Studying with a disability and chronic illness
Studying with a disability and chronic illness is often a special challenge. To help you cope with these
, you can take advantage of our counseling service.
We advise you on:
- Financing your studies
- financing of additional needs
- barrier-free living
- Compensation for disadvantages (you have the right to have your impairments compensated for as much as possible in everyday study and during exams).
When it comes to financing studies for students with disabilities and chronic illnesses, different cost units are responsible for different needs:
- The financing of the education-related maintenance (the general living expenses and the usual education costs, which are incurred equally by all students) is provided by parental maintenance, benefits under the BAföG, scholarships or student loans.
- Additional needs in connection with a disability or a chronic illness can be financed within the framework of integration assistance according to SGB II and SGB XII.
- The BAföG provides for an extension of the maximum funding period for students with disabilities and chronic illness if it can be proven that the studies have been delayed due to illness or disability. Education assistance granted beyond the maximum funding period due to a disability or illness is paid in full as a grant.
The benefits of integration assistance are provided on a subordinate basis, i.e. they are only possible if the necessary needs cannot be met by the student's own benefits or those of others - in particular dependents or other social benefit providers. Under certain circumstances, integration assistance may cover costs for the following items:
- Procurement and maintenance of a motor vehicle
- Books for studies
- Study helpers and reading assistants
- Fees for sign language interpreters
- technical aids
- costly nutrition
- disability-related home improvements or conversions
The application must be submitted to the local social welfare agency. A prerequisite for the approval is always that:
- it is to be expected that you will be able to reach the goal of the training
- the intended training is necessary and
- the intended occupation is expected to provide a sufficient livelihood
In principle, you have a legal right to have your impairment taken into account in a reasonable manner when completing academic work. This can mean, for example
- written supplements to oral examinations
- Extension of time for homework and exams
- Modification of internship regulations
Compensations for disadvantages are always individual and the proposed modified form of the examination must always allow for an equivalent level of performance.
It is important that you consider exactly what effects your limitation has on the performance of study and examination achievements and what would help you to be able to cope with them better. Here, the following disadvantage compensations would be conceivable:
- Breaks as needed for people with intestinal disorders
- Taking exams in a separate room for people with ADHD, anxiety disorders, if the exam venue is not barrier-free, etc.
- Changing the form of examination from oral to written in the case of speech impairment or (certified) extreme fear of oral presentation.
The representatives for students with disabilities and chronic illnesses at the universities will help you with the application, with difficulties caused by limitations and support you in clarifying important questions at the respective university/university of applied sciences (study and examination modifications, accessibility of university buildings, etc.).
The German Student Union (DSW), the umbrella organization of the German student unions, regularly organizes information seminars for prospective and first-year students with disabilities and chronic illnesses and publishes the information brochure "Studying and Disability". In this brochure you will find extensive information, for example, on the topics:
- Study preparation
- Application and admission
- Organization of everyday study life
- Financing your studies
- Compensation for disadvantages during studies
The brochure can be obtained free of charge from the DSW or downloaded as a PDF file from the Internet.
You can also find a lot of information on the website of the DSW: www.studentenwerke.de under the keyword "Study and Disability".
The "Information and Counseling Center for Study and Disability" can be reached at this address:
Counseling Center for Disabled Student Applicants and Students
Monbijouplatz 11, 10178 Berlin
Tel.: (030) 29 77 27 64
Fax: (030) 29 77 27 69