Support measures

This page introduces the most common support measures for students with a disability and lists who is involved in making sure the student gets access to support.

When a student has applied for and been awarded support, certain steps need to be taken to grant them access to that support. Here, we describe the steps involved in the most common support measures.

The University's student disability coordinators can only grant a student certain support measures; all other measures it can only recommend to a department or office. Whether to implement that recommendation is then up to the department or office.

In some cases, the department or equivalent can be compensated for extra costs it incurs by implementing support measures. For more information, see the page Compensation for the costs of adjusting a student's study situation

Adaptation of course materials

Materials are made available in whichever format the student requires, for example one that is compatible with speech synthesis tools. Which adaptation(s) the student might need will be stated in their document "Recommendation of Adaptation of the Study Situation".

Adaptation of the course literature's format:

  1. The student contacts Umeå University Library's Reading and Writing Assistance team.
  2. The Reading and Writing Assistance team registers the student with the Swedish Agency for Accessible Media and helps them download and order adapted course literature.

Adaptation of other course materials:

  1. The student gets in touch with the contact person of their programme or department.
  2. The contact person tells the student whom they should contact to request adapted course materials. If the student needs reading or writing assistance software, they should contact ICT Services and System Development via Servicedesk. They might, for instance, need to use their own computer or audiobooks during written examinations; might require speech synthesis software for course literature not available in book format; or might require IT assistance if Umeå University's own software is inaccessible to them.

Read more about digital accessibility on the staff website.

Note: The department holding the course must make the list of course literature available no later than eight weeks before the start of the course. The list should highlight which literature is compulsory, in line with Umeå University's regulations.

Adaptation of premises

This can involve signage, permanent hearing loops, renovations or the provision of door openers.

  1. The student is encouraged to apply for disability support at the same time as they apply to study at Umeå University, as it can take a while to adjust premises.
  2. The student gets in touch with their department's contact person once it has been decided that certain premises should be adapted.
  3. The contact person contacts the Property Management Office to request they look into funding for these adaptations.
  4. The Property Management Office investigates whom should fund the adaptations.
  5. The contact person informs the head of department (or equivalent) if the Property Management Office concludes that it is the faculty or department that must fund the adjustments.
  6. The head of department or equivalent then approves or rejects the proposed adaptations.
  7. The contact person is responsible for ensuring the matter is dealt with in cooperation with the Property Management Office, and for ensuring the student is informed of the eventual decision.

Additional teaching or supervisor support

The student can receive additional teaching or supervisor support in connection with internships or when writing papers. A teacher or supervisor can also clarify certain information, instructions or study assignments.

  1. The student gets in touch with the contact person of their programme or department for more information.
  2. The contact person informs the student of the routines of the department and tells them whom to inform of their need for additional support.
  3. The student contacts the relevant teacher or supervisor when they need extra support.
  4. The teacher or supervisor talks to the head of department or equivalent if the support measure requires extra resources.
  5. The head of department or equivalent decides whether to approve the measure and whom will be offering the support: a teacher, a supervisor, or another appropriate person with knowledge of the subject.
  6. The teacher, supervisor or other individual with knowledge of the subject supports the student.

Adjusted examinations

Examinations can be adjusted by, for instance, allowing a student more time, letting them use a computer or letting them sit in a separate room.

  1. The student gets in touch with the contact person for their programme or department well ahead of the examination.
  2. The contact person tells the student whom they should contact to request their examination be adjusted.
  3. The student registers for the examination and submits their request for adjustments no later than ten days before the examination is scheduled to take place. If the examiner asks them to, the student must show them their "Recommendation of Adaptation of the Study Situation".
  4. It is up to the examiner to decide whether the examination can actually be adjusted. If a student was officially recommended support because of their disability, the examiner must always consider adjusting the examination based on the student's individual needs, taking into account accessibility requirements in the law and other statutes. It is the course syllabus's expected learning outcomes, however, that should steer any adjustments of the examination.
  5. The examiner informs the student of their decision.

Note: The student does not need to present a medical certificate, medical evaluation or similar document.

Assistance with writing

Someone else writes down what the student says when they are unable to write themself. Writing assistance is usually offered in connection with written assignments, papers and examinations, or any other assignments that require written submissions.

  1. Coordinator at Student Services informs the student how to proceed once they have been awarded writing assistance support.
  2. The student contacts Infocenter at least 10 working days in advance to book writing assistance.
  3. A Campus Services Office employee provides the support.

Audio recording during lectures

Students who have been granted disability support have the right to make audio recordings of lectures.

  1. The student informs their teacher well ahead of the lecture that they would like to record the lecture. They must present their support decision if the teacher asks them to.

Detailed rules are listed in Rules for audio recording, photographing, video recording and similar actions in teaching situations (available in Swedish only).

Educational interpreting

Sign language interpreting, writing interpreting or deaf-blind interpreting is provided in study-related contexts.

  1. The student applies for disability support the moment they apply to study at Umeå University (see note).
  2. Coordinator at Student Services places a general order at Stockholm University (which administers educational interpreting for Swedish higher education institutions) as soon as a prospective student has applied for such support. In practice, this means Stockholm University is given the name of the department's contact person plus information about the student, their course syllabi, timetable and other important details ahead of the student's first course.
  3. Stockholm University then directly liaises with the programme's contact person and the student to discuss the student's courses and how to practically arrange the support. Stockholm University is responsible for:
    • talking with the contact person to get more details on the assignment, e.g. the student's course literature and schedule, preparatory material and log-in details to learning platforms;
    • explaining to the student and their teachers or other employees what interpreting entails;
    • coordinating schedule updates and other administration required for the interpreter and student to be able to work together;
    • managing all student-interpreter coordination; and
    • being directly in touch with the student so they can book interpreting sessions, cancel sessions and alert their interpreter in case of schedule changes.
  4. The programme's contact person is responsible for:
    • going through the programme and course syllabi, including literature lists, with the contact person at Stockholm University and with the student;
    • going through the schedule with the student, sharing it with the contact person at the Educational Interpreting Unit at Stockholm University, and informing them of the groups the student is in as well as other key scheduling information;
    • ensuring the interpreter can log in to all learning platforms;
    • informing teachers and course coordinators of the importance of changing the schedule as seldom as possible. Umeå University will be charged for any interpreting sessions cancelled less than 24 hours in advance; and
    • providing the contact person at Stockholm University with the contact details of other key employees at Umeå University that Stockholm University can contact if the programme's contact person cannot be reached.

Note: Educational interpretation can take time to arrange, as it is a relatively complex process.

Individual study plans

This can involve organisational measures such as adapting the course's organisation or timetable, approving part-time studies, etc.

  1. The student gets in touch with the contact person of their programme or department.
  2. The contact person informs the student of the steps they need to take according to the department's routines.


A mentor can help students plan and structure their studies or improve their study technique and study habits.

  1. The student contacts their coordinator at the Student Services Office once they would like to start seeing a mentor.
  2. Coordinator at Student Services arranges mentor support for the student.
  3. A mentor at Student Services contacts the student and starts supporting them.

Note-taking support

From autumn semester 2023 this support means recording of lectures and seminars through a digital recording device.

  1. The student contacts their coordinator, notifying their need of note-taking support.
  2. The coordinator adjusts the students decision and inform the student on how to access the support.

Also, note that it is possible for students to use the dictation function in Word in Office 365, which all students at Umeå University has access to.

Note: If the student due to their disability cannot use these technical devices, the student contacts their coordinator at the Student Services Office to find other solutions.

Priority access to group rooms

The student gets priority when booking group study rooms.

  1. The student shows their decision of support to the staff at Infocenter.
  2. Infocenter registers the student to allow them to make priority bookings.
  3. The student books the group room at least six days before the date they wish to use the room.

Provision of lecture material in advance

To make it easier for the student to acquaint themself with the material the teacher will be using in class, the teacher can give the student advance access to the lecture material.

  1. The student asks their teacher if they can get access to the lecture material in advance.
  2. The teacher decides whether to agree to this and makes the material available well ahead of the lecture.

Digital recording device (Smartpen)

Note-taking support at lectures and seminars through a digital recording device.

  1. The student contacts their coordinator, notifying their need of note-taking support.
  2. Coordinator at Student Services adjusts the students decision and inform the student on how to access the support.

Note: Also, it is possible for students to use the dictation function in Word in Office 365, which all students at Umeå University has access to.

Special equipment

The University has special equipment that can be used in class and during written examinations, including adjustable desks and chairs, portable hearing loops, backrests and seat cushions.

In class

  1. The student calls Infocenter or contacts them via the contact form on the website and leaves their contact details.
  2. Infocenter gets back to the student via phone or email to introduce them to the support.

During examinations

  1. The student informs the course coordinator/examiner* of their needs no less than ten days before the examination.
  2. The course coordinator/examiner (or another individual designated by the department) orders the equipment from the Campus Services Office, following the usual routines.

*Note: If a department has its own routines for students to request an adjusted examination, the department's contact person must inform the student of these routines.

Support from another student or staff member

This can involve providing visual support by escorting the student; helping them find their way around; assisting them with navigating learning platforms; or helping out when equipment needs to be moved between lecture halls. Support can be provided by either a fellow student or an employee of the Campus Services Office.

If a fellow student offers support

  1. The student asks one of the other students enrolled in their course if they would be able to offer practical support. The programme's contact person can also help the student find a fellow student who would be willing to be their support person.
  2. The fellow student provides support.
  3. Coordinator at Student Services reimburses the fellow student for their work.

If a member of staff offers support

  1. The student books a personal escort or other practical support by contacting Infocenter no less than five working days in advance. The student presents their decision of support to Infocenter.
  2. A Campus Services Office employee provides support.


Video-recorded teaching is converted into text.

  1. The department holding the course is responsible for transcribing the material and making the result available.

Note: Transcription of recorded material falls under Sweden's Law on Accessibility to Digital Public Service, which means all recorded material must always be transcribed, irrespective of whether any students were awarded such support. Read more about digital accessibility.


The student can appeal any decision – both a coordinator's decision to award them certain support or the coordinator's decision to recommend a department or office take certain support measures.

Richard Hartvik