Counselling students with special needs

Students with special needs are University of Tartu students whose physical or psycho-social special needs create the necessity to adapt the organisation of the work or study environment in order to guarantee an opportunity for maximum participation in the study process and individual development.

Students, prospective students and empolyees of the University of Tartu are welcome to turn to the Special Needs Adviser.

Students with special needs and other interested parties can get related information by subscribing to the special needs list.


Book an appointment

Times are available for the following 30 days; new appointments become available daily. NB! Please use the university e-mail address ( when booking.

NB! Use Google translate for translating the form. For example in Chrome you can right-click on the form and choose „Translate to English“.


Special Needs Advisers

Maris Gertz
  • Adjustments are changes in the organisation of the work or study environment. Learning outcomes and the threshold for passing the course for students with special needs will remain the same. Adjustments are given within reason depending on your diagnosis. 
  • If you are a special needs student and you already know that you will need adjustments in your studies, please bring a doctor’s note or proof of disability translated into English with you and give it to the Special Needs Adviser. If you are receiving/have received adjustments in your studies from your home University, please bring a document in English on which the adjustments have been listed. It will make the process of getting adjustments at the University of Tartu quicker.
  • If you need adjustments the first step is to turn to the Special Needs Adviser, which can be initiated through an appointment. It is strongly recommended that you make the appointment before the beginning of the semester. If you wish you can turn to the relevant lecturer instead.
  • Information about disabilities is available to a limited number of employees. Study Information System does not provide disability and special needs information to lecturers.
  • Even if you don't need adjustments, you can still turn to the Special Needs Adviser about your needs and/or concerns. Developing support services for students with special needs is more effective when the University is aware of what special needs our students have. The Special Needs Adviser will not give personalised information about your needs to third parties without your permission. Informing the University of special needs is entirely voluntary, and you do not have to use the available advantages (such as release from tuition fee) or study adjustments.
  • If it is difficult for you to meet the deadlines due to your special needs, please contact your lecturer before the deadline and inform him/her of your situation. Please do not wait until the deadline has expired.

The purpose of the scholarship for students with special needs is to support students with special needs in acquiring higher education. Please read more about the scholarship for students with special needs here.

A student who has a moderate, severe or profound disability or decreased work capability or is a parent or guardian of a disabled child of up to and including 15 years of age will be released from tuition fees on the basis of the student’s application in either full-time or part-time studies, provided the student commences studies full-time in an Estonian-taught curriculum. NEW! Since the 2021/22 autumn semester students with decreased working ability who have commenced studies full-time in an Estonian-taught curriculum can also apply for release from tuition fees. Students can apply to be released from tuition fees until 15 September (autumn semester) and 15 February (spring semester).

When applying for release from tuition fees, a document certifying entitlement must be submitted in addition to a duly completed application:

  • a student with special needs must submit a disability certificate (issued by the Social Insurance Board) regarding the severity of his/her disability; or, from the 2021/2022 autumn semester, a certificate of decreased working ability (issued by Eesti Töötukassa) can also submitted
  • a parent of a disabled child must submit the child’s birth certificate and a decision made by a medical expert regarding the severity of the child’s disability.

The accessibility information is currently being updated. If you need accessibility information please contact the Special Needs Adviser.

The objective of providing support services is to help students with special needs cope independently, support their social integration and equal opportunities, and promote efficient involvement in studies. The University of Tartu supports students with special needs upon their entry to university, participation in studies, and in relation to exams and tests, providing study materials as well as creating a suitable social and physical environment.

The University of Tartu Library offers home service for members with special needs. UT Library has audio files of literature for students with visual disabilities. For partially sighted students, the library also has a video magnifier MLX Reader – MLX Split, which can enlarge text up to 46 times.

For visually impaired and blind students and also for those students who experience writing or typing difficulties due to a coordination disorder, it is possible to borrow a speech recognition device that can be used to convert speech to text.

The University has rooms suitable for students with reduced mobility in the student village dormitory at Raatuse st 22.

Support students are volunteer students who are willing to support students with special needs. If you want to become a support student please contact the Special Needs Adviser.

If you need help but those around you do not offer it, they probably just don´t know how to help you or are afraid of making a mistake. You are an expert on your special needs, if you need help, please don't be afraid to ask for it.

If you have a problem and you don´t know whom to turn to, you can always contact the Special Needs Adviser.


Suggestions for further development of support services are always welcome!


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