In January 2019, Chris Skidmore, Universities Minister, released a statement following the conclusion of DfE research, praising the support that the DSA provides to disabled students, stating that more than half of students who receive the DSA said they would not have felt confident about completing their degree without it.

We are pleased to have been given the opportunity to contribute to the Association of Non-Medical Help Providers feedback to the DfE regarding their research and evaluation of the effectiveness of DSA.

We were able to summarise the key findings from the full 111-page report.

Key recommendations included:

  1. The need for improved awareness raising and information of DSAs for students.
  • A review of  the DSA application process to reduce obstacles to successful application and to improve completion rates through to the final award stage.
  • The need for a clearer ‘road map’ that sets out the process of accessing support and  which details who needs contacting and how, and how long they can expect to wait.
  • That the DfE gives keen attention to ensuring that vital Specialist Mental Health Mentor support is understood and accessed by the increasing number of students with mental health conditions.

The report concluded that at an overall level, DSAs support is broadly meeting the needs of students with over half (55%) of those in receipt of DSA agreeing that the DSA support they receive meets all of their needs.