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Accessibility - using a computer for OU study

The Open University Student Accessibility Policy confirms The Open University's approach to promoting accessibility and ensuring all our students are effectively supported in achieving success in Higher Education. The University's full accessibility statement is available at The Open University website accessibility statement.

There are many adaptations you can make when using your computer such as increasing the font size and colour, changing the colour of the background and using text-to-speech output tools. The term ‘accessibility’ is often used to refer these tools.

Here we tell you where to find more information about general computing accessibility, accessibility advice for module websites and OU online tools, and how to switch between mobile and desktop view on StudentHome.

The Computing Guide Online accessibility section includes:

  • configuring Windows
  • computer adaptations
  • web browser accessibility
  • Microsoft Office suites
  • online tutor-marked assignments (TMA) submission system
  • module website and online tools accessibility

Switching between mobile view and desktop view when on StudentHome

StudentHome will not automatically adjust to the size of the device you're using whereas the Help Centre (for example the article you're reading now) and your module website will.

If you’ve found yourself in StudentHome in mobile view on your desktop, you can switch back to desktop view by scrolling to the foot of the page and clicking on Switch to desktop view. You won't find this option if you're on your module website or in the Help Centre.

If you're using a mobile device, use the arrow in the top right to view the option to switch to mobile view.

Screenshot of 'mobile view' switcher on a mobile phone.

Screenshot of where to find the 'mobile view' switcher on a mobile phone.

Where to find alternative formats of your module material

Alternative formats of your module materials, such as DAISY talking books, can be found in the Resources tab on your module website.

Useful resources

External links

  • My computer, my way from AbilityNet provides advice on the many ways you can make your keyboard, mouse, Windows, the internet and favourite applications suit you and your needs.
  • Ginger - is a contextualised spelling and grammar check tool. Available for desktop and mobile. As well as working with word processing software, it can also be used with popular websites such as Facebook, Gmail and Twitter and with your browser.

Contact the Computing Help desk

If you're unable to find the help you need using the resources in this article, contact the Computing Helpdesk.

The Computing Helpdesk can help with installing OU software and technical problems running that software. They cannot teach you how to set up and use the software. Our article asking for help with IT explains more about the Computing Helpdesk and the information they need from you when you contact them.