We have published a background information document about the Government’s open consultation “Improving non-medical help for disabled students in higher education: Government call for evidence”. Non-medical help (NMH) support is the name given to human support funded by Disabled Students Allowances (DSA).

Along with our colleagues from the Association of Dyslexia Specialists in Higher Education (ADSHE), the Association for Non-Medical Help Providers (ANMHP), the National Association of Disability Practitioners (NADP) and the Professional Association of Teachers of Students with Specific learning difficulties (PATOSS) we have provided insights and evidence about the questions in the consultation. 

We believe that some statements provided in the consultation document itself are misleading, and largely without evidence. For example, it states that a lack of integration of DSA provision may be a barrier to HEPs implementing the "generally preferred social model of disability".

Our document sets out a series of statements about current and potential future Disabled Students Allowances (DSA) provision, to inform responses. As a group of sector organisations who are experts in the operational and contextual aspects of DSA, we have created this document to provide, what we feel, is important additional information for you to consider before you respond to this Call for Evidence. 

We do not advocate for any particular model of support, however, we believe that Disabled students deserve the best quality support, and that alongside the Equality Act 2010, DSA is vital for ensuring that they can access Higher Education on a level playing field with their peers. We have campaigned for students to receive the best quality NMH support for many years, through our combined membership of the Disabled Students Stakeholder Group and in other ways, and believe this should be the focus of any future reforms. 

Although HEPs have made advances over the previous decades to become more inclusive, in reality they are far from achieving a state where non-medical help support is no longer needed (Disabled Students UK, 2023).

We are particularly concerned that the nature and timing of the consultation will prevent a large student response. We encourage students, those who work with students in HE and Disabled Peoples' Organisations to read our document and to respond to the call for evidence yourselves. We (UMHAN) will be publishing our own response on our website at a later date. 

To access our shared information document, please go to our weblink below, or download the PDF document attached.

Call for evidence - additional information document

Call for evidence - additional information document
University Mental Health Advisers Network (UMHAN). c/o The Moseley Exchange, 149-153 Alcester Road, Moseley, Birmingham B13 8JP Tel: 07510 734544 Registered charity number: 1155038. We use cookies to improve your experience using this website.
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