Adjustments and support available through the OU and DSA
The OU aims to make study as accessible as possible and a range of adjustments and support are included in modules for all students as standard.
Further adjustments are possible if you’re able to tell us about a disability and provide evidence. Find out more about who can get disability support.
The government funded Disabled Students' Allowance, is also available to provide further support for students in the UK (except for apprenticeship learners), the OU are also able to provide further direct support where needed.
The following are available as standard from the OU (you don't need to tell us about a disability or provide supporting evidence):
- Accessible module websites which allow you to adjust screen settings and use assistive technology such as screen readers. You can also access your module materials in a range of formats including Ebook (epub2), Kindle Ebook, Word versions (optimised for use with a screen reader) which you can print yourself, PDFs and DAISY talking books. Find out more about studying on a screen.
- Online tutorials, with support options.
- Assessment banking for some modules so you can spread your study over more than one academic year if you get behind with your studies.
- Extensions to assignment deadlines - if needed you can request these from your tutor for most assignments.
- Support for mental health and wellbeing, including Togetherall, which offers free, confidential online support 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
- Accessibility help and the Computing Guide (which includes an accessibility section) to help you use a computer for study.
- Computing Helpdesk who can help with installing OU software and technical problems running that software. Please note, however that they cannot help with third-party software or training you to use software.
Requesting specialist support
You'll need to complete the Disability Support Form to request further adjustments and provide supporting evidence of your disability or health condition. You'll need to provide supporting evidence for the specialist adjustments detailed on the form. More details on the types of supporting evidence you can provide are on Telling the OU about your disability.
After you've completed the Disability Support Form you'll be contacted by the Disability Support Team to discuss your study needs. We'll create a personal profile detailing the support you need. We'll also discuss with you other opportunities for support and funding, for example the Disabled Students Allowance.
The following are examples of the specialist support available from the OU:
- Alternative versions of module materials that are not available from the Resources section of your module website such as comb-bound versions of books and printed versions of module materials in a format that suits your needs.
- Loan of small items of assistive technology.
- Adjustments to face to face tutorials and other events.
The following are examples of support that can be provided via DSA funding if you apply for it, or, in some cases, can be provided by the OU:
- Non-medical help support (for example a learning mentor or study skills tutor).
- Communications support for D/deaf and hard of hearing students.
- Computer hardware and specialist peripherals (for example ergonomic keyboard or mouse).
- Adaptive software such as text to speech, screen readers or mind mapping.
- Ergonomic chairs and other furniture.
Find out more about the kinds of adjustments available if you have a disability.
Other OU support available
You can get adjustments to assessments, including adjustments to an end-of-module assessment. Contact your student support team (SST) for help with study support. Your tutor will also support you with any academic queries about your module.
Other support available to you includes: