-to-one support that is recommended is implemented and managed by the Register of Support Providers at Queen’s. For further details, please see the Students’ Guide to One-to-One Support.


What is the Disabled Student Allowance (DSA)?

If you are resident in the UK, as a student with a disability or long-term condition, you may be entitled to apply for the Disabled Student Allowance. 

The DSA grant award aims to ‘level the playing field’ between disabled students and their non-disabled peers by covering any extra study-related costs incurred through a disability, long-term condition / impairment, mental health condition or learning difficulty.  The award, which is not means tested, is made up of four parts:

  1. Specialist equipment allowance– to purchase items required to better support access to learning and teaching eg assistive technology (AT) software, hardware such as a laptop to support the aforementioned AT, digital voice recorder, ergonomic chair etc.
  2. Non-medical helper allowance– to cover the costs of one-to-one academic support (eg Note Takers, Dyslexia Tutor, Mental Health Tutor, Campus Assistant, Proof Reader, Library Assistant, Typist etc).
  3. General allowance– an annual payment of £150 to cover other disability-related expenses such as additional photocopying and printing costs.
  4. Travel allowance– to cover the difference between everyday travel costs you would normally have and any additional expenditure incurred as a result of a disability (eg the cost of travel to University by taxi instead of public transport).


Laptops / Printers

If you do not have sole access to a fully functioning PC/laptop to run the recommended assistive software, a laptop or desktop PC and a multi-function printer can be funded through the DSA award if required. 

ALL equipment and software is yours to keep when you graduate!!!! 


Individual Support Packages

Your support package will depend on your individual needs, preferences and course demands. Your Needs Assessor will help you identify the solution / combination of solutions that best fit with your personal requirements. 

The below list outlines examples of the typical support recommendations made during a needs assessment. 

There is a lot of support available so make sure you scroll right down until you come to your particular condition/disability.


*Please note that the allowances are administered by relevant funder - recipients do not receive cash sums.


Typical Support Recommendations

Specific Learning Difficulties (SpLDs) e.g. dyslexia, dyspraxia or dyscalculia

Mental Health conditions e.g. OCD, depression, anxiety, ADHD / ADD, bipolar disorder, working memory difficulties.

Autistic Spectrum Condition / Asperger’s Syndrome.

Visual Impairment

Hearing Impairment

Long term illness/condition e.g. Crohn’s disease, epilepsy, cancer, heart condition, scoliosis, fibromyalgia.

Physical/mobility difficulties e.g. cerebral palsy, hyper mobility syndrome, scoliosis.

Frequently Asked Questions