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.
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 Student 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:
Student support offered via DSA:
- Library Support Assistant
- Workshop/Laboratory Assistant
- Sighted Guide
- Proof Reader/Text Checker
- Study Assistants
- 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)
- 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):
- 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
- 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
- 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.
- 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:
We are proud to be members of
Get in touch with one of our team who will be happy to assist you
What we require from you?
Please send us:
- A copy of your DSA2 entitlement letter to firstname.lastname@example.org
- Your entitlement letter will have been sent to you by your funding body (e.g. Student Finance England, NHS, Student Finance Wales, Scotland, or The Open University).
- If you need any help, please email email@example.com
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.
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
First year Early Childhood Studies
Final year Catering and Hospitality
Second year Counselling student
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
Mathilda Warner, First Year Fine Art Student
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
Mathilda Warner , BA (Hons) Fine Art
Stephen - BA (Hons) Technical Theatre Student
“I want to kindly thank you for the BSL Interpreting support I have, it’s amazing. My coursework is challenging so I am really pleased with the support Complete Communication has provided me. I have also met lots of new people who are really nice that have supported me, I look forward to having my BSL Interpreting again in September”
Dave Bignell – Birmingham City University
“Please pass on my thanks to your in-house interpreter. She was absolutely fantastic. She went above and beyond and even helped me out with a few other areas etc. I am so grateful to both the company and the interpreter. The service has been superb.”
Faye Bullingham – Student at Coventry Univeristy
“I really want to thank you for all the support and care you have given to me while I have been at CU Coventry. You have really supported me with the notes and when I was having difficulties with getting access to the audios you made me feel I wasn’t alone. This was a huge thing as I have been mainly working online so quite isolating. You also spoke with the university and helped me get support. You were all very kind, whenever I emailed you I always had a response. The support you have provided me has been amazing and really helped me.”
Anonymous – Third Year Fine Art Student
Since 2020 and to this day, Complete Communications has helped me tremendously. The staff have been absolutely wonderful to work with and I would strongly recommend them. Thank you very much for your help over the last three years.