Telling the OU about your disability
It's your choice whether to let us know about a disability or health condition that may affect your study. We’re more interested in you and your needs as a student than in your disability as such. It enables us to support you more effectively if we know your specific requirements.
If you haven't yet told us that you have a disability, you can do so by completing the Disability Support Form. You'll only need to provide supporting evidence with the form if you need specialist support. For more information and links to the form see Timescales for getting disability support.
See what standard adjustments and support the OU provides at Adjustments and support available through the OU.
Providing supporting evidence
Providing evidence will help us to better understand your needs and develop a support plan for you.
Suitable evidence can include:
- a medical evidence report completed by a medical professional
- a letter from a medical professional such as a GP, signed, dated and on headed paper
- a letter or report from a medical doctor or qualified Practitioner for temporary conditions (alternative and complementary therapists are not accepted)
- a letter from a religious leader for support relating to religious beliefs
- an Educational Health and Care Plan (EHCP)
- a Statement of Special Educational Needs (SEN)
- some benefit statements such as a Personal Independence Payment (PIP)
- a full diagnostic assessment report confirming a Specific Learning Difficulty
- a Disabled Students' Allowance (DSA) Needs Assessment report or entitlement letter
- a copy of a Certificate of Vision Impairment or a letter from an audiologist
- proof of registration as a blind or partially sighted person from the Social Services Office
- a copy of your blue badge
You can upload your evidence with the Disability Support Form or send it to us by email or by Secure File Transfer. Full details of how to send us evidence can be found in Timescales for getting disability support - sending us your evidence.
You can send your evidence by post if you can't send it any other way. We do not recommend doing this as it will delay your application. Postal addresses can be found in Contacts for disability support.
If you’re concerned that you’ll be asked to pay for evidence, from a GP for example, we can discuss this with you.
This evidence is held securely, and only ever seen by staff who need to make a decision about what specialist support you can receive.
How we use your disability information
When you give us any information about your disability we need to keep a record. This is so we can put in place the support you need to help you study successfully. This information is only available to those who provide the support or who need to see it so that the information and advice they provide takes into account your disability without you having to repeat what you have previously told us. It’s particularly used by your tutor to make sure they can adapt their teaching to meet your requirements. We're also required to share information with third parties (non Open University organisations) when dealing with funding applications such as Disabled Students' Allowances (DSA) for example.
The information you give via the Disability Support Form will be used to create a summary of your support needs (usually called a profile). You will be able to see this summary and can request for it to be changed or updated at any time.
As is the case when communicating with all our students, we may record our phone calls with you to make sure that we have carried out your instructions correctly, and to help us improve our services through staff training.
The information you provide will be used and managed in line with the Student Privacy Notice.
You can contact the Disability Support Team if you have any questions about providing supporting evidence or the kind of support you can expect to receive.