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Disabled user support

This page provides information about the resources and services available to disabled students at a distance. For information about the Library building at Milton Keynes, see Visiting the Library building.

The library provides a number of different services to help you with your studies. To find out more about these go to the Library website select the 'Help and Support' tab and then follow the 'Disabled User Support' link.

Services include: converting inaccessible articles and book chapters, support for literature searching, and SensusAccess which enables print disabled students to convert material into a different format themselves.

Go to the library webpage and click on the 'Help and Support tab at the top of the screen. Then click on the 'Disabled User Support' link and then click on 'Convert a file with SensusAccess'. Scroll to the bottom of the page where you'll see an option to start uploading your file.

If you ever need additional support you can contact the library helpdesk which is available weekdays 9-5 and provides access to an out of hours webchat service. Helpdesk colleagues will be able to help you with general enquiries, but if your query is more specific it will usually be passed to a specialist.

Previous students have found the helpdesk to be an invaluable source of support during their studies.

You can contact the Library Helpdesk to discuss your specific requirements or if you have any accessibility suggestions. Phone the Library Helpdesk on +44 (0)1908 659 001, email us or chat to a member staff during our opening hours using our Webchat service.

Support for using our library resources

Database accessibility

The OU Library subscribes to content by external providers and the accessibility of these resources can vary. For guidance on searching these, see Databases with accessibility Issues.

Convert files with SensusAccess

If you have a print disability you could try using SensusAccess, an automated conversion service to convert material into a more accessible format.  You can convert material into different formats such as PDF to text, audio, Word or Braille.  You can find more information about the service and access the conversion form at Convert a file with SensusAccess.

Converting inaccessible articles and book chapters

Some online articles or ebooks which are part of the Library's subscription will include tables and figure descriptions which are not accessible. Library Services may be able to provide the material as a Word document, as long as it isn’t available commercially in an appropriate accessible format. To discuss your needs, please contact the Library Helpdesk

Services for disabled students

Referencing accessible formats

You may find you are unable to exactly follow the referencing format required by your module due to the software or converted format of a document you are using for your study. For help, see our guidance on referencing accessible formats.

Supported literature searching

We encourage students to do their own literature searching, however certain disabilities can make this process difficult or impossible. If you have difficulties searching the library databases see our supported literature searching service.

Accessible formats from other organisations

A number of organisations provide resources in accessible formats which may help supplement Open University study materials.

Further help

Services for Disabled Students advice and guidance website