Based on the principle described above, the University support system has been created to support students with special needs. Your special need has to be documented. 

The most important keyword to be considered here is prevention. Retrospective intervention is not possible, so please submit your certificate at the beginning of your studies and make sure the certificate is valid. Keep in touch with the Counsellor for Students with Special Needs in case any circumstances change or you need help in finding a solution to a particular situation.

At Tallinn University, special needs can be proven with:

  • a disability certificate from the Estonian Social Insurance Board;  
  • or the Estonian Unemployment Insurance Fund's reduced working capacity certificate;
  • or a specialist doctor's certificate in Estonia or your home country;
  • or if You study here temporary as Erasmus + student, with your home university disability assessment  certificate. 

Disability Counsellor can be contacted for the following topics:

  • Support in getting adjusted in Estonia. Help with finding scholarships for students with special needs, applying for disabilities and/or reduced work capacity in the Estonian system and finding necessary services. 
  • Adjustments to entrance exams. Candidates can ask for adaptations in the entrance exams to take into account the obstacles arising from the specifics of special needs and the environment. For the adjustment, the disability certificate must be submitted to the special needs student counsellor until SAIS and Dream Apply applications can be submitted.
  • Exemption from reimbursement study fines. Is not required from students with at least moderate disabilities or reduced work ability(certificates in the Estonian system) who are studying in the free Estonian language curriculum during the validity of the certificate. This also means an exemption from the reimbursement of study costs in an additional year or when falling into part-time studying.
  • Reasonable adjustments in the duration of your studies. To put the adjustments in place, the special needs counsellor must be presented with a certificate of the basis of the special needs and recommendations to take into account. This will be evaluated with the counsellor to take into account as much as the Study Regulations and university resources allow. Faculty members have one month from being informed to implement the changes that are possible with still achieving all the course learning outcomes.

Support in higher education outside Tallinn University

Estonian Higher Education law does not regulate support or equal access to higher education for students with special needs. This means the university does not have its own designated support services. The services students need are provided by different government levels for people who have established their disability in the Estonian system. 

  • Rehabilitation services are  through Estonian Unemployment Insurance Fund or Social Insurance Board.Services for people with disabilities or reduced working capacity to teach and develop everyday skills, enhance their opportunities to participate in society, support them in fulfilling the prerequisites to work or study. Read more about applying for the determination of the degree of disability or/and assessment of work ability
  • The Estonian Chamber of Disabled People  is to improve the livelihood, the quality of life and the social inclusion of disabled people. 

  • Students who have a living registration in Tallinn and have a certain degree of disability severity can  apply for services the city offers HERE
  • The national scholarship for students with special needs depends on the type and severity of the student's disability and ranges from 60 to 510 euros per month.  Read more here. You can apply beginning of autumn semester or spring semester.  Apply here.
  • To get technical aids read more HERE.


special needs adviser

Kai Rannastu

Counsellor for Students with Special Needs


Requesting adjustments and special conditions

​​​Adjustments and special conditions according to the certificate are:

  • Certificate from special doctor or university: adjustments in studies
  • Decision about reduced working capacity: adjustments in studies and exemption from tuition fees
  • decision about disability: adjustments in studies, exemption from tuition fees, State scholarship for students with special needs, 
    TLU scholarship for students with special needs (Mobility, Visual or Hearing Impairment)

The process of planning adjustments:

  • Send your certificate to the Counsellor;
  • Student and Counsellor: entering data to the Study Information System (ÕIS), mapping the needs and choosing appropriate adjustments;
  • Student: give permission (in ÕIS or in written form to the Counsellor) for forwarding the information to the study counsellor of the academic unit and to the teaching staff of the semester in question;
  • Student: get in touch with the teaching staff of the course/subject and make agreements as to what and how to consider, having regard that learning outcomes can be achieved. Stay in touch with the teaching staff, give feedback;
  • Counsellor: renewing the list of courses in ÕIS at the beginning of each semester on the basis of the student’s study plan.

Remember! We can support learning with the help of applying adjustments but the learning outcomes must be achieved on an equal level with other students.

The most commonly used adjustments based on the nature of the special need:
•    using aids or support services (e.g. support person, speech to text reporting, sign language interpreter etc.);
•    recording the lecture. Making an author´s agreement beforehand for the protection of the intellectual property of the teaching staff;
•    extending deadlines. The learner has made an agreement with the teaching staff before the original deadline has passed;
•    previously agreed flexible attendance and assessment of alternatives for the achievement of learning outcomes;
•    sharing the presentations and handouts of the lectures digitally;
•    allowing extra time during exams and tests;
•    considering the specifics of the learner during studies. For example, the student could be given more independent work, making presentations in small groups etc.
•    not considering typical mistakes for surprise assessments in case of learning difficulties (dysgraphia, dyslexia);
•    permitting specific aids, e.g. computer, magnifying glass, inclusive software, FM system etc.;
•    reducing the amount of compulsory literature by bringing out the most important part;
•    checking accessibility before going on field trips;
•    ensuring physical access to the classroom;
•    ensuring place in the first row in the classroom;
•    permission to eat/drink in the classroom, including during examination;
•    permission to move around during the class, make pauses, leave early;
•    considering the needs of students with hearing impairment (reducing background noise, requirement for the tempo of the lecture, speech clarity, position of the member of teaching staff in the classroom etc. to ensure better audibility)
•    etc

Physical accessibility of campus

TLU's physical environment is constantly evolving. The accessibility of students with special mobility and vision needs and the consideration of their needs in auditoriums and other spaces may be limited. However, it is constantly being worked on.


Access to the university by public transport or by car:

  • Coming by tram to the "Tallinn University" stop, the tram stops in the middle of the road. The platform stop is the next stop "Koidula". Please be careful when crossing the crosswalk.
  • If you come by car, there are two disabled parking spaces next to Mare building at Uus-Sadam 5.

To see the accessibility of Tallinn take a look at Tallinn Accessibility Information System and check out how to get to campus HERE

To get familiarised with our campus, it is recommended that you make an appointment with the Disability Counsellor for a personalised campus tour. Take Your friend with You!

Please familiarize yourself with the campus HERE and virtual tour HERE.

Please notice!

  • If you are lost in the house  (e.g. with a wheelchair), you can call a security guard for help (phone 58538502).
  • Students can request a door card for access to all floors of the Study Center, the student recreation area, the Student Support Center and Vita building. Notify the special needs student advisor.
  • Inform the counselor of students with special needs about your observations and experiences.

You can access  independently with a wheelchair:

Terra building (Narva Road 25) – First floor and through Astra building third floor disability lift the third and fourth floor (marked with the prefix ‘T’). The second floor is accessible by Terra/Vita connecting gallery through Vita building.

 Astra building (Narva Road 29) – All floors (marked with the prefix ‘A’). The building has toilet facilities designed for people with special needs on the 0, second and third floors. 

Silva building (Narva Road 29) – All floors (marked with the prefix ‘S’) are accessible through the Astra building. All floors are connected to Astra building. The second floor is accessible from the second floor of the Mare building through Silva/Mare gallery. 

Mare building (Uus-Sadama Street 5) – All floors (marked with the prefix ‘M’). The building has toilet facilities designed for people with special needs on the first and second floors.

Nova building (Narva Road 27) – First floor through Vita building, in the building all floors (marked with the prefix ‘N’). From Mare building, second floors are connected with Mare/Nova gallery and a disability stairlift. The building has toilet facilities designed for people with special needs on the 0 floor.

Vita Building (Narva Road 27) - All floors (marked with the prefix 'V') are accessible. The building has toilet facilities designed for people with special needs on the 0 floor.

TU Academic Library (Rävala Avenue 10) and Study Centre (Astra building, second floor)  – some of the reading halls are accessible by wheelchair. It is recommended to use the Study Centre. In the Study Centre to go to the third and fourth floor personalized door card is needed to use the lift.

Tallinn University student dormitory (17 Karu Street) provides accommodations specially designed for students with mobility impairment.  There are 5 single rooms specially adapted for them (bathroom, toilet and kitchen). The apartment can be accessed from the ramp on the side of the building. You can enter the front door with a door card, the inner doors open automatically.

It is not possible to access independently with a wheelchair:

Rooms A-046 and A-018 of the Astra building, computer class A-406 (a special solution is for the student to enter through the door on the side of the Study Center), Tallinn University Museum and room A-002 has access only upstairs by the door.

In Mare's building, there is no access to room M-134, the room goes straight down the slope and a wheelchair cannot fit there.

There is no access to the fifth floor of the Terra , and you can get through the Vita building on the second floor of Terra ONLY if the disabled lift in the building is in working order. 

It is only possible to enter Nova building through Vita building. The wheelchair lift between Nova and Mare is not available for students using electric wheelchairs. The lift key can be obtained from the Nova and Mare information desk.

Haapsalu College is not accessible to wheelchair users.