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Course providers welcome almost 30,000 disabled students each year, meaning there’s already lots of on-campus support available. Most course providers have disability coordinators and advisers.
If you have an impairment, mental health condition, or learning difficulty, it’s a good idea to contact conservatoires to discuss what you might need as early as possible – even before sending your application.
Funding for disabled students
You may be entitled to Disabled Students Allowances (DSAs) for physical or mental impairments, long-term or mental health conditions, or specific learning difficulties such as dyslexia. This funding covers the cost of the support you need – e.g. specialist equipment and nonmedical helpers – like a note-taker or reader.
- First you’ll need either a letter from your doctor or consultant confirming your impairment or health condition, or a diagnostic assessment of your learning difficulty from a psychologist or specialist teacher.
- Then you apply for DSA through your regional funding organisation – Student Finance England, Student Finance Northern Ireland, Student Awards Agency for Scotland or Student Finance Wales. It can take up to three months to arrange, so apply early.
- If you’re eligible you’ll then have an assessment to work out what you need – find an assessment centre near your course provider via the DSAs Quality Assurance Group website.
- Once everything’s arranged, the money will be paid directly to your service/equipment providers, or to your bank account.
Funding for care leavers
If you’ve been in Local Authority (LA) care you can apply for financial support from your course provider or your LA. Contact your personal adviser, social worker or LA case worker for advice.
Students not supported by their family (estranged)
Support is available for students who no longer have a relationship with their family and are not supported by them. This can include help with accommodation and finances, as well as health and wellbeing.
For more information, visit the StandAlone student website.