If you're a UK student, combining support and adjustments arranged by the OU with extra support and adjustments provided through government funding, Disabled Students' Allowances (DSA), will give you the best chance of study success.
You can request support from the OU using the Disability Support Form and can do this as soon as you choose your qualification. You can also make an application for DSA funding as soon as you’ve picked your first module as it can take four months to process.
DSA funding can provide specialist equipment, specialist software and personal support such as a dyslexia tutor. Often the equipment you receive is yours to keep.
Students that aren't eligible to apply for DSA
If you’re a non-UK resident or you're not eligible to apply for a DSA, you should still apply for OU support using the Disability Support Form. Your adviser will then discuss what equivalent OU schemes best suit your needs. For non-UK students further details are available in Disability support for international students.
What OU support provides
The following adjustments are available as standard from the OU:
- Recordings of tutorials.
- Assessment banking for some modules so you can spread your study over more than one academic year if you get behind with your studies.
- Different formats of study materials, made available from the Resources section of the module website including Ebook (epub2), Kindle Ebook, Word versions (optimised for use with a screen reader) which you can print yourself, and DAISY talking books.
You'll need to complete the Disability Support Form to ask for the following adjustments:
- Alternative versions of module materials that are not available from the Resources section of your module website.
- Comb-bound versions of module materials that lie flat, making them easier to handle and photocopy.
- Printed versions of module materials produced to suit your needs in terms of colour of paper, layout, font size and colour.
After you've filled in the Disability Support Form you'll be contacted by an adviser to discuss your study needs. This will result in a personal profile detailing the support you need from your tutor.
These adjustments are available from your tutor:
- Support to participate in online and face-to-face tutorials, for example tutorial notes in advance and notes after tutorials.
- A discussion to agree strategies for managing workload and staying on track.
- Agreement to arrangements for you to record tutorials where recordings aren't available from the online rooms.
If your specialist equipment isn't going to arrive in time for the start of your studies you can ask an adviser to contact you to discuss the strategies you could use in the meantime.
Other OU support available
You can get adjustments to assessments, including adjustments to an end-of-module assessment, speak to your tutor if you need these.
Other support available to you includes:
- Use of an advocate - details and guidance on how to apply for an advocate.
- Support and equipment at residential school - or an alternative learning experience if you can’t attend residential school because of your disability.
- Examination adjustments - if your module has an exam you can find out more about these nearer the time.
- Library services for disabled students - assistance with using the library.