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Examination arrangements for disabled students – autistic spectrum conditions, disabilities, mental health difficulties, long-term health conditions, or specific learning differences

This page provides information about examination arrangements for disabled students - autistic spectrum conditions, disabilities, mental health difficulties, long-term health conditions, or specific learning differences. Its content is directed at staff and students across all of the UK, China and Malaysia campuses.

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1. Overview

Includes: University commitment; Disability Support Services

This page applies to all students with a disability, mental health difficulty, long-term condition, autistic spectrum condition or a specific learning difference such as dyslexia, dyspraxia, dyscalculia and ADHD.

The University is strongly committed to equality of opportunity in its provision for all students. The University is committed to providing ongoing support with the focus being on providing accessible services and supporting students in completing their courses as independently as possible. For more information about the services available, please consult the following:

Disability Support Services

As part of this commitment, the University believes that assessment methods should, as well as being appropriate to the academic objectives of the course, minimise any impact of a student's condition on performance in assessment. This means that some students may require alternative arrangements for examinations or other assessments.

These guidelines set out the arrangements for organising the effective assessment of disabled students or those with long-term medical conditions.

 

2. Policy

Includes: scope; University responsibilities; student responsibilities

The University adheres to the Quality Assurance Agency's Quality Code for Higher Education and in this context in particular with the following Indicator that "Through inclusive design wherever possible, and through individual reasonable adjustments where required, assessment tasks provide every student with an equal opportunity to demonstrate their achievement" (Indicator 11 from Chapter B6: Assessment of students and the recognition of prior learning). At the same time, the rigour and comparability of the assessment should be protected with the affect that one academic standard is applied to all students.

Wherever possible, students with a disability, mental health difficulty, long-term health condition, autistic spectrum condition, or a specific learning difference such as dyslexia, dyspraxia, dyscalculia and ADHD should undertake the same assessments as others on their course.

The University will ensure that policies and procedures for requesting modification to assessment and examinations are widely publicised and easy for students to follow and will endeavour to apply them consistently across the institution. It is the University's responsibility to give students opportunities to disclose their disability or long-term medical condition and to ensure appropriate confidentiality. Students must be aware, however, that in order for alternative arrangements to be implemented, relevant staff will need to be informed of the disclosure.

It is the student's responsibility to ensure that the University is aware of their disability and to apply for any variation in assessment conditions within deadlines which are established for this purpose. Any request must be supported by appropriate evidence.

For more information, please consult the following:

Submitting your evidence

 

3. Procedure for students

Includes: link to Student Services Examinations section

Student Services - Disability Support Services are responsible for recommending reasonable adjustments after consultation where appropriate with relevant University staff or bodies.

Alternative arrangements, known as 'accommodations', will be implemented by Student Services for examinations controlled centrally, or implemented by schools where examinations are held by schools independently or where it involves another form of assessment.

Information for students who wish to request alternative arrangements is available on the Student Services Examinations section. For more information, please consult the following:

Student Services Examinations

 

4. Additional procedural information for staff

Includes: link to Student Services Examinations section

Information for staff is available on the Student Services Examinations section. For more information, please consult the following:

Student Services Examinations

 

5. Determination of alternative assessment arrangements

Includes: Formal examinations, coursework and other assessments

(a) Formal Examinations

Specific provision may be necessary for students who have disclosed a disability for formal examinations. 

Alternative arrangements can be made in discussion with Disability Support Services who liaise with the central exam team and assessment teams (Student Service Delivery). Some examples of adjustments can be found on the Adjustments for Examinations webpage, where you will also find marking guidelines for students using exam stickers.

For more information, please consult the following:

Alternative exam arrangements

(b) Coursework and other Assessments

Students should not be required to make a disclosure on cover sheets for coursework in order to allow them the same opportunities for anonymity that are available to other students. However, where there are requests for alternative forms of assessment or for extensions to deadlines, relevant staff may have to be informed of the condition.

The University recognises that the production of written work may present particular challenges for some students with a disability, mental health difficulty, long-term health condition, autistic spectrum condition, or a specific learning difference such as dyslexia, dyspraxia, dyscalculia and ADHD and has made provision for additional specialist support for these students. Therefore, the coursework of students with a Support Plan is marked following the same criteria as that applied to all students. Students with a Support Plan can request that Schools clarify their marking criteria so that they are aware of any penalties imposed for inaccurate spelling or poor presentation.

Extensions to deadlines are deemed ‘a reasonable adjustment’ and will be one of the recommendations made by Disability Support Services in the Support Plan shared with Disability Liaison Officers (DLOs) and other relevant colleagues. However, it is the responsibility of the student to request an extension to a deadline. Students requesting a deadline extension should complete and submit the Deadline Extension Request form available from the Student Services website. For more information, please consult the following:

Students with Support Plans have access to coursework extensions

A small number of disabled or specific learning differences students may require an alternative form of assessment for coursework on occasion. In these instances, there should be consultation between the School, the student and Disability Support Services. For more information, please consult the following:

Disability Support Services

 

6. Additional links

 
If you have any problems or queries relating to this page, please email: Quality-Manual-Enquiries@nottingham.ac.uk  Email
This content was last modified on 19 February 2021

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