Studying and a visual disability / limitation

Studying with a complete or partial loss of vision and/or visual field requires extra effort, regardless of the cause of the impairment. Each visual limitation has its own characteristics, where the environment cannot be seen and interpreted properly. As a student with a visual impairment, you may encounter various obstacles that make studying, attending lectures, and taking exams challenging.

  • What can you do yourself

    Timely engage the assistance of the study adviser of your programme. Inform about your situation and discuss (at the beginning of your studies) what kind of support you think you'll need. Make agreements together regarding this.

    The study adviser can provide advice and guidance on the available support and facilities within your programme such as:

    • periodic counseling sessions,
    • support for communication with teachers/mentors,
    • assistance in organizing and planning your studies,
    • assistance in organizing examination accommodations such as extended test time, additional lighting, the use of a laptop with specialized software, or an accessible test format.
    • Tips
      • Make sure that relevant parties are aware of your visual impairment by either self-disclosure or by utilizing the services of your study adviser,
      • Ensure that teachers are informed in advance (through the study adviser) about how they can accommodate your impairment.
      • Establish clear agreements regarding information sharing (such as via email), for instance, request the teacher to email notes,
      • For classes and presentations involving visual material, ask for a summary or explanation beforehand,
      • Use a voice recorder or audio note-taking tool for making notes,
      • Keep the lighting on while studying. Adjust the contrast on your laptop.

      Information for Higher Education students with support needs:

      Dealing with a visual impairmentexternal link

  • What support is available at the UT

    As a student facing personal circumstances, you can seek assistance from various support staff at the UT for study guidance and necessary accommodations. They will work with you to help alleviate any obstacles and minimize study delays caused by your circumstances.

    • Engage in discussions with the study adviser of your program if you're facing challenges due to your personal circumstances. The study adviser can provide advice on course selection, creating a modified study plan and timetable in case the circumstance has caused study delays. The study adviser also offers support in communicating with teachers within your programme and in organizing necessary adjustments and accommodations such as:
      • Extra time
      • Individual testing space
      • Modified lighting
      • Enlarged text on paper
      • (Personal) laptop with IT support (e.g., magnification software, text-to-speech software, voiceover, personal braille display)
      • Alternative assessment methods
      • Quiet room for test-taking, breaks during exams, or dividing exams into parts
      • Paper color adjustment.
    • If your impairment leads to mental health issues, the student psychologist provides support. During an intake, the student psychologist advises on a suitable course of action in your situation. Make an appointment with your general practitioner or the student psychologist if your situation warrants it and you require a personal conversation and advice about your circumstances.
    • The student counsellor is available for impartial advice and (financial) support arrangements in cases of study delays due to your impairment or issues. Consult the student counsellor for advice and practical assistance if you anticipate challenges in the study environment due to personal circumstances.

    Supporting documents and medical certificate

    If you would like to make use of the facilities and arrangements, consult the step-by-step plan. Proof of your personal circumstances is required to claim facilities and arrangements.

  • Useful self-help resources
  • External support
    • Babbageexternal link(Dutch) Assists individuals with visual impairments in making information accessible. This can include tools, software adjustments, guidance, and training (including using specific statistical software like SPSS) for work and study situations.
    • Dedicon external link(Dutch), Service for digitizing study books into an adapted accessible format.
    • Visioexternal link, Expertise center for individuals with visual impairments.