I am a student with special needs
By Nina Fricelj
In accordance with the Rules on students with special status at the University of Ljubljana, students with special needs may apply for special status, which is also granted to students who are top athletes, recognised artists, participants in international competitions, or parents. This status entitles you to certain adapted study plans and requirements.
Obtaining the status of a student with special needs
If you enrolled in a faculty or academy as a candidate with special status, this only applied to the enrolment process. Once you have been accepted and would like study exceptions (at the beginning of or during your studies), you must apply for special needs status.
The following students can apply:
- blind and partially sighted students
- deaf and hearing impaired students
- students with speech and language disorders
- students with reduced mobility
- students with protracted or chronic illness
- students with specific learning difficulties
- students with autism spectrum disorders
- students with physical injuries and/or long-term rehabilitation
- students with physical and mental health disorders
- students with emotional and behavioural disorders
- students in exceptional social circumstances
You can apply for special status when enrolling in any year of the study programme, or at any time during the academic year when the conditions for granting special status are met. When applying for this status, you can contact the office in charge of helping special needs students at your member institution, as the application process varies from institution to institution.
I have obtained my status – what now?
Special needs status entitles you to various exceptions and modifications to your study environment and requirements, but in order to initiate these modifications you must first discuss them with your professors.
→ For help on communicating the necessary modifications, refer to the manual on Teaching Students with Special Needs, which contains recommendations for higher education teachers and professional staff for each group of students with special needs.
→ Self-advocacy skills are important in communicating your specific needs and necessary modifications.
The manual is intended for future students and those with special needs to facilitate and improve their studies. It addresses the following questions:
- how to navigate the university environment?
- how, to whom and when to communicate your special needs?
- how to communicate with professors about adjustments?
- how to strengthen your self-advocacy skills?
- how to improve other skills and knowledge for independent decision making during your studies?
Are you finding it difficult to study effectively? Would you like to know how to manage time better, make better decisions and set achievable goals?
You are not alone during your studies. For support, contact:
- The Slovenian Association of Disabled Students, which provides educational, cultural, sports, and social activities and assistance related to study and living conditions;
- Centres for Information and Vocational Guidance (Career Centres) of the Employment Service of Slovenia (ZRSZ), which provide guidance;
- URI Soča – Centre for Vocational Rehabilitation, which provides rehabilitation assessment and treatment (based on a referral from a school medicine specialist).
Entering the labour market as a student with special needs
If you need help gaining practical work experience before graduation and post-graduate employment, turn to UL Career Centres and the advisers of the Young Transition project, which involves the Association of Providers of Employment Rehabilitation. The project provides qualified advisers who assist young people during their studies and introduce them to the labour market through various activities.
Data shows that few young people with special needs find employment, so it is important that they learn about their opportunities in the labour market while still studying.