Disabled Students’ Allowance

The Disabled Student's Allowances (DSA) is a non means-tested and non-repayable source of funding available to Home students, intended to help meet the extra disability-related costs incurred while studying at University. 

It's important to note that the support you receive from the University is in many ways independent of the support you receive through DSA, and if you choose not to apply for DSA you can still receive support from the University. However, certain types of support (particularly non-medical helper support such as specialist study skills tuition) are likely to be unavailable without the appropriate funding in place. 

Feel free to contact us if you have any queries, or find more information directly from your funding body: 

  • England 
  • Scotland 
  • Wales 
  • Ireland 

Aston Support Fund (£200 DSA laptop student contribution grant) 

If you are a full enrolled Undergraduate student, and your DSA confirmation of funding letter includes the purchase of a laptop, you may be awarded a one-off £200 grant to cover your contribution towards the cost of the laptop. See here for further information and eligibility criteria. 


There is an additional support fund available for disabled students who are on the Erasmus+ programme at Aston. For further information please contact erasmus@aston.ac.uk

What does ‘disclose’ mean and should I disclose? 

Disclose means giving details about the effect your disability or medical condition has on your day-to-day life. The information you give us will be used to assess what support is required. You are under no obligation to disclose, but if you choose not to, then you are unlikely to receive the full support you are entitled to. 

This would depend on the type of support you require. Generally, we liaise with your academic department, and, where appropriate, central University departments such as the Exams Office. 

Other departments or individuals may need to know so they can facilitate your support. For example, if you need a scribe/amanuensis and need to sit exams separately from your peers, the Exams Office would need to know in order to ensure you are placed in a suitable room.  

Any information that you provide will be dealt with confidentially and separately from your academic application. We will NOT contact your academic department without your permission. If your disclosure is 'limited' to either departmental staff or the Disability & Academic Support Team, the support available may be more limited. Although we co-ordinate support across the University, we may unable to arrange some type of support without the involvement of specific staff (i.e. exams, heads of department etc.). 

We recognise how important parental support can be for students at university and that some students may wish for their parents/carers to be able to contact us and be kept informed of support arrangements during their transition to university. However, we will need full written consent from students before we can disclose any information to a third party, and will be unable to discuss anything outside of support arrangements including (not exhaustively exam results and attendance). 

If you wish to discuss this further, please contact us using the details at the bottom of this page. 


Before you arrive 

In order to organise your support needs, it is important for us to receive the completed the Student Welfare Support Request Form along with supporting documentation or evidence as early as possible. The evidence must be translated into English to allow us to put any support requirements in place, ready for the start of your course. 

**Please note –International and EU students are not normally eligible for the same financial support as UK-resident students and we strongly advise that you ensure appropriate funding is in place before you arrive at university. 

Aston University will make every effort to help you find ways of paying for any support you need, but you or your sponsors may be asked to pay for resources or equipment such as personal care, study support workers, sign language interpreters, equipment or extensive brailing. You should contact us as early as possible for advice. 

When you contact the Disability & Academic Support Team, an appointment will be made for you with a Disability Advisor so you can discuss your support needs. If you are unable to come in to the University, a telephone or online appointment can be made. The Advisor will provide you with information about the services that are available and will discuss the support that can be recommended based on your condition/the evidence you have provided. If you believe you may have a Specific Learning Difference (SpLD) such as Dyslexia, then you will be put in touch with the Dyslexia Specialist to discuss further. 

If you have any queries about your support needs while at Aston then please contact us. 

Translated documents

Evidence must either be the original version written in English, or an original copy in a language other than English, accompanied by a translation. 

The translation must be by a professional translator, often referred to as a sworn translator in the EU. 

In the UK, one option is to use the Institute of Translating and Interpreting (ITI) 

However, you may find it more convenient to source a translator in your country. 

Additional support

Many of the services that the Disability & Academic Support Team provide or co-ordinate are open to all students with disability-related additional needs, regardless of nationality, and at no additional cost. Here are some examples of disability-related academic support that is available: 

  • Alternative exam arrangements such as additional time in formal exams and class tests, rest breaks, adapted papers e.g. enlarged font and a reader/scribe 
  • Reasonable adjustments in lectures e.g. consent to record lectures, accessible teaching rooms, hand-outs and lecture slide presentations in advance of lectures 
  • You can access the Learning Development Centre in the library for additional support with assessments 
  • We also have assistive technology available such as Texthelp Read &Write. You can see what assistive technology is available here 
  • Extended library loans 
  • Coping strategy tutorials to devise study techniques that are compatible with the type of disability you have 
  • The combination of these and others will depend on the nature of your condition and how it affects your studies. 
Personal Assistance

We are unable to provide support with daily living tasks for any students, irrespective of nationality, so you may need to think very carefully about any non-academic support that you may require, e.g. assistance with: 

  • Shopping, cooking and cleaning 
  • Laundry 
  • Personal care such as washing, dressing and toileting 

Please think about any daily living support that you receive at the moment from family and friends. In the UK, the people who you are living with might help you occasionally, if specifically asked, but the expectation is that you would not rely on this. If you require on-going personal assistance, we would expect you to employ a care assistant, and you would need to pay for this yourself or through your sponsor (if you have one). Charges will vary depending on the type of support that may be required, and arrangements would need to be confirmed well in advance of you arriving at University. The Disability & Academic Support Team can advise on potential local sources of personal care support if necessary, although we do not recommend any specific agency and accept no liability as regards all aspects of support provided by care providers. 

Wheelchairs will need to be provided by the student or they can be rented from a local mobility hire provider. 

We are happy to talk to you about financial assistance towards academic and non-academic disability-related costs, please be aware that any alternative sources of funding are likely to be limited and need to be applied for well in advance of your arrival.