‘Poorer disabled students will be cast “adrift” if the Conservatives plough ahead with planned cuts to the specialist assistance they need at university, ministers have been told.
A government impact assessment seen by The Huffington Post reveals the “negative” consequences for disabled people if universities do not step into fill the funding gap
From September, universities will be expected to provide some of the money currently given out by the government in the Disabled Students’ Allowances (DSA).
The DSA grants help pay for the additional costs that disabled students incur while studying - such as the purchase of computer equipment or specialist accommodation.
A 2015 assessment carried out for the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills released under the Freedom of Information Act warned of the impact of the changes.
“Students from low income backgrounds may be less able to fund their own support if the institutions do not fully mitigate the effect of the proposed changes, and so could be affected more from the proposed changes,” it said.
“These students are more likely to be mature students, and from a minority ethnic background.”
The assessment also said “disabled females, those aged 25 and over and those from low income backgrounds could be disproportionately affected” by the cuts in funding for computer equipment.’ – Huffington Post