Reasonable adjustments

To enable you to fully access teaching, learning, exams and other assessments, we can provide a range of adjustments. We will work with you to put together an individual plan detailing what adjustments you require known as a Reasonable Adjustment Plan (RAP).

Exam provision during Covid-19

If you usually receive additional writing time and/or rest breaks during timed examinations….

Take-home Exam

The time allowed for take-home exams (e.g. 24-48 hours) is designed to be purposefully longer than we would expect students to need to complete the task. You are not expected to work continually within the allotted time. This is to allow as many students as possible (including disabled students) to complete the assessment in accordance with their needs. As this method of assessment is already inclusive by design, extra time is not typically required for disabled students.

If you require additional support in terms of how to approach such assessments, please contact the Academic Skills Centre and/or AWAS where appropriate.

Online Exams (those with a fixed duration for completion of 1-3 hours)

If extra time and/or rest breaks are recommended in your reasonable adjustment plan (RAP), in most cases, this additional allowance should still be allocated.

If you usually receive use of a reader/scribe in exams……..

If you have access to assistive technology, such as text to speech software (eg. Claroread / Texthelp) or speech to text software (eg. Dragon Naturally Speaking) this technology can be used in place of human support to read text and record your responses to exam questions in writing.  Typically, human support would only have been put in place due to the practicalities of accessing such assistive technology in an exam environment.

Please ensure that you have undertaken the relevant assistive software training  prior to the assessment.

Additional guidance on how to use your software effectively can be found at: Texthelp Read-Write; Claroread  and  Dragon Naturally Speaking

Please look out for the range of activities and guidance offered in the two Assessment Support Weeks beginning Monday 10 May.

If you have additional queries about online exams, please contact your disability adviser.

 

Asessment support for students (including online exams)

A short video series providing practical advice for students preparing for asessments and exams including online exams (University login required)

 Video 1:
Jerry Pritchard (lecturer and Director of Education for LES), Sue Onens (Inclusivity Adviser) and Vikki Anderson (Disability Adviser - SpLDs ) discuss the format and timeline of open book exams. The advice in this video is relevant to students from different disciplines and contains some useful information about using time effectively.

 Video 2:
Jerry Pritchard (lecturer and Director of Education for LES), Vikki Anderson (Disability Adviser - SpLDs) and Sue Onens (Inclusivity Adviser) talk about preparing for the exams including  students  who have a  Reasonable Adjustments Plan (RAP) in place. The guidance given in this video will be relevant for a range of students.  

Video 3:
Jerry Pritchard (lecturer and Director of Education for LES), Sue Onens (Inclusivity Adviser ) and Vikki Anderson (Disability Adviser - SpLDs ) give some top tips before and during the online exams which will be useful across a range of disciplines.

Asessment Support Week 2020 resources: (university login required)

Applying for Reasonable Adjustments

To receive a Reasonable Adjustment Plan (RAP) you will need to make an application with the Student Disability Service.

Please be aware that the deadline for applications for reasonable adjustments for the August supplementary exam period is Monday 28 June 2021. We will continue to process your application for disability related support after this date, but if you have support requirements that need to be considered for upcoming exams you will need to talk to your Wellbeing Officer about the University's extenuating circumstances procedure.

For more information on the range of other services you can access, including if you are experiencing exam stress, please view our information about mental health and wellbeing support available.

Eligibility

We are able to provide you with a Reasonable Adjustment Plan (RAP) if you meet the legal definition for a disability, set out in the UK Equality Law. Even if you do not think of yourself as disabled, you may have a condition or difficulty which meets the definition. A disability is defined as any condition which has a significant, adverse and long-term effect on a person’s ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities.

We see students with a range of difficulties including, but not limited to:

  • dyslexia, dyspraxia and other specific learning difficulties (SpLd)
  • autism spectrum conditions or Asperger's syndrome
  • long term mental health difficulties / mental illness
  • unseen disabilities like autoimmune conditions, connective tissue disorders, diabetes,  epilepsy, cancer, HIV, chronic fatigue
  • long term mobility impairments
  • sensory impairments.

Types of adjustments and support available   

All students who have completed their application with the Student Disability Service should have access to the following:

  • Course outlines and reading lists made available at least 4 weeks before the start of the course.
  • Reading lists that differentiate between essential/desirable reading (indicate priority and/or relevance).
  • Outline lecture handouts/PowerPoint to be made available at least 24 hours in advance of taught sessions, preferably in electronic format (e.g. via Canvas).
  • Permission to record lectures using your own equipment (e.g. digital voice recorder, specialist software) for personal learning.
  • Email notification (via your University email address) of any changes to existing arrangements such as changes to the course, rooms or cancellation of sessions.

Further adjustments may be recommended on a case by case basis, which can in some cases include but is not limited to:

  • Exam Adjustments like extra time, rest breaks or a separate room.
  • Timetabling in accessible rooms.
  • Access to library services such as book digitisation, book fetching or assistive technology booths.
  • Adjustments or prioritisation for suitable accommodation like en-suite or wheelchair accessible accommodation.  

If you are a UK student further support may be availibale via Disabled Students Allowance (DSA).  

Making changes to a Reasonable Adjustment Plan

Reasonable Adjustment Plans (RAPs) are working documents and can be reviewed when needed. You are encouraged to get back in touch with a disability advisor should your circumstances change. Alternatively, you can email disability@contacts.bham.ac.uk to request an appointment.

Funding for study related support

If you are a UK student and require funded support (often called non-medical helper support), you are advised to apply for the Disabled Student’s Allowance (DSA). If you are an international student or not eligible for DSA funding, you should discuss your needs with a disability advisor.

Examples of support some disabled students may need include:

  • note-taker support
  • mental health or Asperger’s specialist mentoring
  • dyslexia support tutor
  • practical support worker
  • sign language interpreter.

Please note, the DSA may not provide funding for all the recommendations detailed in your DSA Needs Assessment. However, the University may be able to provide you with funding for these additional support needs. Please speak to a disability advisor for more information.

Personal care or support with independent living

Personal care support refers to any practical help or assistance you require for daily life, regardless of student status – in other words, non-study related activities or tasks such as:

  • getting up, going to bed, or adjusting position overnight (and during the day)
  • washing/bathing and getting dressed
  • help with eating or medication
  • using the toilet
  • domestic activities – cleaning your living area, laundry, shopping, preparing meals
  • leisure or extra-curricular activities
  • driving or helping you to get around outside study hours. 

UK students

Organising a care package can take between 6 and 12 months.  Therefore it is vital that you contact your local social services or named social worker as early as possible to allow funding to be organised and the appropriate support package to be in place from the beginning of your course.

International and EU students

International and EU students are not eligible for financial assistance with care costs from the British government, and the University is unable to fund personal care support. Care and support can be very expensive as labour costs in the UK are high compared to some countries. How you will meet your personal care and support needs should be thoroughly investigated and additional costs budgeted for before taking up a place at the University.

 

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