DSA lobby campaign forces government u-turn

DSA degrees of discrimination

On Monday 7 April 2014, the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills announced changes to the Disabled Students’ Allowance (DSA) in England. They are planning on cutting DSA - gutting a support allowance vital to many students.

DSA is a vital support for many disabled students, helping many to access education. Research has shown that students receiving DSA are more likely to reach a first or upper class second honours degree than disabled students who do not receive an allowance.

The government intend to restrict those eligible to receive laptops and computers. Non-medical support like note-taking will no longer be covered under DSA, shifting greater responsibility onto institutions.

While well resourced institutions with fewer disabled students may be able to provide additional support, less well resourced universities and colleges with higher numbers of disabled students who will struggle to provide the necessary support.

On Friday 6 June, NUS coordinated a national constituency-based lobby of MPs – saying no to cuts to the DSA!

It is incredibly important that we outline how dangerous and damaging these cuts can be. At a time when the government has already made savage cuts to disabled people’s benefits and cuts to local government funding, we cannot let this continue.

With research showing 59 per cent of disabled respondents worried about not having enough money to meet basic living expenses, we need to stand up and say no to any further swingeing cuts.

Update: NUS and students force Government u-turn on cuts to Disabled Students' Allowance

On Friday 12 September 2014, the proposed reforms to the disabled students’ allowance will now not be happening this year after incredible campaigning work from students. Read the full response to the government's decision.