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Guidance on Assessment for Disabled Students

The University has responsibilities under the Equality Act to make reasonable adjustments to its provision, including methods of assessment, and is keen to support disabled students appropriately:

1. Adjustments to assessment for a disabled student may take one of two general forms:

(a) Modifying the circumstances under which the existing assessment is taken

(b) Providing an alternative form of assessment.

2. Most adjustments will consist of modifying the circumstances under which the existing assessment is taken.

The need for any disability-related exam adjustments (including but not exclusive to written, oral, aural and practical) must be assessed by and agreed with the Disability Advisory and Support Service (DASS). Examples of this type of adjustment are additional time, rest breaks or an amanuensis. 

3. The Examinations team will implement these adjustments in the main examination periods. Outside of these periods arrangements must be made by the School.

4. In a very small number of cases the effects of the student's disability are such that an alternative form of assessment is required.  As above, the need for this type of adjustment must be assessed by and agreed with DASS.  DASS will then liaise with School staff to determine whether an alternative assessment can meet the competence standards of the course.

Devising an alternative assessment is an academic matter which must assess the same intended learning outcomes as the standard assessment and meet the same academic standards, whilst giving students the opportunity to demonstrate their academic achievement.

5. Once appropriate adjustments have been made the work should normally be marked in the same way as any other work. The DASS can advise on any rare cases where the adjustment does include the marking and will provide guidance on how this should be done.

6. When appropriate adjustments have been made, the marks should be treated in the same way as those of other students; no further compensation should be made unless there is additional documented mitigating evidence.

E-Assessment/online assessment of disabled students

7. If online assessment is considered inappropriate for a particular student’s needs, DASS should be consulted to discuss.

8. However, many online assessment methods can support the specific needs of many disabled students. These methods are encouraged and more information is available from Faculty eLearning teams.

Updated by DASS, August 2019