Are you a disabled student missing out on funding that could support your university studies, or being put off from attending because you are not aware of the support available? You are not alone!

A BBC News article at the beginning of August* showed that over half of students with a disability that impacts on their studies do not know what support is available to them to level the playing field and help them achieve their full potential through their degree.

Students with a range of disabilities can apply for up to £30,000 per year through the Disabled Student Allowance (DSA) arrangements to provide help such as purchasing assistive technology, British Sign Language support or Non-Medical Help (NMH) Mentoring, yet only 13% of students are told about the support by their school or college.

Our Mentors support students with a range of conditions such as autism spectrum disorder (ASD), mental health conditions or general learning difficulties such as ADHD. Students are referred to us for support after they have had a ‘Study Needs assessment’ and been approved by Student Finance England for additional help. They meet one-to-one with the student, usually in rooms at the university or in one of our offices to provide practical study support. Each student is unique, and the programme of help is tailored with them, to suit them.

If you have a disability that could hinder your progress at university, you should make an appointment with an Assessment Centre as soon as possible. You can find your nearest Assessment Centre by visiting the DSA website They will make a recommendation to Student Finance England and if accepted you will be advised on your next steps.

CSW Group Mentors working in several universities across the country such as Southampton, Exeter, Central Lancashire and Oxford. They hold professional qualifications and take part in regular CPD to ensure you receive the best level of support.

Meeting someone new and talking about your disability can be quite daunting but don’t be put off, Mentors can help you achieve your goals.

To find out more please talk to us on 02380 551 809 or email

Student Testimony – Ellie Chadd on her support at CSW.

The support and help that I have received through CSW during my time at Uni. The office could be accessed even when I didn’t have an appointment. Where there was always tea and tissue to hand when things got a little overwhelming. I have developed such a relationship with my mentor who made being away from home that little bit easier and has given me confidence in my own abilities. Helping me realise that we all have worries and concerns and seeking more adaptive ways to manage what I took on board, which was sometimes too much!! Being away from home wasn’t easy, having someone there so I didn’t have to go ringing my parents all the time really helped me find my own feet and showed me I can do it! The time I have spent here, and my journey is something I will take with me wherever I go, and I couldn’t thank my mentor and her team enough for helping me in my journey.

*BBC News website 13th August: