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Being an OU student
Being an OU student

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3 Support if you have a disability

As well as all the ways of getting help you’ve already looked at, the OU has a dedicated team to support you if you have a disability, long-term health condition, specific learning difficulty (such as dyslexia) or mental health difficulty.

You might not necessarily think of yourself as disabled but we use the term ‘disabled student’ to describe a student who has any kind of the following:

  • physical or sensory disability
  • ongoing physical health condition
  • ongoing mental health difficulty
  • specific learning difficulty (such as dyslexia)
  • Autism Spectrum Syndrome
  • speech and language difficulty.

There’s a variety of support available, including:

  • Disabled Students’ Allowance (DSA) to cover the additional study costs related to your disability
  • study materials in alternative formats
  • specialist equipment and software
  • personal study support such as a dyslexia tutor or mental health mentor.

If this is relevant to you and you haven’t already told us you have a disability, go to ‘Your profile’ in StudentHome (go back to the ‘StudentHome’ section of Session 2 if you’re not sure where to find this). Click on ‘Identity, needs and circumstances’ in the ‘About you’ column and there you’ll see an option to edit your details and tell us you have a disability.

If you already told us you have a disability when you signed up but haven’t yet requested any support, go to Timescales for getting disability support [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)] in the Help Centre. You might also want to browse around the Disability support topic to find out more about what’s available. You’ll need to provide evidence of your condition in order to access specialist support.

It’s important to request support as early as possible before you start studying as it can take time to arrange.