Posted by: MandyS | September 29, 2011

Activity 9.1 – sources of funding

The following funding is available for OU disabled students:

The Disabled Student’s allowance:

It is a government grant to cover study support costs. To be eligible for a DSA you need to be a UK resident, have a proven disability be studying towards a qualification of at least 120 credits, and be studying a minimum number of credits per year. A DSA covers specialist equipment and software, non-medical help, a general allowance and travel costs. Each award is very specific and tailored to each individual student’s particular needs.

Access to Learning Fund (ALF):

This is a means-tested fund, based on your financial circumstances, and available to some students (although not in Scotland) who are not eligible for the DSA.

Equipment loan schemes:

If you are not eligible for a DSA, relevant equipment can be loaned from the OU through the equipment loan schemes (listed below) on an annual basis, or for the duration of the studies.

  • Access Technology Loan Scheme – If a student is not eligible for a DSA, this OU scheme (ATLS) may be able to provide free loan of various types of equipment, to help with your studies.
  • Small equipment loan – Small items of equipment can be borrowed from the Disability Resources Team by students not eligible for a DSA.
  • Interim Kit Loan Scheme – Students who have applied to the DSA, or the OU’s Access Technology Loan Scheme, but who do not yet have the specialist equipment they need, can apply for a loan of equipment until it arrives.

Disabled students may also be able to claim Disability Living Allowance and Incapacity Behefit

For students studying law the following is available:

The Graham Rushton Award for Blind and Parially Sighted Law Students is a grant of around £7,000 for which blind and partially sighted people can apply.

The Law Society has the Diversity Access Scheme, although this is only available for students going on to study the LPC in order to qualify as a solicitor.

The Bar Council does not appear to have any specific scheme, which would apply to disabled students wanting to become barristers, but there are Bursary’s and Scholarships available.

I also came across this site Skill: National Bureau for Students with Disabilities which details various sources of charitable funding.




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