Some details on disability inclusion and accessibility at Goethe University in English 

Quick Info: Accessibility and Inclusion at Goethe University

Below, we would like to cast some spotlight on important questions concerning accessibility and inclusion at Goethe University (Q&A). We thus hope to support international students, scientists, scholars, colleagues and guests to prepare their stay. For details and advice, please ask the contact persons mentioned with individual questions. 

On Disability Status and Recognition

Is there an official process to have my disability status recognised? Does the university need to know my disability status?

Generally, there is no need to have your disability status as such acknowledged by the university. In case you decide to apply for modified conditions in academic examinations (accommodations, Nachteilsausgleiche), you will have to give appropriate medical evidence concerning your situation of health and the additional challenges it implies with regard to the concrete examination situation. Other procedures regarding the recognition of a disability status at our university vary. Please consult our specialised study advisors.

What kind of medical evidence do I have to provide concerning my disability (status) and health-related needs?

Generally, medical evidence by doctors (preferably specialists) and evidence by licensed psychotherapists is accepted. All medical evidence needs to refer to the implications of the health issue in the academic context. All relevant documents should be provided in German (alternatively: in English); often, translations by a certified translator are required. There is generally no need for an official certification of the disability status for university purposes, and a Disability Card (Schwerbehindertenausweis) is rarely required. 

On Services and Possible Adjustments

What does Goethe University have to offer its (disabled) students? What can I reasonably expect from my stay there? How will the university support me? 

Goethe University, one of the major universities in Hesse, is on its way to evolve towards an Inclusive University (Action Plan 2020, German). Students with disabilities can expect its best efforts to support their academic success, so that they may learn and develop their talents on an equal basis with all other students. 

We offer specialised study advisory services for students with disabilities or health issues, to advice you on the implications your personal situation might have on your studies and the modalities of examinations. The advisors also discuss possible support options, or help students to find the appropriate local experts to contact about an issue. Disabled students are free to use the psycho-social counselling services available to all students.

Two of our libraries feature special rooms for readers with assistance needs. These rooms provide some equipment for blind and visually impaired users. The accessibility of our buildings, laboratories and facilities varies unfortunately. 

Please note that German universities are generally not responsible for health services, medical support, personal care, or the provision of (medical) assistive devices. Apart from occasional student-based projects, we do not regularly offer specific tutoring for students with disabilities or health issues.  Feel free to ask our advisors for support in navigating the German welfare system, or to discuss additional questions you may have with them.

How can my course of studies be adapted to my (health- related) needs and requirements? Which appropriate accommodations are established at Goethe-University?

There are some options to adapt the pace of your studies to your needs, and the chronological order of courses and examinations can be adapted within reasonable limits. Generally, the contents and academic level of qualification must remain unchanged. Please discuss the options best suited to your situation with our specialised study advisors.

Which accommodations are possible with regard to examinations? Can I expect modified conditions?

We offer disability/health- related accommodations in exams in accordance with German law, rules and regulations. Under a Nachteilsausgleich , which is available upon application, the form, chronological order and timing of examinations may be modified as necessary to compensate for disability/ health-related challenges and disadvantages. However, the level of academic competence represented by an examination, and its contents, must not be altered.  The Nachteilsausgleich is the main form of accommodations in examinations offered by German universities. 

Feel free to discuss any further requirements and concerns with our specialised study advisors, your lecturers and student organisations.

Preparatory Visits

If you are interested in a preparatory visit, please contact our specialised study advisors.

What to expect?

Our study advisors may advice you in detail on how to pursue your academic goals at Goethe University with a disability or health issue. If you wish to visit the university's buildings and facilities in advance, we may provide support and guidance (in some cases) by individual arrangement

Various Needs and Support

Is there financial support for (preparatory) visits/ stays abroad?

Generally, there is no financial support for incoming students as such and no special funding for international students with disabilities or health issues. We recommend an independent research and a consultation with our (specialised) study advisors when you plan your stay, preferably well ahead of time. 

It is possible to apply for the reimbursement of the otherwise mandatory Semester-Ticket, in cases of social hardship, or if your disability status entitles you to use public transportation for free. 

If you come to Germany on a scholarship, you can often receive additional support and services, e.g. for special accommodation facilities etc. However, details depend on the particular scholarship: with Erasmus, for example, you can apply for additional money for your stay.

Is there medical support for students?

Generally, the university itself does not provide any medical services explicitly to its students. More information on the health care system in Frankfurt with special regard to the situation of people with disabilities or health issues may be found on this website.

What kinds of psycho-social support for students are there?

Please consult this list of support options established by our International Office.

What about housing options?

The housing situation of students (and many others) in Frankfurt is a difficult one, additional accessibility requirements tend to complicate matters further. The university itself does not provide any lodgings to students. There is a limited number of wheelchair-friendly student apartments available via Studentenwerk Frankfurt. For details, see: Residences - Studentenwerk Frankfurt We advise you to do a thorough research early on when planning your stay and consider all possible options.

Welcoming activities

Which of the university's Welcoming activities are accessible?

There are a number of different welcoming activities at Goethe University, varying by subject and occasion. If you have any accessibility requirements concerning these events, please contact the organisers or our specialised study advisors as soon as possible. We will do our best to assist you.

Accessibility and Local Information

Are there accessible routes to/on the university's campuses?

The 5 campuses of Goethe University are relatively easy to reach by public transport. On accessibility issues, please see the section on living in Frankfurt on this website.

Is Frankfurt an accessible metropolis?

For additional information on accessibility issues in Frankfurt, please visit: frankfurt-inklusiv.de

Terms we use, people we reach out to

Studying with health issues

What kind of problems are addressed? Does this concern me personally? Will I find information and support to improve my situation here? On interests and terminologies.

Our study advisors are at your side

Contact

Advice and Support for Students with Health Issues
Beratung für Studierende mit Beeinträchtigung

Theodor-W.-Adorno-Platz 6
60323 Frankfurt am Main

Current information and publications

Find out more...

Find more detailed information in our news section (German) and the university's publications on inclusion and accessibility