Cuts to the Disabled Students’ Allowance

 

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In the studio with the Magic Hands team. Most of the team is deaf.

In the recent reshuffle David Willetts has been succeeded as Minister for Universities and Science by Dr Greg Clark, whose portfolio also includes a Cabinet Office cities and constitution brief, which is a worrying dilution of attention. I will be writing to Greg Clark to ask him to scrap the recent changes to the Disabled Students Allowance. 

Earlier this year, David Willetts set out to “modernise” the DSA. What he seems to have achieved are measures that simply guarantee deaf and disabled students will not be able to perform as well as others.

There is no doubt that people with dyslexia will be affected by these changes to the DSA. Many will fall into the category of having a ‘mild’ disability. Universities are now required to take on the provision of their support and I am concerned that institutions do not have sufficient knowledge and experience to provide what’s required. How, also, are we to decide who has more complex needs and who’s needs are ‘mild’?

I also work with a number of young deaf colleagues. Many of them, as students, received the DSA, as was, and benefitted hugely from the help it gave. The new changes will be very discouraging to those with disabilities who are keen to enter higher education. This is to be regretted by everyone.

In the recent reshuffle David Willetts has been succeeded as Minister for Universities and Science by Dr Greg Clark, whose portfolio also includes a Cabinet Office cities and constitution brief, which is a worrying dilution of attention. I will be writing to Greg Clark to ask him to scrap the recent changes.

More information about the changes can be found on the following websites:

https://www.gov.uk/disabled-students-allowances-dsas/overview
https://www.royalholloway.ac.uk/studyhere/educationaladvisorsandschools/stem/blog/blogentries/proposedcutstodisabledstudentsallowances(dsa).aspx

There is an official e-petition against cuts to the disabled students allowance which will be considered for debate by the Backbench Business Committee should it pass the 100 000 signature threshold. If you would like to join the campaign, please sign here: http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/63748

 

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