There may be occasions when students need to negotiate reasonable accommodation for their disability with academic and general staff of the University. The Disability Liaison Officer can assist with these negotiations.
The Disability Liaison Officer is available to discuss with academic staff teaching strategies or services, which are appropriate for students with disability, who are enrolled in their subjects. The DLO can provide teaching staff with advice on:
- how disability affects study;
- alternative formats for reference material;
- adapting alternative assessments to accommodate students' specific abilities;
- alternative teaching strategies.
The Student Support Adviser (SSA) are able to act as a link between the student, Disability Services, the Faculty and the appropriate Academics in ensuring the student is supported through their study.
Time extensions may be provided during examinations when there are significant demands on reading, writing and comprehension skills as well as physical and psychological aspects of stress or pain management and endurance.
Extra time may be utilised to accommodate reading, writing and comprehension for a student with a learning disability or visual impairment, or it may be allowed for time-out for a specific activity. Time-out may be required to facilitate the demands of managing the disability during the examination; eg. extra time may be required to make up for a prescribed period of time utilised by the student to monitor his or her disability, stretch or rest.
For other assessment tasks which are submitted during the session, extensions of time for submission dates can be arranged with teaching staff.
Dictionaries, a thesaurus, computer spell check or grammar check may assist with essay or language based examinations. In mathematics or science, a calculator may be allowed for a student with a learning disability, who may understand concepts, but make errors by misaligning numbers or confusing arithmetical facts.
Some students may need access to assistive technology, a word processor, tape recorder or typewriter to enable them to complete an examination or assessment task. The provision of an ergonomic chair, sloping table or foot rest may reduce discomfort during an examination or class test.
This access will be provided if recommended by a medical specialist.
Some students may require a reader or scribe during examinations.
Arrangements can be made, if necessary, for students to undertake exams in a separate, quiet room with individual supervision.
Exam rooms may need to be free of fluorescent lighting, which may disrupt concentration and cause visual disturbances. Access to a power point, a bed or toilets may be necessary.
During session, a request can be made to avoid testing on recently presented material, as some students with learning disabilities may require additional time to assimilate new knowledge.
Students who have been disadvantaged by their disability may apply for special consideration for assessments during their studies. All students at the University have access to this provision for special consideration, which may mean that a student is able to submit additional work and/or sit for a supplementary examination. In extreme circumstances results may be reconsidered without supplementary work.
A student's disability may warrant special consideration because of:
- extreme recurrence of symptoms caused by a disability;
- interruption of studies through scheduled consultations with specialists, regular hospitalisation, rehabilitation programs, scheduled medical procedures, medical assessment/testing;
- damage, or lack of access, to specialised equipment/accessories necessary for attendance at university;
- adverse reaction to prescribed medication.
If students consider that their disability has contributed to poor performance in an assessment task they may submit a request for special consideration with marking. Requests for special consideration, in relation to end of session examinations, should be submitted to the Academic Registrar within seven days of the examination date.
The University is committed to promoting the academic progress of students with disability and endeavours to reasonably accommodate students' needs. There may however be occasions when students believe that the resources or opportunities provided to them are inadequate or that their disability is not being taken into consideration by staff of the University. Students with disability who have questions, complaints or grievances in relation to their studies at University, should consult their faculty SSA, the Disability Liaison Officer, the Head of Student Services, or the Dean of Students (Level 3, UniCentre).