We have a number of services described on this page that should enable you to study successfully.
You might need to think about accessing study materials, taking notes and producing written work, as well as whether you will need any alternative arrangements for your examinations or at residential school.
You can contact your regional or national centre to talk about the services and support you might need.
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 study adviser is available for contact at certain times through your period of study so that you can discuss your requirements. A small amount of additional time may be available for one-to-one contact with your tutor.
The OU advisers at your local regional or national centre can discuss 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.
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OU study materials are delivered in a variety of formats, including books, websites and multimedia. You may have additional study requirements, and if so the OU can provide
If your preference is for PDF files, you should check the availability and accessibility of PDF files for your subject before you register. Not all PDF files are equally accessible: mathematics, science, music and foreign languages may be particularly difficult to access. Read the module description to see what types of study materials are included.
You can check accessible study materials for more information on the alternative formats we can provide. If you require more information, contact your regional or national centre.
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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, including
Additional arrangements can be made where there is clear evidence of need and agreement is given by the Examination and Assessment Board. Examples of additional arrangements include
Further information, including how to request alternative arrangements, can be found in the main examination arrangements area. Do look at the information as soon as possible as you will be required to gather evidence of your needs and that can take some time.
If you think you will need any additional arrangements for your tutorials please contact your regional or national centre well in advance to discuss your requirements.
If your study includes a residential school you should consider whether you’ll need an assistant as you may need more support than you usually do at home or at work. For example an assistant could help with
If you have a Disabled Students’ Allowance this might include payment for a non-medical helper to act as your support assistant. 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.
My study tip is based on a question. The question is "How do you eat an elephant?". Advice from a lion - "A bit at a time".
Therefore, no matter how hard a task is, break it down into small chunks and it will become much easier.
I frequently read a passage from a book or lecture into my MP3, so I can hear it again and again while I wash up, do the garden, walk the dog etc.
If you have any queries about a module, finance or the support you would receive, please contact an adviser in our Student Registration & Enquiry Service.
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.
If you have restricted mobility or manual dexterity - due to the loss or permanent paralysis of one or more limbs, and/or a severe permanent mobility impairment that affects your physical coordination and ability to walk, lift, carry and perform day to day tasks - you may be able to get support with your first 30 or 60 point undergraduate module fees from the Open University’s David Godson Disability Award. Read the guidelines to see if you are eligible and then use the form to apply.