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Disabled Student Allowance Support

Are you thinking about going to university?

We know that deciding and moving to university or college can be an exciting and stressful time. At Complete Communication, we aim to make this transition as smooth as possible. We have years of experience in providing educational support (Non-medical helpers) via Disabled Student Allowance (DSA) to support Deaf and disabled students to be able to access education and workplace settings. We pride ourselves on ensuring the support we provide matches with the students and course needs. We are also a member of the Association of Non-manual helper providers.

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What we do:

We spend time to ensure that support is tailored to your needs and course requirements Monitor all academic support to ensure DSA funding or equivalent is not exceeded. Provide consistent support and support professionals throughout your education and employment journey​. We can assist with getting set up with DSA.

Disabled Students Allowance Funding (DSA)

What is DSA?

DSA is additional funding which may be available to meet any additional study related costs that you may incur, as a result of your disability. Students with a range of disabilities can apply, including those with:

Visual impairment

Deaf or Hearing impairment

Specific Learning Difficulties (e.g., AD(H)D, dyslexia or dyspraxia)

ASC (Autistic Spectrum Condition) or Asperger Syndrome

Physical or Mobility impairment

Mental Health

Unseen disabilities or medical conditions (such as epilepsy, diabetes or allergies)

Student support offered via DSA:

  • Library Support Assistant
  • Reader​
  • ​Scribe
  • Workshop/Laboratory Assistant
  • Sighted Guide
  • Proof Reader/Text Checker
  • Study Assistants
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  • Exam Support Worker
  • Mobility Trainer
  • Manual Notetaker
  • Specialist Notetaker (Deaf/Hard of Hearing students) including Electronic NoteTaker
  • Specialist Notetaker for Deaf/Hard of Hearing students – Respeaking
  • Specialist Notetaker (VI Students) – including Braille
  • Specialist Notetaker for Deaf/Hard of Hearing students – Speech to Text Reporter (STTR)
  • Specialist Transcription Service
  • Communication Support Worker (CSW)
  • Communication Support Worker with British Sign Language Users (CSW-BSL)
  • Lipspeakers
  • BSL/English Interpreter – Includes Interpreter for the Deaf or Deafblind People
  • Specialist Mentor – Mental Health Difficulties (MH)
  • Specialist Mentor – Autism Spectrum Conditions (ASC)
  • Specialist one-to-one Study skills and strategy – Specific learning disability (spLD)
  • Specialist one-to-one Study Skills and Strategy Support – Autism Spectrum Conditions (ASC)
  • Assistive Technology Trainers (AST)
  • Specialist Support Professionals for Deaf Students (HI)
  • Specialist Support Professional for students with Vision Impairment (VI)
  • Specialist Support Professional for students with Multi-sensory impairment (MSI)

DSA funding can only be used to cover the cost of things that the student needs directly related to their disability and how it affects their academic studies. It cannot be used to pay for things that all students need, like rent or tuition fees, which is when student finance come in.

Am I entitled to DSA?

If you meet the UK residence criteria, are studying at degree level and have a disability, illness or specific learning difficulty then there is a good chance that you could be eligible. Generally, you have to be on a full or part time ungraduated or postgraduate degree.

What can DSA cover?

DSA funding is divided into three parts:

Basic Allowance – general costs related to your course and incurred as a result of your disability e.g., printing, Braille paper, etc.

Equipment Allowance – used to buy any recommended equipment required to undertake your course due to your disability, such as computing equipment, assistive software and other technical aids.

Non-Medical Helpers Allowance (NMH) – pays for personal helpers e.g., notetakers, mental health mentors, sign language interpreters and study skills support.

Please note that every DSA application and assessment is individual to the student, and recommendations are based on that individual student’s needs, related to their disability and course.

How to Apply for Disabled Students Allowance (DSA)

To have the best possible chance of Complete Communication Services LTD supporting you through your education, follow the steps below when applying for your Disabled Students Allowance (DSA):

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  1. Make sure you have a doctor’s note confirming your impairment or health condition, or a diagnostic assessment of your learning difficulty from a psychologist or specialist teacher.Apply for DSA via Student Finance England
  2. Arrange your Study Needs Assessment. You can find an assessment centre near you, or your course provider, using the DSA Quality Assurance Group website – with this link
  3. Attend your Study Needs Assessment – this is an informal chat with an Independent Needs Assessor, it is not a test. You’ll be asked about your course, and what challenges you experience as a consequence of your disability. During the assessment, ask your Assessor to call Complete Communication LTD for a quote for your non-medical help.
  4. After the assessment:
  • You will receive your Awards Letter, which will tell you what equipment and support has been approved for you.
  • Contact Complete Communication LTD to arrange your support.

What can you expect from us?

We are here to make your education journey as smooth as possible. When applying for Disabled Student Allowance, ask them to recommend Complete Communication LTD as your NMH provider and in return you will receive:

Student focused and tailored support

Highly skilled and qualified support professionals

Hassle-free support and access to our unique online portal

A dedicated team of skilled and knowledgeable professionals

Support that adapts to your needs

We are proud to be members of

Next steps

What we require from you?

Please send us:

What to expect from us?

Please send us:

  • Once we have received your entitlement letter, we’ll be in touch within one working day to take some additional information.
  • We’ll discuss with you the type of support you have been recommended and introduce you to your Student Support Worker.
  • We aim to complete the set up of your support within three working days.​

Do you have questions?

We are here to make sure that your journey into higher education is as smooth and hassle-free as possible. If you have any questions about going to university, studying, the student lifestyle then please do get in touch!​

Get in touch with one of our team who will be happy to assist you

Going straight into employment?

Are you considering going straight into employment but are unsure about what support may be available to you? Get in touch to find out about the Government funded (Access-To-Work) scheme and how it can help you gain and remain within employment. Further details can be found on our Access-To-Work page, here.

What our students
have said

First year Quantity Surveying

“I am very impressed to how this ‘remote notetaking’ works. . . It has totally changed my perspective on this, for the good.”

First year Early Childhood Studies

“Marvellous and exemplary support. I am remarkably pleased with it.”

Final year Catering and Hospitality

“I really appreciate the variety of support that I was given and also the personal touch that was provided”

Second year Counselling student

I only wish I’d been assigned to your company from the start on my course. The last year would have been so much easier with access to this support I need.

I can honestly say that, were it not for you, I would have left and would be in a much worse place with my mental health right now.

Thank you so much for supporting me!

Katie O'Connor, First Year Law Student

Complete Communication has gone, what’s felt like, above and beyond to be a helpful and kind advocate. My Notetaker speaks up in class regarding my access and support and will always stay until the end of the lecture, no matter if it runs over. They recently quickly provided a live transcript when I was unable to hear a conversation I’m usually able to hear.

Mathilda Warner, First Year Fine Art Student

I very much look forward to working with Complete Communication again. Can I just say this loud and clear, they have been absolute stars!

Second Year Integrative Theory and Practice Counselling Student

“Complete Communication have surpassed my expectations and I really appreciate their help. They always listen attentively and greet me in a friendly manner and additional support is always given if I am ever stuck.”

Jo Warner, Parent of a student

“Thank you to Daryl and all the team at Complete Communication for the support and care they have shown to my daughter Mathilda in her first year of her Fine Art Degree, They have been professional, accommodating and very efficient. Most importantly they have shown an understanding of Mathilda’s personal circumstances and needs, and done everything they could do get the best possible support for her in college. Her allocated note taker has been fantastic. She has developed a wonderful relationship with Mathilda, and provided a very impressive level of support. The support from the team has played an integral part in Mathilda’s success this year. Thank you again.”

Mathilda Warner , BA (Hons) Fine Art

“Regarding my notetaker from Complete Communication, I just wanted to say that she has been an absolute joy to work with throughout the past year. As we all know it has been the direst of straits during this past year and five months thus it has been a real comfort to have her bring a smile to my face every time I work with her (both virtually and on campus). I cannot begin to count the amount of laughs we’ve had together when doing my course! Thank you so much for allocating her to me.”

Some of our amazing clients include