Information for students with disabilities or chronic illnesses

Disabilities and chronic illnesses are as varied as people themselves, whether it is a physical disability, walking impediment or an organic disorder that is not necessarily visible, mental illness, hearing or sight impairment, or a specific learning disability, such as dyslexia. Regardless of the specific challenges posed to this set of students, whose lives at university are affected to a greater or lesser extent, their individual requirements must be taken into consideration to establish suitable conditions of study.

Information for students

  • Within the TUM Department of Informatics, Sibylle Roden-Kinghorst is responsible for handling all academic affairs concerning students with disabilities and chronic illnesses.  To compensate for any disadvantages during the course of your studies in Informatics, appropriate and specific measures are discussed in a private consultation, after which you can submit a request for reasonable accommodation. The TUM Department of Informatics is highly committed to eliminating any disadvantages due to disability and illness.
  • TUM also administers a university-wide service office for disabled and chronically ill students, as well as for prospective students. The contact person at the Student Service Center - Office for Disabled and Chronically Ill Students is Mr. Alain M.G. Kathola.
  • Inclusion at TUM

General information provided by the German Student Union (only available in German):

Reasonable Accommodation

For students with disabilities or chronic illnesses it is often difficult to cope with the workload required per semester. Equally, they might not be able to fulfill credit requirements as stipulated in the examination regulations. To compensate for disadvantages, such as above average absence due to chronic illness, affected students may submit an official request for reasonable accommodation to adjust credit requirements case-specifically. Reasonable accommodation may also include, for instance,  extending the specified time for exams.

Contact the Departmental Contact for Disabled and Chronically Ill Students prior to the start of the semester to ensure the timely submission of your request for reasonable accommodation. 

Please visit Reasonable Accommodation TUM for the legal regulations and application form for reasonable accommodation. In addition to the completed application form, you are required to present a detailed medical expert opinion/certificate supporting the request accordingly, and, if applicable, a copy of your disabled person’s pass. Please submit these documents in person to the Departmental Contact for Disabled and Chronically Ill Students.

If your request is approved, you will receive an official letter of confirmation stating the nature of reasonable accommodation, without giving specifics of your medical background. You must present this letter to your lecturer in the first lecture week of the semester. Approvals for reasonable accommodation will not be listed on your graduation certificate.

Funding opportunities: Barrier-Free from bachelor’s to doctorate

This information is currently only available in German. For questions please do not hesitate to contact the Departmental Contact for Disabled and Chronically Ill Students.

Barrier-free access

  • Mathematics/Informatics Building
    • Barrier-free entrances to the building include the east entrance by the Park & Ride parking lot and the north entrance by the U-Bahn. Barrier-free access is also available via the south entrance, located close to the library. The entrance to the building’s west, leading to the gravel parking lot, is not barrier-free!
    • The entire building, as well as the library, is equipped with a number of elevators.
    • Accessible toilets are available on all floors (ground floor, 1st, 2nd and 3rd) in hallways 7 and 8. The toilet on the ground floor, hallway 8, is equipped with an emergency button. The toilet on the ground floor, hallway 7, can only be accessed with a Eurokey for disabled people.
    • Lecture halls MI HS 2 and 3 are only accessible via the basement. For easier access, please use the elevator located near the entrance, hallway 6. Lecture hall MI HS 1 can easily be reached either via the Magistrale (ground floor) or basement.
    • Automatic door openers are situated near the Departmental Student Council (hallway 6) and the Academic Programs Office (hallway 10).
  • Interimshörsäle: At the touch of a button, an automatic door (far left) offers barrier-free access on the east side of the building (Park & Ride parking lot). An accessible toilet is located on the ground floor (room 006). Lecture halls Intermis 1 and 2 can be reached barrier-free via corridor 020.
  • Barrier-free access for the Department of Mechanical Engineering
    Accessible toilets and barrier-free access on the Munich City Campus

Information for university teaching staff

Quite often, students with limitations are not perceived as students with special requirements. Particularly disabilities that are not readily visible, such as internal diseases or hearing impairments, can easily be overlooked. Students without visible disabilities are not always able to follow the standard course of study as easily as their non-disabled fellow students. A survey (only available in German) was conducted in the year 2011 on the situation of students with disabilities and chronic illnesses: BEST - survey on studying with disabilities. The survey reflects experiences students had at German institutions of higher education and universities.

It is important to signal to disabled and chronically ill students that, aside from their legal rights, there is a willingness on the part of the institution to compensate any disadvantages resulting from a disability and to encourage these students to communicate their disability in a confidential meeting with the Departmental Contact for Disabled and Chronically Ill Students.

As a rule, students who are granted reasonable accommodation will approach you in the first lecture week of the semester and present a letter confirming their approval issued by the Examination Board, in order to implement the appropriate measures with your support. A typical request for reasonable accommodation might be, for instance, an extension of the specified time for written exams. Should you have any questions regarding the organizational implementation of reasonable accommodations, please contact the Departmental Contact for Disabled and Chronically Ill Students at any time.

The following booklet (only available in German) provides information and references on specific situations of students with disabilities or chronic illnesses: References for university teaching staff.

Please feel free to contact the Departmental Contact for Disabled and Chronically Ill Students for advice or support.

Blind students

Creating accessible documents

  • LaTex is the best choice for formulas. For blind students following a course of independent study, we recommend visiting the Informatics website.
  • For large programs operating with Windows the following text editors are particularly suited for the blind: Notepad++, alternatively PsPad
  • As screen reader, JAWS (= Job Access With Speech) is recommended, which works very well with Office documents. JAWS 17 also supports MathML, though primarily with voice output (listening to and working with complex formulas may therefore still present a challenge).
  • For detailed information, please visit Ensuring accessibility of Office documents
  • Creating accessible Word documents
  • Creating accessible PowerPoint documents
  • Accessible Office documents can easily be converted into accessible PDF documents: File, “Save as ...”, then select PDF as file type. To maintain structures, under options, check the box “Document structure tags for accessibility”. It is important, for example, that headings, listings, hyperlinks, as well as image descriptions in Word or PowerPoint documents (as described in the above mentioned websites) are themselves included.