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Accessibility - using a computer for OU study

Being distance learning, the majority of studying with the OU is done on a screen. To make screen use more comfortable you can make changes to your screen settings, or use offline versions of your study materials.

Some settings you can change on your computer or device to make reading on a screen more comfortable include:

  • changing the background colour
  • changing the font size and colour
  • using text-to-speech tools.

For advice on how to make working on a screen easier, and for alternative ways of working with your module materials, see Studying on a screen. For more details on accessibility tools, see accessibility in the Computing Guide. For information specifically about Adobe Connect, see Joining instructions for online tutorials and recorded events using online rooms (Adobe Connect).

Studying your module materials offline

You can study offline by downloading your module materials. There are different formats available, including DAISY talking books, Ebooks and PDF downloads.

You can find the additional formats for your module in the Resources section of your module website. Click on Downloads to see the list of formats available.

OU resources

External resources

  • SensusAccess

    Automated conversion service to convert material into a more accessible format.

  • My computer my way

    AbilityNet advice on how to make hardware and software applications suit you and your needs.

  • Ginger

    A contextualised spelling and grammar check tool available for desktop software and mobile apps.

Switching between mobile view and desktop view when on StudentHome

StudentHome will not automatically adjust to the size of the device you're using, however you can switch it to mobile view. If you're using a mobile device, use the arrow in the top right to view the option to switch to mobile view.

Screenshot highlighting arrow that opens mobile view on StudentHome and the words Mobile view also highlighted
Screenshot of where to find the StudentHome 'mobile view' switcher on a mobile phone.

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.

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 you with installing OU software and technical problems running that software. They can't help with third-party software or training you to use software. For the help the Computing Helpdesk can provide, and what information to have ready when you contact them, see our article asking for help with IT

The Open University Student Accessibility Policy

The Open University Student Accessibility Policy confirms our approach to promoting accessibility and ensuring all our students are effectively supported in achieving success in Higher Education. The full accessibility statement is available on the Accessibility hub for The Open University.

Last updated 11 months ago