DSA can fund specialist equipment, non medical helpers, travel and general costs - awards are based on your situation, as established during the needs assessment.
The total award is capped and varies for full time and part time students. Awards are not means tested.
Students who are undertaking unpaid placements totalling 10 weeks or more in the academic year can get support with placement needs so as a nursing student expect to see placements considered in the assessment.
Examples of support provided to nursing students include:
- Non medical helpers including British Sign Language interpreters, coaching.
- Specialist equipment such as digital voice recorders, with portability considered if the equipment would be useful on placement as well as at university.
- Travel costs to attend placements by taxi.
- Small fridges for essential medication storage.
There is an approved supplier list for selecting non medical helpers. You do have the right to choose your supplier from the approved list, and you can change supplier if they are not meeting your needs.
If the support should be funded elsewhere (eg. mobility equipment via the NHS, reasonable adjustments by the university or placement provider) DSA will not fund it.
If you have a smartphone or computer that can be used, you shouldn't expect an alternative to be funded. For example, if you can record voice notes on your phone this would be an acceptable substitute for a digital voice recorder during lectures. However this almost certainly wouldn't be acceptable on placement as you would be carrying patient notes on a personal device.
Rules around provisions of computers are complicated. If you require a computer to undertake your course and the need is due to your disability (eg. need for a very lightweight portable device) it may be possible and you may need to pay the first £200.
Go to your needs assessment with an idea of what would help you and make notes of any queries you have. Raise anything you believe has been missed during your needs assessment and get clear information on why anything is out of scope.