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Students with disabilities

Unisa provides equal opportunities for all students. The university respects the rights of students to disclose or not disclose any disability.

The following questions and answers will give you a better idea of what to expect as a student with a disability.

Application and registration

I have a disability. Can I study at Unisa? Is it compulsory to disclose my disability? What happens if I do not disclose my disability?

Yes, you can study at Unisa. We are committed to helping all students achieve their ambitions. People with disabilities wanting to study through Unisa must apply and register for their qualification(s) of choice (please take note of the admission requirements). We provide assistance throughout the administrative processes.

The university respects the rights of people with disabilities to disclose or not disclose the nature of their disability. If you chose not to disclose your disability, you may miss greatly on certain services and support offered to students requiring extra support. The university has a dedicated Division called Advocacy and Resource Centre for Students with Disabilities (ARCSWiD). 

Study material and prescribed books

I have a disability which requires alternative study material. How can I access the study material in an alternative format?

Unisa produces study material in alternative formats to cater for the diverse needs of students with disabilities. Alternative formats include Braille, large print, audio, electronic and DAISY. You will be given the option at the point of registration to choose study material that suits your needs. If your disability does not require alternative study material, you will access material in the non-specialised format and on myUnisa.

We also request electronic copies of prescribed books, on behalf of students, from national and international publishers. To access these services, an online special assistance form must be completed and submitted to ARCSWiD.


How does Unisa conduct examinations for students with disabilities?

Examinations are conducted online on the appropriate Unisa platforms. Students with disabilities must be computer literate. Extra time may be added based on a doctor's recommendation. Unisa may use the Multi-Purpose Centres at Unisa's Regional Offices to conduct examinations on special request.

Other services offered

What other services can I access as a student with a disability?

If you have a hearing impairment, Unisa, through ARCSWiD, provides sign language interpretation services during career counselling, tutorial classes, examinations, graduations, and so on. Please make an appointment with the sign language interpreter.

For visual impairment, Unisa, through ARCSWiD, provides orientation and mobility (O&M) and low vision services. The O&M Officer also trains families of students on sighted guide skills to create an enabling environment for the student. Personalised training is offered by appointment with the O&M Officer, based on a needs-based training programme. 

ARCSWiD can provide advice on assistive technology for students with disabilities as well as making content accessible. 

Unisa has dedicated Multi-Purpose Centres at Unisa's Regional Offices, equipped with access to technology, to accommodate students with disabilities during their learning experience.

Unisa accepts assignments in an alternative format.

Unisa provides disability training and awareness programmes to staff and students.

Contact us

For more information on services and support offered to students with disabilities, Unisa has a dedicated office, the Advocacy and Resource Centre for Students with Disabilities (ARCSWiD).


Tel: +27 12 429 6923 / 6924 / 6540 / 3829 / 8668 / 6050 / 2607 or +27 12 441 5470 / 5471

Last modified: 2023/08/07