Studying with a disability and chronic illness

General information

The tasks of the representative for students with disabilities find their legal basis in the Higher Education Framework Act (§ 2 para. 4), in the Thuringian Higher Education Act (§ 5 para. 7 and para. 8) and in the basic regulations of Nordhausen University of Applied Sciences (§ 1 para. 7).

The tasks of the representative for students with disabilities essentially include coordinating the various offers for disabled and chronically ill students, representing the interests of those affected within the university and providing them with advice in individual cases of conflict. In any case, applicants and students with disabilities should contact the representative for students with disabilities as early as possible in order to discuss the necessity, type and scope of a disadvantage compensation and to enforce the claims.

The design of the compensatory measures must always be regulated individually. They must be applied for. Possible forms can be read in the recommendation for the implementation of disadvantage compensation for disabled or chronically ill students at Nordhausen University of Applied Sciences.

Representativefor the interests of disabled and chronically ill students at Nordhausen University of Applied Sciences is the head of the Study Service Center, Silke Umann.

Recommendation for the implementation of the disadvantage compensation for disabled or chronically ill students at Nordhausen University of Applied Sciences

Students with disabilities and chronic illnesses often have to contend with disability-related disadvantages when taking up and carrying out their studies, which result from legal requirements regarding the timing of studies and the design of certificates of achievement.

The universities are obliged, among other things, to create equal conditions for students with disabilities and chronic illnesses through the provisions of the Higher Education Framework Act, which have been converted into state law. Individually designed compensation for disadvantages is intended to prevent discrimination and ensure participation in university life. The ThürHG prescribes in § 49 (3) the inclusion of regulations for the compensation of disadvantages for disabled or chronically ill students in the examination regulations of the universities. At Nordhausen University of Applied Sciences, this has led to the inclusion of the following passage in most courses of study: "If the candidate can credibly demonstrate that he or she is unable to take examinations in whole or in part in the intended form due to a long-term or permanent physical disability, the candidate will be permitted, upon application to the responsible examination committee, to take the examinations within an extended processing time or to take equivalent examinations in another form.

For this purpose, the presentation of an official medical certificate may be required." guided. The arrangement of the compensation for disadvantages is the responsibility of the respective examination committee on the basis of a case-by-case examination. It is recommended that the following points be taken into consideration:

  1. As a rule, the disability or chronic illness must be proven by means of a severely handicapped certificate or, in the absence thereof, a certificate from an official physician.
  2. The nature and extent of the examination modifications should be discussed in advance with the student concerned and, if possible, already be the subject of the application. The contact person for the student is the Study Service Center and/or the respective examination board chairperson. In principle, there is no entitlement to a specific form of disadvantage compensation.
  3. Each form of disadvantage compensation must provide equivalent performance requirements. The following non-exhaustive list contains possible forms of disadvantage compensation:
  • Written instead of oral examination (e.g., for students with hearing or speech impairments).
  • Oral instead of written examination (e.g. for blind students)
  • Term paper instead of presentation (e.g. for students with hearing or speech impairments)
  • Time extensions for exams (e.g., for students with motor impairments)
  • Separate room for exams or placement at the edge of the exam room (e.g. for students with anxiety disorders)
  • Use of technical aids (e.g. notebook) or personal aids (e.g. sign language interpreter)
  • Consideration of periods of illness and limited ability to work in the assessment of examination periods and study achievements (e.g. extension of examinations for diploma theses, examinations, homework etc.)
  • Not taking into account examination withdrawals due to illness/disability in the number of possible examination repetitions
  • Replacement of compulsory attendance by other services (e.g. additional homework)
  • Modification of practical examinations through the use of assistants and technical aids; under certain circumstances, substitution by other performances
  • Modification of internship regulations, possibly also waiver of internship certificate
  • Modification of excursion regulations, possibly also waiver of excursion certificate
  • Modification of registration formalities for the enrollment of compulsory courses