Fund for Students with Disabilities (FSD)


An overview of the funding and funded support available at DKIT for you in your studies. Advice about how and when to apply for this support.


The Fund For Students With Disabilities (FSD) 

The Fund for Students with Disabilities (FSD) is a source of funding provided to Institutes and Universities to help assist students with Disabilities throughout their time at Third level education. The fund ensures that students have access to equipment and or assistance they may need.  Full information available on:  HEA (Fund for Students With Disabilities)

Examples of some of the supports provided under the FSD are as follows. 

  • Assistive Technology Equipment and software 
  • Assistive technology training 
  • Learning and Academic supports 
  • Personal Assistants 
  • Note Takers 

The FSD won’t cover costs that all students would have to pay for, like buying textbooks or standard laptops or tickets for the bus to and from college.

The funding supplied by the FSD is not given on an individual basis. Students who require additional support should meet with our Disability Officer to discuss their needs. Most autistic students who have been officially diagnosed with an autistic spectrum condition, and are studying on an eligible course, are entitled to support under the funding for students with disabilities – it is not related to any other benefits.

NB: We recognise that not everyone who has an autistic spectrum condition would use the word ‘disabled’ about themselves. This includes a lot of the students we spoke to in our surveys. However, the funding for disability fund is the main way to access support for your study needs at the start of your course and beyond, so it is important to know all about it.

General Student Finance (e.g. tuition fees)

Students are often eligible to apply for a grant which can help to pay for college tuition fees and to help with living costs Student Universal Support Ireland (SUSI).   Other financial supports can be availed of and is communicated through student emails and on the DkIT Student Finance section e.g. 1916 Bursary, SAF.







How could this affect me?

Autistic students who seek additional support are less likely to drop out of college and more likely to achieve their full potential.

Whether or not you received, or felt you needed support during school, college life is very different from the type of study you have been used to and getting the right support in place can make your life a lot easier. Additional supports are intended to level the playing field for students who have disabilities, long-term conditions, mental health conditions, autism and specific learning difficulties like dyslexia and ADHD.

Students in our Autism&Uni surveys who told the college about their autism and got support early in their course were more likely to enjoy their time at college and graduate with good grades than those who didn’t get any support.

The timing of the support is important too – students who had all their support in place before the end of the first semester had a much better experience than those students who did not access support. This means getting in contact with our Disability service as early as you can is a very good idea.

You can also choose to access support at any point throughout your studies, even if you haven’t previously told the college about your autism, or you receive a diagnosis of autism following commencement of your studies.

Your support can also be reviewed and amended at any time if you find your needs have changed during your course or the support you have in place is not really working for you. Your Disability Officer is available for you to contact at any point.

What to do next?

Contact Our Disability Service

Practical tips


We would encourage you to contact our Disability service team as soon as possible in order to talk about the support available to you and ensure any adjustments are made in time for your arrival at our Institute.


Questions to think about

  • How do you feel about making notes in lectures, where most of what is said does not end up on a whiteboard or the PowerPoint slides? It is also not possible to write down every word that is said.
  • Would being able to record lectures help you?
  • How do you make and organise your notes when reading or revising?
  • Do you enjoy going to new places?
  • Do you find new places easily?
  • Does it help to have someone with you when you go somewhere for the first time?
  • What are you most excited about when it comes to your course?
  • What would you like to know more about or might need support to do before you get excited?
  • How do you feel about group work?
  • How do you manage your free time?
  • Are you always on time for appointments without help from someone else?
  • Do you like to be in busy, lively places or quiet places?
  • How do you find out about new topics?
  • Do you find it easy to organise your ideas and structure them in writing?
  • Do you find academic writing easy? How about spelling, punctuation and grammar?
  • Would you like somebody to talk to about your autism who has a good understanding of both autism and university?
  • Do you have any other conditions like dyslexia, dyspraxia or ADHD?
  • Does it help you to read information from the internet if you can print it out?
  • Who supported you with your work at school and what did they do that was helpful?
  • What helps you when you’re stressed? Music, exercise, art, reading, playing games, talking to others?
  • Did you use any tools like visual schedules, social stories, coloured overlays, coloured paper or alarms to help you at school or college?
  • How do you feel about talking to people about your autism, including tutors and other students?