Applying for DSA

As I mentioned in my update, from September I’ll be starting an MSc Psychology. When I spoke to the disability adviser at my new uni, she suggested I apply for Disabled Student’s Allowance (DSA) to give me some further support.

First, together with my disability adviser, I filled in the application form, which was surprisingly easy. It required a lot of personal details, but in terms of medical details, all it needed was the names of the conditions, and some medical evidence. On the advice of my adviser, I sent off every piece of medical evidence I’d ever had, just to be on the safe side.

After about 4 weeks I got a letter from Student Finance England (SFE) inviting me to an assessment. There were 2 centres in my city (and they seem to have loads all over the country) so I booked an appointment for the following week (amazingly, they could have seen me 2 days after I rung, but I was away). Before my assessment, the centre asked me to fill out a questionnaire describing my needs, as well as tell them about all the technology I owned.

The assessment itself was super helpful, the assessor I saw was really supportive. To start off, she knew what PoTS was. I’ve never met anyone who just knew before! We worked through each area of studying, discussing what methods I currently use to manage and what might work better. She demonstrated lots of software I could use, and recommended some new equipment (including a laptop!) and a further assessment for ergonomic furniture. She also went above and beyond, suggesting places I could look for housing and jobs, which definitely wasn’t part of the assessment!

Following the assessment, I received a written report, covering everything we’d discussed and outlining all the equipment she’s recommended for me. Now all I need to do is order my new things, and I’ll be all ready to study in September!

If you found this useful, have a look at Tips for Studying as a Spoonie!


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