Students with disabilities or chronic illnesses

Studying successfully

FAU’s Liaison Officer for Students with Disabilities is the person anyone interested in studying who has a disability or chronic illness should contact to discuss all matters relating to studying at FAU (admission to the degree programme, accommodation, accessibility).

Students with disabilities and/or chronic illnesses can also contact the Liaison Officer for help when studying (e.g. organising adjustments to examination arrangements).

Advice is both constructive and confidential.

When is someone considered to have a disability?

German Social Security Code (SGB) 9 Book 2 paragraph 1 SGB IX

‘Persons are considered to have a disability if it is highly probable that their physical or intellectual ability or mental health will deviate from that which is generally expected for their age for a period of more than six months, thereby affecting their ability to participate in society. They are at risk of disability if it is to be expected that they will be affected in this way.’

Art. 1 and the preamble to the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

‘Persons with disabilities include those who have long-term physical, mental, intellectual or sensory impairments which in interaction with various barriers (meaning employment and environmental barriers) may hinder their full and effective participation in society on an equal basis with others.’

When is someone considered to have a chronic illness?

According to guidelines applicable in Germany, ‘an illness is defined as being serious and chronic if it has to be treated by a doctor at least once every quarter for a period of one year or longer (long-term treatment).’

Successfully completing your degree programme – studying in spite of/with a disability or chronic illness

If you require assistance during your studies – such as a reader, assistant or sign language interpreter – you can apply for the costs of these to be covered by the regional social welfare authorities. The district authorities of Middle Franconia in Ansbach are responsible for students at FAU. If you do not receive funding from the district authorities, you can also apply to the Dr.-Willi-Rebelein-Stiftung in Nuremberg.

Students with a degree of disability (Grad der Behinderung – GdB) assessed as at least 70 percent can submit an application for special consideration when applying for a place in Student Services accommodation. There are six places in student accommodation on the Südgelände (southern campus) in Erlangen for students with limited mobility.

During the application procedure on and at FAU, there are a few additional things to take into account. If places for your chosen subject are allocated through a selection process, you may apply for adjustments to examination arrangements or special consideration due to a disability. You can ensure that you are admitted to study in your chosen location by submitting a special application called an Ortsbindungsantrag. In some cases, applicants with a chronic illness can also apply for these special considerations. If you wish to make an application, please seek advice beforehand.

If, due to a disability or chronic illness, you require adjustments to examination arrangements, such as extra time or an extension of examination deadlines, please contact the appropriate Examinations Office.

We also strongly recommend that you contact the Liaison Officer for Students with Disabilities beforehand for advice on the options available.

FAU currently offers the following equipment for students with disabilities:

University Library

Erlangen, Schuhstraße 1a

The workstation for blind/visually impaired students in the main library (Erlangen, Schuhstraße 1a) is equipped as follows:


  • High-performance PC with 27″ screen
  • Document camera VISULEX Eagle Pro with cross table and pivoting arm which projects the picture of the document in full HD quality to the monitor.
  • Large print keyboard
  • Braille bar which blind users can use to read what is on the screen
  • Braille printer in a soundproof cabinet
  • Flatbed scanner HP Scanjet 7400c


  • Supernova magnifier for magnifying the screen
  • Jaws for Windows, a screen reader
    which provides speech and Braille output, as well as an RTFC Braille converter
  • Omnipage text recognition
  • Office modules for the blind

Lange Gasse 20, Nuremberg

The workstation in the Economics and Social Sciences Branch Library (Nuremberg, Lange Gasse 20) has the same equipment, apart from the Braille printer (which would be too loud for the reading room in which the workstation is located).

FAU has a large number of old buildings, not all of which are fully accessible yet. The University is working towards making its buildings accessible, but it will take time. Please do not hesitate to contact the FAU Disability Liaison Officer if you have difficulties getting to your destination, such as your lecture theatre or an office.
Steps to improve accessibility at FAU are being taken within the framework of the diversity audit ‘Creating diversity’ (2016-2018) of the Stifterverband für die deutsche Wissenschaft.

The FAU Disability Liaison Officer has a wireless microphone system (Comfort Digisystem) available for hearing-impaired students, consisting of a DM10 microphone and a DH10 receiver. The Comfort Digisystem can be borrowed as and when required.

‘BliSeh’ is a project at FAU for blind and visually impaired students. It provides assistance with the use of technical facilities as well as advice on rules regarding adjustments to examination arrangements and the transition between university and career. Its main task is to teach key qualifications for blind/visually impaired students.
The contact person for BliSeh is Dr. Wolfgang Krebs