Studying with a disability at Ghent University

Are you a (future) international student studying at Ghent University? Do you have a disability? At Ghent University, you can apply for a diverse range of support measures.

The Office student & disability is your go-to for all disability-related questions. We are the central office for students with a disability at all faculties of Ghent University. We can help you with the procedure to obtain certain reasonable accommodations (e.g. getting extra time to take an examination, making use of a laptop,…), or other support (e.g. adapted housing, mobility,…).

You can contact us from the moment you’re thinking about an experience abroad. We can discuss which support you need and what Ghent University can offer so you can make an informed choice.

Who are ‘students with a disability’?

These are students with:

  • Visual impairment
  • Hearing impairment
  • Motor impairment
  • Chronic medical condition
  • Learning disorder (f.e. dyslexia) or other developmental disorders (ADHD, ASD, DCD, stuttering…)
  • Psychiatric impairment
  • Other (e.g. pain syndroms)

Special status

If you are a student with a disability, you can make use of certain support measures, such as reasonable accommodations in education and examinations. In order to make use of these accommodations, you have to apply for a ‘special status’ as a student with a disability.

If you want to apply for this special status, you have to contact the Office student & disability. It’s required to confirm your disability by adding documentation that confirms your disability (e.g. a document from your doctor, psychiatrist, a document from your higher education institution stating the reasonable accommodations you used there…).

Support

The Office student & disability will provide an answer to your individual questions. We work in dialogue with other actors in and out of your faculty. We coordinate a range of services to enable all students to fulfil their potential and enjoy a full university life. . Depending on the type of disability, you can apply for specific support measures.

Reasonable accommodations

Ghent University welcomes students with a disability. In order to minimize the barriers you experience, you can apply for reasonable accommodations in education and examinations. These accommodations are customized to your specific situation.

Mobility

Students with long-term reduced mobility can make use of the arrangement between Ghent University and a taxi-company for education-related mobility (e.g. go to and get back from classes). Ghent University bears the costs for this. You are charged € 2 for each drive (which is the same amount as for public transport). We send you the bill by the end of the semester.

Students with a motor disability, students with a visual disability and students with a chronic disease that impacts mobility (e.g. Multiple sclerosis, chronic fatigue syndrome…) can make use of this offer. The arrangement doesn’t include students in an electrical wheelchair, because of the lack of adapted cars.

Students with reduced mobility who want to use their own car in Ghent, can get access to the Ghent University parking lots.

(Adapted) housing

Ghent University provides adapted housing for students with a disability in Home Vermeylen and Home Bertha De Vriese. You can contact the Office student & disability to apply for an adapted room/studio. Support with daily tasks (e.g. shopping, cleaning, washing clothes, preparing dinner, …) can be provided by volunteers. If desired, we can help you to find a physiotherapist or nurse who comes to the residence hall.

Compensating software

There are a lot of software tools to help students with dyslexia. The Office student & disability will assess the necessity of this software and gives you specific advice. Ghent University provides free text-to-speech software (Sprinto Plus). To make use of this software, the Office student & disability can provide you with digital versions of your textbooks. You can contact the Office student & disability with your questions concerning compensating software.

Reasonable accommodations

During an appointment, a disability officer will assess the impact of your disability on education activities and examinations. We will discuss reasonable accommodations to compensate for these barriers.

These accommodations can concern education activities during the semester as well as examinations. Reasonable accommodations a balance between the (dis)abilities of a student, the demands of an education program and the capacity of this program to meet the adjustments.

Examples of reasonable accommodations:

  • Extra time for an examination
  • Making use of a laptop (with or without text-to-speech software)
  • Choosing your own place in the examination room
  • Getting a digital copy of your handbooks and courses (to use with text-to-speech software)
  • Taking the exam on another date than originally planned.

These are just some examples. Don’t hesitate to contact the disability office if you need other adjustments.

Once you have been granted your reasonable accommodations, you can allocate them to specific courses. You don’t have to use every reasonable accommodation or the same adjustment for every course. You allocate your accommodations online in OASIS by clicking. Of course we can support you by explaining and showing how to do this.

Contact

Ruth Cnockaert

M Ruth.Cnockaert@UGent.be

T +32 9 264 72 69 (preferably by mail, telephone only if urgent)