We recognise that if you have any additional requirements or a medical condition such as
you may not consider yourself disabled. However, you could have particular requirements to do with your studies or attending residential school.
We have a number of services described on this page that should enable you to study successfully.
You might need to think about reading and accessing study materials, taking notes, producing written work, managing workload, preparing for examinations and attending tutorials or residential school.
You can contact your regional or national centre to talk about the services and support you might need.
If fatigue, pain or medication affects your studies, your tutor or support staff at your regional or national centre can advise you about the best way to cope.
You may be eligible for a Disabled Students’ Allowance (DSA) to help you fund study-related support. Use the short DSA eligibility quiz to find out if you are eligible. If you are DSA eligible the University will only provide study support that cannot be provided by a DSA.
Your OU tutor or a study adviser is available for contact at certain times through your period of study so you can discuss your requirements. It would be useful to discuss any study strategies at the beginning of your study so they know how to help you.
If you are ill and unable to study for a while it does not necessarily mean that you have to give up the module. The University calculates continuous assessment scores in such a way that it is not always necessary to pass each assignment. We can advise you about the best course of action. It may also be possible to arrange some additional tuition or a telephone tutorial.
The OU Learner Support team in your local regional or national centre can deal with any queries you might have. Centres are open Mondays to Fridays, 9am - 5pm.
The Evening Advice Line is available out of office hours, phone 0870 3331444.
If you cannot attend tutorials it might be possible to arrange individual tuition, perhaps by telephone. You can also ask for flexibility with assignment submission if your studies are affected by your condition.
Excusal from residential school may be possible, but is usually granted only if your needs cannot be met. We encourage you to attend, and try to support your needs by allowing you to take rest breaks. You should consider whether it would be appropriate to take an assistant.
Some modules don't permit excusal from residential school but provide an alternative learning experience instead.
You may be eligible for a Disabled Students’ Allowance (DSA) to help you purchase specialist equipment.
If you are not eligible the University has equipment available for loan, such as
You may also want to think about special equipment for residential school and what accessible study materials might be available. Speak to an adviser in your regional or national centre for further advice.
Additional arrangements will be made where there is clear evidence of need and arrangements are agreed by the Examination and Asessment Board. Examples of additional arrangements include
Further information, including how to apply, can be found in the main examination arrangements area. Do look at the information as soon as possible as you will be required to provide evidence of your needs and that can take some time.
If you think you will have particular requirements when you are away from home or work, for example at a tutorial, we encourage you to consider taking an assistant with you. An assistant can help you with
Please let staff and fellow students know if there is a chance of an acute episode such as a severe asthma or epileptic seizure and, in particular, whether medical help should be summoned.
If your study includes a residential school you may find an assistant particularly helpful. If you have a Disabled Students’ Allowance this might include an allowance for a non-medical helper to act as your support assistant at residential school. Alternatively we can usually supply an assistant from our register or you can bring a friend or relative who is familiar with your requirements and able to assist you. In either case the OU will cover the cost of your assistant's meals and accommodation if you are not eligible for a DSA.
Early in your module we will send you a list of available equipment at residential school and ask what you might need. Much of this equipment will be to do with domestic requirements at residential school, but you can also ask for other equipment to save you carrying extra items on your journey. There are more details about residential schools on this site.
Treat the study planner as generic to your personal calendar. The study planner has module deadlines and important dates. Take the info it has and enter it into a spreadsheet because a spreadsheet has drag functions which save much, much time on dates entries. Make sure every day of the relevant months is entered not just the important ones that the study planner shows. The aim is to create a more personalised calendar. So then enter the important personal dates that are not available as study time. Now you see the study time you have available. Determine how much study needs to be done by each deadline and divide into daily chunks across the study time available. This really helps you catch up if you fall behind later on.
We encourage all students to tell us about any illness, medical condition or other additional requirement that could affect or interfere with their studies during the year, at residential school or at examination time. This enables us to advise you about the various kinds of support and flexibility that are available.
If fatigue, pain or medication affect your studies, your tutor or support staff at your regional or national centre can advise you about the best way to cope.
If you have any queries about a module, finance or the support you would receive, please contact an adviser.
For DSA, examination arrangements, and some other financial or equipment schemes you will need to provide written evidence of additional needs. This evidence is usually a diagnostic assessment or medical report but will depend on the individual situation. As this can take a considerable period of time to arrange it is advisable to think about this well in advance.