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Reasonable Adjustments: Acquired Brain Injury (ABI)

Reasonable adjustments refer to a “measure or action taken to assist a student with disability to participate in education and training on the same basis as other students”1 They are designed to place students with disability on a more equal footing, and not to give them any kind of advantage.

Reasonable adjustments made for a student with disability must maintain the academic integrity of the qualification and not cause a health or safety risk for another student(s) or negatively impact upon the learning experience of another student(s).

Adjustments are negotiated to meet the needs of the individual student, this is predominantly done through a Disability Practitioner within the institution the student attends.

To accommodate individual students

Students with Acquired Brain Injury may benefit from a range of inclusive teaching and assessment strategies.  Some adjustments that are frequently used for students with ABI include:

  • Access to copy of peer lecture notes.
  • Professional note-taker for lectures, practicals or tutorials.
  • Access to Student Access Study Centre if available on campus.
  • Provision of a Practical Assistant within laboratories or workshops.
  • Access to Assistive Technology, for example speech recognition, or screen reader and word prediction.
  • Access to information in electronic formats.
  • Arrangement of case management to assist studies and assess regular process.
  • Arranging the specific scheduling of tutorial allocations with smaller class sizes or tutors with specific ABI expertise.
  • Allowing students to be be accompanied by support persons where required.
  • Arrangement for student to meet with faculty prior to starting to identify strategies for accommodating the implications of the disability in relation to the inherent requirements of any required practicums.
  • Access to Assistive Technology or scribe in examinations.
  • Examination timetable adjustments to allow for adequate time between exams and scheduling for times that capitalise on the student’s maximum energy levels, such as morning or afternoon exams.
  • Provision for moving around in class and examinations, for example stretching, lying on floor.
  • Provision for additional toilet breaks during examinations.
  • Provision of explicit, step-by-step instructions for tasks and assignments that assist in compensating for deficits in short term memory or ability to organise information.
  • Provision of a peer mentor.

References

1 Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA) 2013. Student Diversity. Accessed on July 21 2016 from australiancurriculum.edu.au/studentdiversity/students-with-disability
Australian Disability Clearinghouse on Education and Training, Identifying Student Requirements and Making Reasonable Adjustments.  Accessed on July 20 2016 from adcet.edu.au/inclusive-teaching/working-with-students/making-reasonable-adjustments/
Australian Disability Clearinghouse on Education and Training, Acquired Brain Injury (ABI).  Accessed on July 21 2016 from adcet.edu.au/inclusive-teaching/specific-disabilities/acquired-brain-injury/
Queensland VET Development Centre (2010), Reasonable adjustment in teaching, learning and assessment for students with a disability.  A guide for VET practitioners.  Queensland Government.  Accessed on July 20, 2016 from adcet.edu.au/download/attachment/7383-1
University of Melbourne, Student Equity and Disability Support. Acquired Brain Injury.  Accessed on July 21 2016 from services.unimelb.edu.au/disability/resources/towards_success/acquired_brain_injury