Disability services

Te tautoko i te hunga hauā

If you have a disability, chronic medical condition or specific learning need that may affect your study you are welcome at the Open Polytechnic and we’re here to help.

With distance learning, you’ll have the flexibility to choose where and when you study, and you can vary your hours to suit your needs.

You’ll also have the support of our Disability and Access team, Academic Staff Members (they are your course tutors), and Student Mentors. They will work alongside you to ensure you have everything you need to be successful in your learning.

Getting started with study

When you’re starting out with your study we encourage you to contact our Disability and Access Services team so you can talk to them about any specific needs or requirements you have, or just for a general chat.

You can contact them using the email below:


If you have identified that you have a disability on your enrolment form, the Disability and Access team will be in touch by email early in your study journey.

Student mentors are also available and can help with advice on:

  • Getting started with online learning
  • Tools and strategies to help you in your study
  • Applying for extensions and what to do if you need more time with an assignment (special consideration)
  • Any other general questions related to your study experience.

Contact them using the email below:


Depending on your needs you may also qualify for additional learning support, which is available through specialist services co-ordinated by the Disability and Access team.

Course materials and resources

If you have an impairment that impacts on your access to learning and need alternative course materials or other resources during your course, we can help with:

  • Getting course materials printed (this may not be available for all courses)
  • 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.

If your course has a workshop, marae visit, lab or practicum our team can also work with you to organise your learning needs. Make sure you contact us early on in your course to let us know your requirements.

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


The Dyslexia Friendly Quality Mark

We're working with Ako Aotearoa to meet the requirements for accreditation for the Dyslexia Friendly Quality Mark. We strive to ensure all aspects of the Open Polytechnic experience is dyslexia friendly and fully support dyslexic learners and people with other neurodiverse conditions to achieve their full potential.

We welcome feedback from learners with dyslexia or other neurodiverse conditions as we progress this important work.

Please share your feedback and experiences with us


Study awards for learners with a disability

We offer two 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)

Related information

How much time will you need for study?
How studying with us works