Assistive technology and funding
A common outcome from a Disabled Students’ Allowances needs assessment is a recommendation for the purchase of specialist equipment (assistive technology). It may also include training on how to use this effectively.
Who buys the equipment recommended in my needs assessment report?
You will need to contact your funding body (eg Local Authority, Student Finance England or NHS Student Bursaries) to find this out. They may purchase the equipment for you and arrange a delivery date, or they may ask you to buy the equipment yourself and provide them with receipts. Individual funding bodies vary in their approach to this, so you should always ask.
What happens if it is recommended that I need a computer?
When you have a Disabled Students’ Allowances needs assessment, the assessor will recommend the most appropriate solution to overcome any study-related disability difficulties you may have. This is to allow you to have the same level of access to your study as other students.
If your assessor decides that the most appropriate solution is to recommend a computer (either laptop or desktop) they will include this in your report. It is up to your funding body to decide whether they agree to purchase the recommendations made in your assessment report however.
You are strongly advised to keep to the original recommendation made in your report. This will be the best solution to your difficulties and complement any other recommendations made. However, you may be able to negotiate with your funding body about whether you receive a laptop or desktop machine.
How is my need for training identified?
Your need for training is normally agreed as part of your needs assessment. A copy of your assessment report is then sent to your funding body (normally your Local Authority, NHS Grants Unit or Student Finance England). The funding body will then confirm whether they agree to fund the recommendation made for you to have training.
How is my training paid for?
Your training will normally be paid for from your Disabled Students' Allowances. You will need to arrange payment between your funding body (eg Local Authority) and the trainer that is identified in your needs assessment report.