University of York Students' Union (YUSU)

Blog

Why people should apply for DSA

Posted by Thomas Ron, 25/11/2013

Hello all

As the term draws to a close I just wanted to use this blog to talk about Disabled Students' Allowance (DSA).  DSA is a grant given by the government to disabled students to allow them the resources and equipment to succeed in university.  Students who apply for DSA and are successful can get an assessment of need to decide what they are entitled to, meaning that care is tailored to the student and there are no one-size-fits-all solutions.

Studies have shown that disabled students with DSA do better than those without.  DSA is used to provide all students with a level playing field.  Students who need DSA but do not use it are at a disadvantage, as they are expected to do the same as non-disabled students without having the help they need to do so.  Therefore, students should not feel like they are 'getting a free ride' or being 'lazy', as that is NOT the case, students are merely claiming the level playing field, and with the amount of money students are spending to go here there is no reason that they should accept a substandard degree when they could clearly do a lot more!

Other students also have an obligation to show support to their fellow students and not discourage them from applying for DSA.  While I am sure there are anecdotal stories about how bad life is and how some students did well without DSA, these are the exceptions, rather than the rule.  Not having DSA for some students would be the equivalent of asking someone to run a marathon with their legs tied together, it is probably possible, but there is no way that the results would be as good as someone who was unhindered.

Therefore, please, if you are elligible, please do apply, and if you think you might be, then try.  This is highlighted in the following report http://blog.iansyst.co.uk/disabilities-news-and-updates/1166/students-receiving-disabled-students-allowance-performed-better-than-expected-in-higher-education/

In addition, Student Support Services and Disability Services are launching a drive to ensure that students get processed for DSA, therefore it is incredibly important that we avail ourselves of this now, before the first set of exams passes and degrees are hurt