What is DSA?

Disabled Students’ Allowance (DSA) is a grant that you don’t have to repay issued by the government to disabled and neurodivergent students whose learning at university is directly impacted by their condition and symptoms. The eligibility requirements are outlined here, where you can learn more about the types of disabilities which are eligible and how to apply for DSA. The question which many students often ask is “what DSA equipment can I be offered for my disability?” 


The equipment you are offered through the DSA programme will vary depending on your individual needs and diagnoses. However, this list will include as many potential options as possible to cover a range of support methods which you can use as a base for making proposals in your needs assessment of what you believe will support your learning. 


Forms of DSA equipment offered to disabled/neurodivergent students (depending on their eligibility requirements)


DSA equipment laptopLaptop

One form of DSA equipment which can be offered to eligible students is a laptop. The purpose of this is to provide learning support in a number of ways, but predominantly to be pre-loaded with various assistive technology softwares for the student. The specific model/size/weight/processor of the laptop offered to you will be taken into consideration based on your individual needs also. 


In terms of funding and costs for accessing a laptop through the DSA programme, students are asked to pay a contribution fee of £200, with the DSA funding the rest. You can watch this video for examples of the range of models potentially available to you, subject to your condition. 


Can I upgrade my DSA laptop offer?

There are opportunities for students to upgrade certain types of equipment offered through the DSA programme, and one of these is a laptop. Once you have been offered a specific laptop as outlined previously based on your individual needs, you can ask your needs assessor about the costs for potential upgrades and what is available. An example of this is if you are offered a mid-range laptop you could contribute additional funding to access a Macbook Pro, for a still largely discounted rate as opposed to if you purchased it outright. 


Can I ask for an iPad/Tablet instead of a laptop?

The reasoning as to why laptops are typically offered to disabled students as a form of learning support at university by DSA is due to the assistive technology software preloaded onto the device. If you have been issued any assistive technology software through the DSA programme it will be unlikely that you could ask to switch to an iPad or tablet instead of a laptop as then you would not be able to use the recommended software to support your learning. However, certain students have requirements which means they need a smaller/lighter/compact device to carry around with them due to their individual needs, so it has been known for DSA to issue iPads and tablets to students in the past, subject to their requirements. 


Monitor Screen

A form of study support issued through DSA can be a monitor screen. This can be beneficial in providing you with an efficient study space at home to complete lectures and assignments. 



Lumbar support

You can access physical support equipment through the DSA programme that you can use while studying at home to support your body and reduce pain levels. An example of this is lumbar support cushions, belts and seats to aid posture and relieve back, neck and other pain areas.


Jamworks Pro Subscription

Jamworks is assistive technology software which works with AI to record and automatically generate notes for students based on the information from their lecture. Disabled and neurodivergent students can access a Jamworks Pro subscription for free as part of their DSA offers and this can help to transform the way they access their learning at university. AI features included within the app are: 



Join our DSA Community for Disabled and Neurodivergent students
Join our DSA Community for Disabled and Neurodivergent students

You can find out how these AI features support the learning of various disabilities and conditions here, and the Jamworks DSA Community is a space where you can join to get ongoing support and information throughout the DSA application process. 


ergonomic keyboard dsa equipmentErgonomic Equipment

Students can access ergonomic computer equipment through the DSA programme which can help to alleviate pressure and stress from the wrists, joints and other body areas while studying. Examples of ergonomic equipment you can ask for are an ergonomic trackball mouse, regular ergonomic mouse and an ergonomic keyboard. You can also access various forms of keyboards, such as dyslexia-friendly keyboards and those suitable for visually impaired students.


dsa equipment dictaphoneVoice Recording Device

In addition to lecture recording software such as Jamworks, you can also access an individual voice recording device such as a dictaphone/microphone as part of your DSA offers. This can be used to record any content you may want to listen back to during revision time.


dsa equipment printerPrinter/scanner

Many students have received a printer/scanner and ink bundle as part of their DSA offers as this can enable you to access notes and study resources more easily from home.  




dsa equipment wrist restWrist support 

In addition to ergonomic equipment, you can also ask for a keyboard and mouse wrist support rest. This is typically made from memory foam which provides support to your wrists while typing and browsing.



adjustable desk dsa equipmentAdjustable desk 

An adjustable desk is a piece of supportive furniture which you could possibly request from DSA. This is a desk which can be used at various heights and supports students who may suffer from chronic pain and require a standing desk for periods of time. 



Noise cancelling headphones/earphones

Many students struggle with staying focused while studying, particularly when background noise is present. You can request noise cancelling headphones/earplugs through the DSA programme if this will improve your focus levels and support your learning.




Disabled students who have been issued various forms of equipment are often likely to be relying on access to power outlets on campus. However this is not always possible, which is why DSA can offer students a power bank as a form of learning support to ensure they can access their learning tools at all times. 




The reMarkable is a digital paper tablet which students can write on to take notes and upload to a cloud so that their notes are stored online. This can help disabled students as they don’t need to carry around multiple heavy notebooks with them and offers the same feel of paper for note taking preferences. 




accommodations for dyslexia orCam readOrCam Learn

The OrCam Learn is a device which uses a smart reading feature to detect words in print and translate into audio for you to hear what you need to read. This product can support dyslexic students by making content more accessible to them and can be accessed through the DSA programme. 



Laptop sleeve

If you are issued a laptop through DSA, it can be helpful to request a laptop sleeve to ensure it is taken care of and to prevent damage. 



Laptop stand

A laptop stand is another form of at-home study equipment which you can access through the DSA programme. This can help to place your laptop at eye-level to support posture and make learning more accessible. 



In addition to specialist learning equipment, you can access many other forms of study support through the DSA programme such as the following: 


Specialist Software

  • Speech to text software
  • Captioning software
  • Mind mapping software
  • Screen reading software
  • Note taking software


Non-medical Helpers

  • Mobility trainers
  • Communication support workers
  • BSL Interpreters
  • Specialist mentors
  • Assistive technology trainers
  • Sighted guides
  • Specialist one-to-one study skills trainers 


Additional travel expenses

  • Taxis or buses for access to campus and classes


Any other disability related costs needed to study 

  • Ink and paper for hard copies of study materials are required
  • Fridge for storing medication


Click here to join the Jamworks DSA community and get started with your DSA application today!

How to apply for the DSA

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