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Appendix A: Guidelines for Reasonable Adjustment to Assessment and Teaching Methods for Students with Disabilities

1

Principles

1.1

Reasonable adjustment to assessment refers to special conditions/considerations in examinations and other assessment exercises, including placements, for students with disabilities. Reasonable adjustment to teaching methods refers to variations in the way that courses/topics are taught in order that they are accessible to students with disabilities. (Examples of reasonable adjustments to teaching methods include: reading aloud overheads for students who are blind, ensuring audio-visual materials are accompanied by transcripts or subtitles for students with a hearing impairment, using accessible teaching venues for students with a physical disability, negotiating suitable placements for students with a variety of health issues.)

1.2

Reasonable adjustments to assessment and teaching methods are made using the following principles:

1.2.1

Students with disabilities are subject to the standard rules and policy on assessment and teaching methods, and assessment is only varied where a student can demonstrate with appropriate documentation that he/she is disadvantaged as a result of disability.

1.2.2

The nature of reasonable adjustments is such that they are designed to minimise the disadvantage experienced by students with disabilities, rather than provide students with a competitive advantage.

1.2.3

Moreover any adjustments to assessment for a student with a disability are to be made in such a way as to ensure that the fundamental nature of the assessment remains the same ie students with disabilities are still required to demonstrate a pre-determined level of ability in relation to essential course requirements.

2

Information Provision

2.1

The Disability Service will distribute information to students with disabilities at the beginning of each year, detailing how to apply for reasonable adjustment to assessment and teaching methods.

2.2

Each Faculty will appoint a Faculty Disability Academic Advisor to respond to inquiries by students with disabilities and academic staff. The Disability Service will include this information in the material distributed to students.

3

Identification

3.1

It is the student's responsibility:

3.1.1

to identify themselves as a student with a disability, and to request accommodations on the basis of that disability. Students who identify as having a disability at enrolment will be forwarded information about the range of support services available (including arrangements for examinations), but responsibility for requesting such services rests with them;

3.1.2

to provide appropriate documentation of their disability;

3.1.3

to negotiate with Topic Coordinators and all relevant lecturers and tutors in regard to the recommendations made by a Disability Advisor.

3.2

It is the responsibility of the Health, Counselling and Disability Services as per the Policy on Students with Disabilities:

3.2.1

to request and file documentation of a student's disability, and any recommendations from professionals involved with the student (medical professionals, psychologists, student advisers within the Education Department, the Royal Society for the Blind, Deaf CanDo (formerly the Royal SA Society for the Deaf etc);

3.2.2

to work with the student and relevant academic staff members to devise appropriate reasonable adjustments to assessment in order that the competitive disadvantage that a student experiences as a result of disability can be minimised.

3.3

It is the responsibility of Faculty Disability Academic Advisors:

3.3.1

to act as a point of contact and information for students with disabilities in their faculty;

3.3.2

to act as a point of contact for Health, Counselling and Disability Services members in seeking to negotiate with academic staff in their faculty;

3.3.3

to act as a point of contact for academic staff within the Faculty who may need to clarify issues in regard to reasonable adjustments to assessment and teaching methods for students with disabilities.

3.4

It is the responsibility of the Topic Coordinator:

3.4.1

to ensure that all relevant lecturers and tutors are aware of the accommodations that have been negotiated for the student.

4

Recommendations Regarding Examinations (where the recommendation will not change the nature of assessment)

4.1

On the basis of documentation provided by the student and discussions with the student, the Health, Counselling and Disability Services will make recommendations of reasonable adjustment to the Examinations Officer.

4.2

These recommendations will be made on an appropriate proforma, and will indicate which aspects of these adjustments will be accommodated by the Health, Counselling and Disability Services.

4.3

It is the Examination Officer's responsibility:

4.3.1

to provide additional time for students for whom this is a reasonable adjustment;

4.3.2

to provide accommodation separate to the main examination venue and supervision to students for whom this is a reasonable adjustment;

4.3.3

to provide any other support which is readily available to it.

4.4

It is the responsibility of the Health, Counselling and Disability Services:

4.4.1

to provide sign interpreters, scribes, readers;

4.4.2

to provide specialist equipment (eg voice recognition/synthesis software, modified computers, screen enlarging software);

4.4.3

to arrange for the provision of examination papers in alternate print formats (Braille, large print, audio tape, computer disk);

4.4.4

to provide any other support which is not readily available to the Examinations Officer.

4.5

The Examinations Officer will inform students of arrangements for their examinations.

4.6

Recommendations for reasonable adjustment in examinations should reach the Examinations Officer no later than four weeks prior to the commencement of the examinations period. While every effort will be made to accommodate recommendations made after this date, such requests cannot be guaranteed equal consideration.

5

Recommendations - Other

• examinations (where the recommendation may change the nature of assessment);

• assessment exercises (other than examinations); and

• teaching methods.

5.1

Reasonable adjustments to examinations (where the recommendation may change the nature of assessment), assessment exercises (other than examinations) and teaching methods are a matter for negotiation between the student, Topic Coordinator and the Disability Advisor or Health, Counselling and Disability Services. These agreements should be made in writing and lodged with the Disability Advisor, who will provide copies to the student. It is the student's responsibility to provide copies to the relevant Topic Coordinator(s). Topic Coordinator(s) maintain oversight for ensuring that appropriate follow up action in relation to agreements occurs.

5.2

In accordance with the University's Assessment Policy, these guidelines, and any negotiations between students with disabilities, the Health, Counselling and Disability Services and academic staff in relation to assessment, are not intended to diminish the professional responsibility of academic staff to determine assessment methods.

6

Grievances

6.1

Students who are dissatisfied with a response from a Topic Coordinator or with provisions made for reasonable adjustments to teaching or assessment methods may appeal in writing to the Faculty Board (or staff member/committee with delegated authority). Such an appeal must include a signed statement concerning the nature and effects of the student's disability from a medical practitioner or other qualified professional as appropriate.


20 Novembeer 2011