↵There is a lot of useful information and guidance available about applying for, and going to college or university, if you are a young person with a special educational need or a disability.
To find out more information, please click on any of the website, video or pdf links throughout this page.
If you have any queries after reading the information on this page, you can get in touch with Joe Fautley, a young person with Autism who has graduated from university and is now studying for a postgraduate degree, via the 'Ask A Young Person' online form on the SEND Local Offer Young People's Hub.
Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS)
The Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) website has a section for students with disabilities. It has advice, videos and links to information about subjects such as:
- Talking to course providers about your needs
- Accessing facilities
- Accessing your course
- Choose the right course for you
- Accessing study materials
- Assessment arrangements
- Assistance at university
- Applying for Disabled Students Allowances (DSAs)
- What to do if you need to arrange communication support.
Visit the UCAS website
Disability Rights UK
This organisation produces factsheets about a wide variety of further and higher education topics. They also run a dedicated Disabled Students Helpline.
- The 'Into Higher Education' guide (pdf) for disabled students
- Funding further education for disabled students (view the latest factsheet on a new webpage)
- Funding higher education for disabled students (view the latest factsheet on a new webpage)
- Frequently asked questions for disabled students (opens a new webpage)
- Disability Rights UK provide a Disabled Students Helpline (opens a new webpage) which can be called free of charge on 0800 328 5050. It is open every Tuesday and Thursday from 11am to 1pm.
Disabled Students Allowance
As a higher education student living in England, you can apply for a Disabled Students’ Allowance (DSA) if you have a disability, including a:
- long-term health condition.
- mental health condition.
- specific learning difficulty, eg dyslexia.
You must meet the definition of disability under the Equality Act 2010. The support you get depends on your individual needs and not on income.
Disabled Students’ Allowances (DSAs) are paid on top of your other student finance. They help you pay the extra costs you may have because of your disability. They don’t have to be repaid. How much you get depends on your individual needs - not your household income. If you’re a part-time student your ‘course intensity’ can affect how much you get.
If you are applying for Student Finance as well as DSA you should apply for Student Finance first.
Read more about DSA and how to apply on the Gov.uk website
Disabled Students Allowances Quality Assurance Group (DSA-QAG)
This organisation assures the quality of the assessment centres that students with disabilities have to apply to for an assessment for Disabled Student Allowances (DSA's)
You can find your nearest assessment centre on the DSA-QAG website
This organisation provides comprehensive accessibility data for many universities and their individual campuses and buildings.
Find out more on the DisabledGo website.
The Student Room (TSR)
- Applying to uni.
- Real life views of university from other students.
- Personal statements.
- Student finance.
- Relationships and health.
- Social life.
- Careers and jobs.
- News and entertainment.
Visit the TSR website
Gap Year Opportunities for Disabled Young People
This is a website that contains advice, information and case studies of young people with disabilities
who have undertaken challenging gap years.
Visit the Independent Gap Advice website