Preparing to fill in the Disability Support Form
Think about the following points before filling in your Disability Support Form or talking with an adviser about what will help you with your studies.
Taking longer to study
Will your disability mean you'll take longer to study?
- Ask for your record to include help from your tutor to identify strategies for you to manage your workload and stay on track, such as advice on study priorities and substitution.
- Think about what you'll do if you fell behind with your study. Take a look at our guidance on falling behind and defer from modules.
- Look at options for adjustments and support available through the OU and DSA.
Making notes if you find it difficult to take in information
Does your disability mean you find it harder to take in meaning and remember what you’ve learnt? How will you make notes?
- Make sure your record includes a request that your tutor should provide information in advance of online and face-to-face tutorials so that you have additional time for reading and processing information and that you can add notes to during tutorials.
- Use the recordings available of online tutorials, but don't get bogged down in the whole recording.
- Make brief notes or use a symbol to indicate important points on the notes you get before the tutorial, and on any handouts during the tutorial.
- While you're listening or watching any of the recordings, skip to those parts that deal with the important points you've missed or need to clarify. If you need further clarification then email the tutor about these specific points.
- For information on accessing recordings of online tutorials see Making the most of tutorials.
Getting information from online or print text
What will help you get information from online and print text more efficiently and effectively?
- Look at varying the background and font colours and size.
- Look at the formats of materials available for your course and think about using a variety of ways of studying - mixing reading online with reading from printed versions and listening to audio versions.
- Make sure your record includes information for your tutor about how any information they present or give to you as handouts needs to be formatted.
To find out how you can set up your computer to better suit your needs take a look at AbilityNet's My Computer My Way which tells you how to change the font size or colour and the background colour of any online study pages. You can also type questions into any search engine to find specific answers to your queries.Back to top
Getting information from audio and visual materials
Will your disability make it difficult for you to get information from audio/visual materials?
- Look at options for adjustments for your course
- Take look at the adjustments options for if you're blind or partially sighted or if you're Deaf or hard of hearing.
Specialist equipment and software
Do you need specialist equipment or software to use a computer? If so, make sure you apply for Disabled Students' Allowances to fund this.
Attending face-to-face tutorials
Will you be able to attend face-to-face tutorials?
- If you’re not able to attend face-to-face tutorials because of your disabilities make sure your record includes a request for alternative individual support sessions via email or telephone.
- If you're able to attend face-to-face tutorials but will need certain facilities like a designated disabled parking space make sure you tick the appropriate facilities on your Disability Support Form in the tutorial section.
- If you need something that isn’t on the list make a note of it in the tutorial section of the form.
Attending online tutorials
What will you need to be able to take part in online tutorials?
- Make sure your record contains instructions to the tutor about how to manage the tutorial so you can participate fully; for example if you're deaf and not using an interpreter the tutor needs to offer you some time after the tutorial to clarify anything you’ve missed using the text facility.
- If you’re not able to attend online tutorials because of your disability, make sure you know how to access the recordings of these tutorials and your profile includes a request for alternative individual support sessions via email or telephone if the recordings aren’t enough.
Let us know if you prefer to communicate by email, particularly if your disability means you cannot communicate by phone, or if by phone, what time of day.Back to top