A new report into the Disabled Students Allowance
On the 9th March a new report into the Disabled Students Allowance (DSA), a grant for disabled students in higher education, was published by Lord Chris Holmes.
In 2019/20 just 29% of known disabled students in higher education in England and Wales received DSA.
Bureaucracy, hoop jumping, inconsistency, delays and poor communication were just some of the insurmountable barriers described by students who had gone through the process of applying for the DSA.
The report makes a total of 20 recommendations and calls for change across government and the education sector in re-designing support, including improved communication and ‘passports’ to assist in the transition from school to higher education and on to work, as well as better use of technology. Read more here.
The findings in the report echo the findings GDI Hub and Snowdon Trust uncovered during the Disabled Students Survey last year. In this report we heard from students who described fragmented services and the wearing need for continuous self-advoacy to ensure their learning needs were met.
"There are constant roadblocks that you have to negotiate just to get to zero - just to literally get to a baseline that other people already reach.”
Read more from the Snowdon Survey here.
All to often we hear about how the systems that are designed to support disabled people, can be inaccessible and fraught with difficulty.
Education is for everybody.