Brain in hand - personal technology for independant living

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Hoping to start University this autumn? You’ll be getting ready for a summer of exams, securing your course, and preparing to live somewhere new.  Mental illness, or a neurological condition like autism, shouldn’t prevent you from succeeding – but planning ahead makes change less stressful. Brain in Hand’s system helps thousands of students to plan ahead while at university, and we also want to make sure you have the resources to start planning for your studies now.

Knowing that the right support is waiting for you at the other end makes it much easier to start this exciting new chapter – and we’d like to help you secure that support.

Here’s one thing you can do that could transform your life as a student.

Disabled Students’ Allowances cover some of the extra costs you have because of a disability: a physical or mental impairment which has a long-term effect on your ability to do normal daily activities. If your disability includes impaired executive functioning, memory deficit, or difficulties with anxiety, then DSA can fund Brain in Hand for you to help you overcome these difficulties. DSA does not need to be repaid, and it won’t affect your other student finance – but you need to start the process now.


Why we’re experts in what helps

In the last three years, Brain in Hand has worked with experts including the National Autistic Society and Medvivo to support hundreds of DSA funded students. A Brain in Hand specialist works one-to-one with you to plan your daily living, your timetable, and strategies for unexpected challenges. Your Brain in Hand then travels with you on your smartphone or tablet. You have discreet, personalised support in your pocket everywhere you go – and if you need extra help on the spot, the system puts you straight in touch with a remote supporter to help you get back on track.

Students tell us that it makes all the difference. Holly is autistic and uses the system at De Montfort University. Last year she spoke to the BBC about how it helps:

“I need a lot of prompts, not just for studying, but simple things like washing and cooking. Brain in Hand does that.”

Hundreds of students like Holly acted early and are now getting ready to graduate. That’s why we’re urging you to start your application process for Disabled Students’ Allowance. It takes up to 14 weeks to secure your funding; starting right now could mean that you’ll have everything set up and ready in plenty of time for your first semester.


How to apply

The first step is to complete an application. The forms you need depend on where you live at the moment (not where you’ll be studying). Here are links to the right application forms for your area:

Northern Ireland
Isle of Man

You can also use the Student Finance England Interactive DSA Guide to find more information about how to apply for DSA and what DSA can be used for.

Our friendly, disability-confident team have years of experience helping people navigate the difficulties of university life and funding. We’ll be on hand to answer your questions, signpost you to local services who can assist with the application process, and provide all the right guidance to help you as your application progresses.

Give yourself one more reason to feel confident about University: start your application today!

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