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Practical matters studying with a disability

Register functional disability
Last updated on 20 June 2024
Do you have a physical disability, a chronic illness, dyslexia or a psychological disability? And do you need facilities during your studies? Preferably register this immediately when registering for your study programme. It is possible to register later or make changes to your data.

Before requesting a facility, please read the information on facilities during examinations and on campus below. Be sure to request a facility three weeks in advance because the terms for applying differ per faculty. At the bottom of this page, you will also find more information on financial support available and information on registering your disability and/or chronic illness.

Contact your academic advisor 

For all your questions about studying with a functional disability and/or chronic illness and to request all the facilities you need, please contact your academic advisor

For example: 

  • applying for facilities on campus 
  • educational facilities (including adjusted planning, attendance requirement) 
  • facilities for exams (including extra time) 
  • (possible) study delay due to your functional disability 
  • help with study planning 
  • questions about the Binding recommendation on continuation of studies (BSA) 

In some cases you can receive financial support from the Dutch government (DUO) because of your functional disability or chronic illness. If you think you might meet the requirements for this, contact the student counsellor. You can find more information on financial support at the bottom of this page.

Infopoint SMF

At the Infopoint Studying with a Functional Disability (SMF) you can ask general questions about studying at the VU or the accessibility of the campus. In some cases you can be redirected to the academic advisors of your faculty. Are you not a student yet but thinking of applying to the VU? You can contact the Infopoint SMF for any questions regarding studying at the VU with a functional disability or chronic illness or accessibility of the campus. The Infopoint SMF can also help you to reach out to other students with functional disabilities or chronic illnesses or with getting involved in improving the VU for students with functional disabilities. You can contact the Infopoint SMF by sending an email to or by making an appointment for a consultation by phone in the online agenda.  


If you indicate that you have a functional disability when registering at VU Amsterdam in Studielink you will be informed about relevant topics in the field of studying with a functional disability via a newsletter, if desired. 

Facilities on campus

  • Facilities on campus

    Because of your disability and/or chronic illness, you may need certain facilities on campus. Here you will find an overview of the facilities that are offered at the VU. If you want to make use of this, or need something else, please discuss this with your academic advisor

  • Facilities during exams

    There is a variety of different facilities available during exams, for example extra time, low-impulse environment or the use of a laptop. Contact your academic advisor to apply for these facilities. At you can find more information on the possibilities and rules regarding facilities during exams

  • Lockers

    You can store small aids and textbooks in a personal locker. Contact your academic advisor if you wish to be assigned a locker. 

  • Parking

    Parking passes are supplied through Parkeerbedrijf VU/VUmc. There are a few parking spaces on campus available for students. You can only get a parking pass if you already have a nationally valid parking pass. 

    You can apply for a parking card using the Request for a parking pass for VU Amsterdam students with a disability (in Dutch). 

    Don't you have a national or European disability card? Please make an appointment with Mariëlle Rozemond at 020-5989010 or from the ARBO service to have your eligibility for the pass determined. 

  • Facilities in lecture hall

    Do you need adapted furniture in an education room, for example because you use a wheelchair or special chair or because of another limitation? Contact your academic advisor to discuss the necessary adjustments in lecture halls. 

  • Adapted toilets

    You can find a list of adapted toilets in the various VU buildings here.

  • Quiet rooms

    If you are in need of a break during the day due to your disability you can use one of the rest rooms. You can reserve the space for a maximum of one hour at a time. Find more information here. There are quiet rooms especially reserved for students with a functional disability or chronic illness, for these quiet rooms you need to request access through your academic advisor. 

  • Access lifts and buildings

    You can apply for an access pass for disabled entrances and elevators. Please contact your academic advisor
    Is your VU card unusable or have you lost it? Arrange the replacement directly yourself via the Security Desk in HG-KC04. Within fifteen minutes you will have a replacement card with the same rights as you had. Your old pass will no longer work from that moment on. 

  • Storage

    Due to your disability, you can use a storage space for larger aids. Please contact your academic advisor

  • Other facilities

    Do you need a facility in connection with your disability that is not listed on this page? Then contact your academic advisor to discuss the options. 

  • How do I apply for a facility?

    Is a facility suitable and necessary for you? Then you can request this via the academic advisors. Below you can see the step-by-step plan.

    Step 1: If you did not register your disability during your application, please do so via the Disability service page. Indicate which facility you are requesting and make sure that you upload a recent medical statement issued by a BIG-accredited care provider. In case of autism, ADHD or dyslexia, the Examination Board needs a report in which the diagnosis has been made by an authorized care provider.

    Step 2: Send an email to the academic advisors in which you explain why the facility is suitable and necessary. The Examination Board decides and sends you their decision.

    Please note: make sure you submit your application no later than three weeks before the start of the exam period (this applies to both steps). If an exam falls outside the regular exam period, we must receive your application no later than three weeks before the date of the exam.

  • My request for a facility has been rejected and I disagree. Is there anything else I can do?

    If a facility is not granted and you think you are entitled to it, you can lodge an objection with the examination board or, if necessary, the Examination Appeals Board (CBE) if it concerns an examination facility or the faculty board if it concerns a teaching facility.  

  • I have hearing problems, what facilities are available to me?

    A number of lecture halls are equipped with audio induction loops; a list of these can be found at the top of this page. In some cases, lectures can be recorded. If this is not possible, there might be another solution. Contact your academic advisor to discuss the possibilities. 

  • As a prospective student, how can I request extra time for the history test, the pre-master's assessment or the language test?

    These tests are administered by organisations other than the VU; to make use of extra time or other facilities during the pre-master's assessment, the history test or the language test (TOEFL or Dutch Language Test), you must also submit the medical declaration separately via e-mail, this is indicated in your invitation. 

  • What should I do in case of an emergency or evacuation?

    A list of emergency phone numbers can be found here. For circumstances in which it is necessary to evacuate a location, there is a specific protocol for people with a functional disability. It can be found at the top of this page.

  • I am organizing an event or function. What should I do to increase accessibility?

    A useful checklist for anyone organizing an event at VU can be found here.

Financial arrangements

  • Profile Fund

    If you experience a delay in your studies, you can receive a financial contribution for your studies from the Profile Fund scheme. Contact your academic advisor to arrange the documentation for your application. 

  • Arrangements through DUO

    Sometimes it is not possible to graduate on time due to special circumstances, or you even have to stop studying completely. In some situations you can make a financial arrangement through DUO. More information can be found on the DUO website. The student counsellor and DUO will assess whether you meet the conditions. Therefore, please contact the student counsellor

    Also view the flyer of the Expertise Center for Disability + Study for information about finances and studying with a disability: informatie over financiën en studeren met een beperking (in Dutch). 

  • Individual study allowance through the municipality

    For students with a medical disability, it is not always possible to work in addition to the time commitment involved in their studies. if you are unable to earn additional income alongside your studies due to a medical disability, you can apply for an individual study allowance from the municipality. You can find more information on the website of the national government

  • Postponement of BSA

    If your studies are delayed in your first year, you can request a postponement of your Binding Recommendation on Continuation of Studies (BSA) before the end of the academic year. To do so, you can discuss your personal circumstances with the study advisor. 


Are you studying or going to study with a disability?

Check out Karlijn's story here. She shares her experience and tells about extra guidance during her studies at VU Amsterdam.

More information about studying with a functional disability

Do you have questions about studying with a disability?

Please contact the Info Point! They can refer you to the right contact person.

The academic advisor of your programme is your first contact person.

Schedule an online appointment via the calendar. An Info Point staff member will then contact you by phone.

Send us an email: