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Studying with a visual disability

Having a visual disability can impact your learning at Leiden University.

Both partial sight and blindness affect a student's interaction with their environment, thus how they experience and learn from it. This means that studying with a visual disability may require additional time and effort. Still, many students study successfully and accomplish many things despite their diagnosis. Leiden University has a range of study adjustments available to support you throughout your studies.

Extra time for exams

If you have a visual disability, you can request extra time for exams (10 minutes extra per hour). For this, you generally do not need to make an appointment with Fenestra. However, you do need to upload a document confirming your disability.

Other facilities

If you require other facilities, discuss with Fenestra what might be possible in your situation. Other facilities might include, for example:

  • Examination papers in a larger format
  • Use of laptop for examinations
  • Taking examinations in a separate room with fewer students
  • Extensions to assignment deadlines
  • Alternative study plan with a reduced workload
  • Text-to-speech software, that reads your study materials aloud whilst highlighting the text.

Requesting adaptations

  • Log into uSis
  • Click on Studying with a disability
  • Follow the instructions
  • When requesting additional faculties, you must upload a document confirming that you have a disability. This document can only be viewed by student counsellors at Fenestra.
  • The student counsellors will send their decision or advice to the study adviser and Board of examiners of your (main) study programme. This decision or advice will state the type of disability you have and if necessary, the symptoms that necessitate the additional facility.
  • Decisions can also be viewed by study advisers and Boards of Examiners of other study programmes. However, they will only view them if this is relevant for you as a student, for example if you are following courses from another study programme. This means you will not have to request the facilities again if you follow courses from a different study programme or faculty.
  • Staff who are responsible for organising additional facilities can only view information on the facilities granted to you. They cannot see information on the nature of your disability.

Studying at more than one faculty or study programme?

Discuss it with your study adviser!

Are you following more than one study programme, doing a course or minor at another faculty, or changing study programmes after being granted additional facilities? It can occur that due to practical or educational reasons, you may not be able to make use of the additional facility or it may be organised in a different way. It is therefore important to discuss any facilities you have already been granted with the study adviser of the relevant study programme(s) as soon as possible.

Guidance & advisors

Fenestra Disability Centre provides advice on all disability-related matters. If you need support in other areas, there are other advisers available.
See all advisers and guidance services

Financial support

Students with a disability can incur additional expenses both during their studies and in daily life. There are a number of regulations, funds and special allowances in place that can help to ease the financial burden.
Read more about financial support

Workshops & courses

Leiden University organises workshops and courses that can help you to improve your study skills.
Take a look at the workshops and courses

Study tips

Leiden University offers study tips that can help you to study more efficiently despite any obstacles brought about by your disability. 
Take a look at the study tips

Healthcare and home care

In some circumstances you might need additional healthcare or home care facilities or support.  
Read more about healthcare and home care


Additional facilities in the home might be both needed and welcome if you have a disability.
Read more about housing

Legal protection

According to the Act on the Equal Treatment of the Disabled and Chronically Ill, it is strictly forbidden to discriminate on the grounds of disability and chronic illness when providing employment, accommodation, goods and services.
Read more about legal protection

Social support

Staying in contact with other students might not always be easy but it is very important. Find out about the different ways in which you can meet other students.

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