Compensation for disadvantages - What you as a teacher should know

There are many different ways to achieve a goal. Students with an impairment often have to take a different path than the prescribed one in order to be able to perform equally well as their fellow students. For this reason, affected students have the right to compensation for disadvantages both for the organisation and execution of their studies and for the adaptation of examinations and certificates of achievement. This right is enshrined in law and is regulated in the examination regulations of the degree programmes.


Compensation for disadvantages is always individually tailored to the impairment of the respective student and to the concrete obstacles to study. In concrete terms, this means that even if two students have a very similar form of impairment, the support required can be very different. The mere presence of an impairment does not automatically mean that there is also a disadvantage in studying.

The informal application must be submitted by the student in writing to the examination board in good time before the examination. In the application, the desired examination modifications must be named and reasons must be given as to why they are necessary. In addition, the limitations in study related to an impairment must be supported by appropriate evidence. The examination board will examine the claim for compensation of disadvantages and ensure that the requested modifications are necessary, suitable and appropriate in the specific individual case in order to realize equal opportunity examination conditions. The approved modifications must enable equivalent performance certificates that are in line with the content requirements of the examination regulations. Students must be able to acquire the competencies required by the respective examination regulations and demonstrate this knowledge through examinations. Thus, performance forms and examination conditions can be changed, but the performance objectives cannot.

  • Time extensions, e.g. for a longer processing time in examinations, including breaks, or for the completion of a course assignment, e.g. a term paper or a presentation.
  • Compensatory or substitute work, e.g. written contributions compensate for absences or are made if students are unable to complete study work that requires mobility (e.g. field trips).
  • Modification of examinations if the examination relates to a previously completed course work which the student cannot complete due to illness (e.g. excursion).
  • Conversion of written examinations into oral examinations or vice versa
  • Withdrawal from the performance recording process outside of prescribed deadlines (in the case of serious reasons, e.g. an additional illness, special stress situations, the failure of assistants)
  • Provision of or consent to the use of technical aids or personnel support: PC for students with visual impairments and editable electronic assignments (e.g. Word) or workstations for wheelchair users, non-specialist typists or sign language interpreters
  • Use of other seminar or examination rooms

The Service Center for Studies with Impairment is happy to support you as a teacher by providing, among other things 

  • personal counseling,
  • further education offers 
  • Adaptation of teaching materials into accessible digital formats,

as well as in case of an approved compensation for disadvantages by the examination board:

  • Adaptation of examination materials into accessible digital formats
  • Provision of the workroom for students with disabilities as an examination room if students have a need to use assistive technology (e.g. PC with magnification software, speech output or Braille display, reading device, lighting).

Please feel free to arrange a personal consultation appointment with us.

business-card image

Cornelia Wagner

Student Advice Centre

Psychosocial counselling; representative for disabled students

Write email +49 5251 60-5497