Students with disabilities or chronic illnesses
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.
Further information is available below, organised according to topic, followed by a list of links to various internal and external advisory offices.
Successfully completing your degree programme – studying with a disability or chronic illness
Assistance during your studies
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.
Admission to degree programme
During the application procedure on hochschulstart.de 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.
Adjustments to examination arrangements
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.
Accessibility of buildings
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
Compensation for disadvantages during examinations
What does compensation for disadvantages entail?
When at university, compensation for disadvantages are measures taken to compensate for any difficulties caused by your disability during your studies and in examinations. They are always tailored individually to each specific case and are not allocated on a “one size fits all” basis. They depend, for example, on the extent of the disability and the degree program studied.
Compensation for disadvantages does not constitute a relaxation of the rules for studying. The achievement goals stipulated in the degree program and examination regulations remain the same.
Students are entitled to compensation for disadvantages, but not necessarily in the form they would like.
Requirements for applying for compensation for disadvantages
In order to apply for compensation for disadvantages, students must have a disability and/or chronic illness as defined in Section 3 of the German Federal Act on Equality for People with Disabilities (Behindertengleichstellungsgesetz, BGG):
- Disability: “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.”
- Chronic illness: “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.”
- Pregnant students: Adjustments to examination arrangements may be made for pregnant students if the student submits a medical certificate confirming that she will be at least 30 weeks pregnant by the examination date to the Examinations Committee responsible at least four weeks before the examination date. Decisions shall only be made upon written request by the chairperson of the Examinations Committee. The student may be required to submit an official certificate from a medical examiner (vertrauensärztliches Attest) proving the fulfillment of the conditions in section (1). Applications for adjustments to examination arrangements shall be made in writing to the Examinations Committee at the latest four weeks before registration for the examination.
Content of a medical certificate from a medical specialist or a letter from a doctor or psychotherapist
Students with disabilities require certain adjustments to their everyday living conditions that take the requirements of people with special needs into account. Wherever barriers restrict disabled individuals’ rights to self-determination or equal opportunities for participation, these individuals rely on tailored measures designed to compensate for their disadvantages. (HRK recommendation – Eine Hochschule für Alle, 2009)
The purpose of the doctor’s certificate or letter is to provide the Examinations Committee responsible with proof that the recommended support measures are necessary. The certificate must have been issued no more than 6 months previously.
It must be submitted in the original and include the following:
- Stamp from the specialist doctor’s or psychotherapist’s practice, name and signature of the person providing treatment, date of issue.
- Description of functional limitations as regards course achievements, in particular perception, cognition, behavior and physical ability depending on the particular condition (diagnosis can be included).
- Description of how the disability or chronic illness is expected to progress.
- Recommendations concerning suitable support measures for studying (strategies, aids, required support).
- Specific suggestions for appropriate measures during examinations (Examples of compensation for disadvantages in course and examination achievements).
- The certificate should state whether the condition is to be considered permanent, entailing a lasting impairment of abilities.
Examples of compensation for disadvantages in course and examination achievements
- An additional written component to oral examinations or written instead of oral examinations (for example in the case of an auditory and/or speech impediment)
- Oral instead of written examination (for example in the case of a visual impairment)
- Involvement in deciding on examination dates (to avoid clashes with dates for treatment)
- Extension to intervals between individual examinations
- Additional time for examinations (in percent)
- Separate examination room and/or additional breaks
- Using personal and technical aids (e.g. laptops)
- Modification of timings and structure of degree program (e.g. GOP) including extension of total time period for degree program
- Provision of additional aids for preparing, taking part in and following up lectures and seminars (scripts, special templates, exercise sheets etc.)
- Exceptions to the rules for compulsory attendance
- Splitting course achievements into partial achievements
- Amendments to the form of course achievements
- Amendments to the rules for placements and excursions
Applying for compensation for disadvantages at FAU
- Consult the following people in good time during your degree program/before the examination
- Examinations Office
- Subject advisors
- Disability Liaison Officer
- Submit application to Examinations Committee via Examinations Office
- Doctor’s certificate/letter (nature and duration of disability/illness; possible compensation of disadvantages)
- Own statement on the impact of the disability/illness on meeting the demands of coursework and examinations
→ informal application
- Specific details of compensation for disadvantages applied for
- Statement from Disability Liaison Officer at FAU
Students must apply for compensation for disadvantages at least four weeks before the first examination and submit proof to the Examinations Office at FAU after consulting with the Disability Liaison Officer at FAU.
FAU Disability Liaison Officer
Beauftragter für behinderte und chronisch kranke Studierende
Other counselling services available at FAU
Counselling services available outside FAU
- Counselling service of Student Services Erlangen-Nürnberg (Psychologisch-Psychotherapeutische Beratungsstelle des Studentenwerks Erlangen-Nürnberg)
- German National Association for Student Affairs (Deutsches Studentenwerk) – advice for applicants and students with disabilities
- Centre for Self-Determined Living with Disabilities (Zentrum für selbstbestimmtes Leben Behinderter e.V.)
- Pfennigparade – Career advice for people with disabilities
- District of Middle Franconia (Bezirk Mittelfranken)
- Guide on distance learning for students with disabilities from Consortium for Lifelong Learning (Arbeitsgemeinschaft lebenslanges Lernen)
- Sozialpsychiatrischen Dienst der Caritas Erlangen