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International students - disability support

This information is for students who live outside of the UK, the Channel Islands, the Isle of Man and the Republic of Ireland. It also applies to UK students who may be outside of their country for some period of time and may need assistance with special arrangements such as exams.

It’s important to understand how the OU defines the term ‘disabled’, as although you may not consider yourself disabled there may be support available to help your specific needs. For further information, see Who can get disability support.

Equipment

You may apply for any of the loan schemes we have available, however each application will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis to assess exactly what can be provided for you. See Specialist technology and personal support for further details.

Exam arrangements

Arrangements such as home exams and those requiring extra facilities will require additional discussion by us with international venues and the staff supporting them. It is therefore essential that you notify us of your needs at the earliest opportunity, so that we can do our best for you. This can be done at the same time as when you book your exam.

Residential school

At residential schools we provide additional support and guidance through a team of specialist staff. See Disability support at residential school for more information.

Specific learning difficulties, assessment and support

If you have a specific learning difficulty such as dyslexia, we’ll do our best to offer the flexibility and services you need to study effectively. If you’ve already had an assessment for a specific learning difficulty you’ll need to check whether it will be acceptable for arranging additional exam arrangements. You’ll need to contact your student support team to check this. Contact us to find out how to contact your student support team.

Finding out about specific learning differences

You may find the following useful sources of further information:

  • The European Dyslexia Association is a European umbrella organisation for national and regional associations of people with dyslexia and other DYS-differences.
  • Dyslexia and Literacy International provides a list of Associations in their Country Directory.

The following checklists can help you to think about your potential needs:

  • The British Dyslexia Association (BDA) dyslexia checklist helps you to think about current indicators.
  • The Open University dyslexia checklist (DOC, 298.5 KB) which goes into more detail and includes some of the questions you may be asked if going for a full assessment.

Funding for support and diagnostic assessment

You may have to pay for any additional support you require, outside that which the OU can offer, as we do not have funding to help you with this.

You’re advised to contact your home government for information of any funding that may have available, in the first instance.

Contact us about your situation

Please contact your student support team if you have any additional requirements as a result of disability and / or specific learning difficulty such as dyslexia.

Alternatively, you can tell us about your support needs by completing the Disability Support Form.