OU student? Use these steps to tell us about your study requirements; if you know what you need or just want to update your information go straight to Step 4
Work through these five steps to identify the support services and facilities that will enable you to succeed in your studies.
As you work through the links, make a note of the services and facilities you want to request, or of any questions you want to ask of your regional or national centre advisers.
You can print a Word version of this five step checklist (DOC, 54KB) to work through as your time allows.
Read the sections that apply to you, to consider how OU study may relate to your circumstances.
Consider what studying with the OU involves and make sure that the module you want to study has the facilities you need
You can find out what it's like to study with the OU at What is distance learning?, and your module description will tell you about how you are expected to study and what materials are included. Please take particular note of the description section ‘If you have a disability or additional requirement’, which mentions any aspects of study that might be difficult for students with particular disabilities. For example, students may need to access audio or visual material, or take part in online tutorials.
If you need an alternative to the standard study material, such as comb-bound materials or audio format, go to Accessible study materials. Use your module code to find out what further options are available.
Consider whether you will need additional equipment or communication support for your studies
Specialist equipment could assist or even be essential to your studies: it can be used at home, at tutorials, or at residential school.
Communication support is available to enable D/deaf students to participate fully at tutorials and residential schools.
You may be eligible for a Disabled Student's Allowance, in which case you should get any recommended equipment or communication support using that funding (see Step 5).
Complete the general services and equipment request form to tell us about your study requirements and the services you need
Tell us what you need online (or in Word or PDF format). Alternatively, we can take your details over the phone if you can’t complete the form yourself.
Forms will normally be processed within 15 working days, but applications from students who are about to start their study will be prioritised over those starting later.
Some services can take several months to arrange so, whatever you decide, please let us know your requirements as soon as possible so we can make arrangements for you in good time.
You can ask for help or advice at any time.
You needn’t worry about any requirements you may have for residential schools or examinations at this stage: we will contact you about these nearer the time.
Once you have completed and submitted the request form check whether you can get a Disabled Student's Allowance to help with the costs of study
If you are a UK student you may be eligible for a Disabled Student's Allowance (DSA), which is a government grant for disabled students in higher education, and is provided to help with the extra costs needed for study.
DSAs can help pay for
Use the short DSA eligibility quiz to find out if you can apply for a DSA.
We strongly encourage you to apply for a DSA if you are eligible as it can help you to fully participate in your studies by providing support for you at home, in tutorials and at residential schools. This is in addition to many of the services and facilities provided by the OU.
If you are eligible for a DSA, The Open University will only provide study support that cannot be provided by a DSA.
Contact your regional or national centre for further advice.
You should tell your local education centre as early as possible, and prior to registration, if you need support because of a disability. Please liaise with them to discuss the support you feel you will require. Your local education centre will then contact us to explore the type of support which can be provided. We will only use the information you give us to help you in your studies.
Take part in the DSA eligibility quiz to find out if you are eligible for funding. It should take you less than three minutes to complete.
If you are eligible for a DSA, The Open University will only provide study support that cannot be provided by a DSA
If you have any queries about a module, finance or the support you would receive, please contact the Student Registration & Enquiry Service.
For DSA, examination arrangements, and some other financial or equipment schemes you will need to provide written evidence of additional needs. This evidence is usually a diagnostic assessment or medical report but will depend on the individual situation. As this can take a considerable period of time to arrange it is advisable to think about this well in advance.