Brain in hand - personal technology for independant living

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Brain in Hand’s unique software is packed with features to help students reduce anxiety, remember events, feel supported and get the most out of their time at university.

Students can identify situations where they have difficulty and plan strategies in advance.  Smartphone technology means these are always available through the Brain in Hand App to refer to when needed and keep their learning on track.

Everyone uses Brain in Hand a little differently.  Your students might use Brain in Hand to reinforce academic strategies, or to support wellbeing, social/communication or behavioural strategies that will impact their ability to engage with their academic career.

Using Brain in Hand can also enable students and their Non-Medical Helpers to communicate effectively and develop the kind of support that works best for them.


Want to know more about Brain in Hand?

Get started now by accessing free training and webinars for HE professionals.

You can also find out more below about Brain in Hand and how your students can benefit.

Student User Stories


Below are a selection of short videos to give you an idea about how other students are using their Brain in Hand.

Also visit our case studies page to view more Brain in Hand user stories.


Hear from a selection of students as they describe the positive impact Brain in Hand has had on their life


Watch student Rosie King talk about her experiences with using Brain in Hand in her first few weeks at university:


Hear from students and staff at DeMontfort University, talking about their experiences of using Brain in Hand:

Visit DMU student stories to see the year one evaluation and read Holly and Saajan’s case studies.


Hear about The National Autistic Society’s work with Brain in Hand and from Daggy, a final year student, talking about Brain in Hand has supported her on her degree:


Watch a short video animation showing an overview of the Brain in Hand system:


Meet our other service users (non-student)…

Watch BBC South meet people using Brain in Hand as part of their social care provision:


Watch a short video from our users about how they have benefitted from Brain in Hand:



About Brain in Hand University Edition


Who is Brain in Hand for?

Brain in Hand is suitable for students whose condition impacts their ability to make decisions about, and respond quickly to, everyday challenges (typically students with impairment to executive functioning, memory deficit or a mental health difficulty, particularly anxiety).


What is Brain in Hand for?

Students may use Brain in Hand to identify, recall, reinforce and implement strategies they develop (independently, or with their NMH or university on-site support) to overcome the following barriers:

  • Planning, organisation, time management, establishing and maintaining routines
  • Problem solving
  • Working and short-term memory deficits
  • Initiating, monitoring or inhibition of actions
  • Monitoring and improving levels of energy, concentration, mood, anxiety, confidence, independence and motivation
  • Communication, engagement, participation and social interaction
  • Mobility and travel (in terms of travel confidence, motivation, access strategies, and managing associated anxiety).


What is in the DSA-funded package?

Students with Brain in Hand University Edition will receive:

  • Licence and subscription – students can access Brain in Hand throughout their university career, for as long as they are using it and finding it beneficial
  • Secure website storage – providing a structured framework for students to manage and organise their time, identify situations they find difficult, set goals, and plan strategies in advance on their Brain in Hand website
  • App and synchronisation for iOS and Android smartphone / tablet devices – the student’s Brain in Hand is always available to refer to when needed, to quickly find their best coping strategies and keep their learning on track
  • Traffic Light tool – gives students the ability to reflect on progress and monitor anxiety, as well as identify and reward successes and highlight difficulties
  • Timeline of app activity – to enable the student and their supporters to review progress and gain insight to identify patterns, highlight difficulties, celebrate achievements and keep improving
  • Notifications – to remind students about strategies for important activities and events, be aware of missed tasks, to remember to reflect, and to enable them to highlight a difficulty or let someone know that they need additional support
  • Remote support from a Brain in Hand Traffic Light Responder (in place for the first 120 days, extendable within the first licence year where beneficial to support independence) – a transition tool to help students make the best use of their technology when new to university; not a crisis service and not a replacement for Specialist Mentor / Study Skills (non-medical helper) or University on-site support.
  • Specialist Training– includes personal planning sessions to develop solution-focused and practical strategies within the Brain in Hand framework to support students to overcome barriers to learning and achieve their goals, as well as provide assistance with setting up Brain in Hand in a way that best suits the student’s needs.


How is Brain in Hand accessed?

The student’s Brain in Hand cloud-based account can be accessed via a secure website (webapp) using any internet browser – no software installation is required on a pc/laptop.

The Brain in Hand mobile app can be downloaded to smartphones or tablet devices from:

  • The Apple App Store onto iOS devices (version 8+)
  • The Google Play Store onto Android devices (version 4.0.3+).

A licence subscription is required to log into an account.


How is Brain in Hand delivered?


Student Registration

We ask all students to register with us online (or by phone) so that we can ensure we have the students’ contact details, HE Provider, the details of anyone they would like to nominate to help them arrange their support and also any communication needs or preferences.  This enables us to best match the student with a local Specialist Trainer.

At registration we also ask for a copy of their DSA2 letter to confirm their provision, check again that they have compatible smartphone / tablet device, explain what we do with their data and why, and confirm the next steps with them so they are fully informed.

Specialist Training

The student’s Approved Specialist Trainer will contact them to arrange their first session at home or at university.  We encourage students to invite their Specialist Mentor or another supporter (such as a family member) to their Specialist Training sessions if appropriate.

The student will need to arrange somewhere quiet for their session where they can use a laptop or pc connected to the internet for up to 2 hours each time.

Licence Activation

We will activate the students’ Brain in Hand licence remotely using by sending a secure link via email; although most choose to wait until during their Specialist Training session to set up their accounts.  If students choose not to schedule their first Specialist Training session we will always activate their licence remotely within 90 days of receipt of DSA2.

Traffic Light Response (TLR) Service

Students may receive remote supportfrom a Brain in Hand Traffic Light Responder if they choose to.  This is typically in place for up to the first 120 days (extendable within the first licence year where beneficial to support independence).  Thistransition tool helps students make the best use of their technology when new to Brain in Hand and new to university.  Traffic Light Response (TLR) is not a crisis service and not a replacement for Specialist Mentor / Study Skills (non-medical help) or other University on-site support.

Brain in Hand will match the student to the most appropriate TLR service for their needs. We will contact the student before 120 day to talk through their options for transition from service. Some students choose to turn this feature off, but some will nominate another supporter or service to receive their Traffic Light notifications.

A proportion of students or their HE Providers may opt to purchase a longer-term Traffic Light Response service for students who find them particularly beneficial or who are not engaging with their NMH or other university support provision.

Subscription Renewal

DSA will fund Brain in Hand for the student’s time at university, for as long as they are using it and finding it beneficial.

Brain in Hand will manage the renewal process direct with the student and the funding body.  At the end of each full year’s licence (from the date of licence activation), we invoice the funding body for the subscription only if it is being used; we pro-rata the value until August 31stin the student’s final year.


Using Brain in Hand with Your Students


Brain in Hand is not a replacement for a Specialist Mentor or Study-Skills tutor, but it can effectively complement the support provided by band 4 non-medical helpers or other university on-site disability and wellbeing support.


You can use Brain in Hand collaboratively with students as part of you regular Non-Medical Help sessions, to help you to:

  • Gain early warning of difficulties to reduce the risk of crises events
  • Better focus support sessions and adapt strategies according to detailed feedback
  • Develop person-centred tangible strategies ensuring ideas are used and remembered
  • Have greater understanding of patterns of difficulty to effectively target interventions
  • Build confidence and encourage independence by pinpointing and celebrating success.

Each student’s Needs Assessor may also have included specific recommendations for working with Brain in Hand within their Needs Assessment Report.


Download our NMH Supporter Guide to see how Brain in Hand can enhance your student support sessions.

View and share What is Brain in Hand? for an overview of the App.



Resources to Support You


There are a number of ways in which you can get a better understanding of Brain in Hand.


Awareness Training

If you or any colleagues are interested in finding out more about Brain in Hand we’d be happy to arrange a call or to deliver some on-site or online free training for your team.

Brain in Hand also runs regular webinars for education professionals.

Please register here to book a session.


Hear from our Students

Secondly, view and share the videos within our ‘Student User Stories’ section above to hear from students using Brain in Hand.  You may also like to visit our Case Studies page.


Download our Supporter Resources

Download our NMH Supporter Guide to use during your sessions.

View and share What is Brain in Hand? for an overview of the App.

Download our step-by-step guide to Brain in Hand Specialist Training to find out more.

Read about Traffic Light Responders to find out more about your student’s options for linking their traffic light notifications to someone else.


Download the Brain in Hand App

To download the Brain in Hand App please visit the Apple App Store on your iOS device, or the Google Play Store on your Android device.


You can log in to our HE demonstration account to see some of the strategies a student may put into their Brain in Hand:

  • Username: student@bih-demo
  • Password:  studentdemo

Please do not share this login details with students, as it does not have full functionality.


View our Student User Resources 

These, and many more resources for students with Brain in Hand, are also available on our University Student Support Page.

These include workbooks, tutorials, guides, and our policies and procedures.


  • Brain in Hand has helped me to solve all sorts of problems by myself, which has really built my confidence. For example, I have an issue with eye contact when I talk with friends. To solve this, I plan in advance what I can say to a person, which is something I put into my Brain in Hand.

    Brain in Hand user

    Read our case studies ›
  • I wish that there had been something like this when I was a headteacher of a challenging school for those individuals who were either autistic or suffered from anxiety. It would have added another level of support.

    Parent of a Brain in Hand user

    Read our case studies ›
  • “We can use Brain in Hand to help people to achieve those outcomes and use the data from the system to demonstrate this: You put the same things into Brain in Hand that are being measured by the council.”

    Brain in Hand user

    Read our case studies ›

Latest News

Brain in Hand on BBC Click

BBC Click is the BBC’s flagship technology programme, appearing on five channels across TV and radio as well as online. It aims to provide a user-friendly guide to the latest technology news in the context of today’s important issues. In a recent episode, BBC Click examined a technological approach to helping autistic people manage their read more


Resources for CPD Revolution

  It was great to meet you at the recent CPD Revolution event. I hope you found it useful, and I really want to make sure that we at Brain in Hand are doing everything we can to help you to support students using: A Tailored Approach Brain in Hand Specialists use a personalised, blended read more


Read all our news stories

Our case studies

Employable Me's Erica won't go to work without her Brain in Hand

Erica, 46 from the Wirral was diagnosed with Asperger syndrome when she was 32. She has been unemployed for the past six years. Erica finds social interaction at work hard, she feels people don't always understand her and sometimes see her as being less intelligent, because of her facial expressions. Read more >>

Read all of our case studies