Disability and Access Services

Ratonga hauā | Tomonga

Disability and Access Services are here to support learners who identify as having a disability, chronic medical condition or neurodiversity. If you need assistance to access your online course or engage in learning they are here to help.

You’ll also have the support of your Course Leader and Student Mentors. They will work with you to ensure you have everything you need to be successful in your learning.

Support for disabled learners

  • Disability and Access Services


    Our Disability and Access team offer a range of services to assist you through your studies and can tailor these to suit your needs. These include:

    • assistive technology tools
    • specific study tips
    • supplying alternative formats for course materials
    • advocacy.

    Contact them to talk to them about any specific needs or requirements you have, or for a general chat:


    If you have indicated that you have a disability or chronic medical condition on your enrolment form they will be in touch by email. 

    You do not need an official diagnosis to access their support, but you may need one for some specific support options. 

    Learner stories

    Hear stories from some of the learners our Disability and Access Services team have supported with their study. Each learner has travelled a very different and inspirational path to achieve their study goals, and offers advice for other learners.

    Meet some of our learners


  • Assistive technology tools


    There are many technologies and online tools that can assist online studying. Have a look on our Assistive Technologies page for information about some free options and if they may be right for you.

    Find out more about assistive technology tools

    You can also use Helperbird, a tool that’s free to our learners, that will let you customise web pages.

    Learn more about Helperbird


  • Alternative course materials and resources


    If you need alternative course materials or other resources during your course, the Disability and Access team can help with:

    • Getting transcripts for videos and image descriptions
    • Facilitating access to adaptive technologies that may assist your study experience
    • Advice on other accommodations or resources to enhance your learning.
    • Getting course materials printed (this may not be available for all courses)

    Make sure you contact us early on in your course to let us know your requirements. 



  • The Dyslexia Friendly Quality Mark


    Open Polytechnic | Te Pūkenga Learning Delivery is proud to have been awarded the Dyslexia Friendly Quality Mark from Ako Aotearoa. This award acknowledges our on-going commitment to make the Open Polytechnic learning experience “Dyslexia friendly.” This means we strive to find innovative and enhanced ways to support dyslexic and other neurodiverse people to achieve to their full potential.

    We welcome your feedback as we continue this important work:

    Please share your feedback and experiences with us


  • Exam and test assistance


    If your course has an exam or test, we can help with services such as:

    • Exam materials in a format to suit your needs, such as large print
    • A reader and/or writer
    • Specialist or adaptive furniture
    • The ability to sit an examination in a separate room or at home
    • Extra time and rest breaks.

    For exams, you need to apply for assistance at least six weeks before the exam date.

    More about getting assistance with exams


  • Mental health and wellbeing support


    Feeling stressed or anxious? Talking with a counsellor may help.

    We offer access to free and confidential phone and online counselling services. This is offered in partnership with Puāwaitanga and Vitae.

    Learn more about mental health support


  • Disability and Access Advisory Group


    Our Disability and Access Advisory Group includes learners and kaimahi (staff) who identify as having a disability or neurodiversity or have an interest in the area.

    They meet monthly to discuss barriers, access solutions and to give a learner voice to help inform our work.


  • Study awards for disabled learners


    We offer some study awards to support disabled learners in their studies. See our Scholarships page for more information:


Forging her own path

Regardless of your status in life, anyone can study and achieve their goals, says Faye Richards, who has completed her Bachelor of Applied Sciences (Environment).

Faye Richards

Bachelor of Applied Science (Environment)