Reasonable Adjustments: Health Conditions
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. They commonly include the following.
To accommodate individual students
Students who have health conditions that impact upon their ability to study may benefit from a range of inclusive teaching and assessment strategies. Some adjustments that are frequently used for students who have health conditions include:
- Recording of lectures.
- Provision of a note-taker.
- Extensions to deadlines.
- Provision of reading lists at the before the start of the course.
- Provision of a peer mentor.
- Provision of one-to-one sessions with a tutor or learning support worker.
- Advance notice of topics to be covered and assignments to be completed.
- Negotiation regarding attendance requirements.
- Negotiation of how assessment materials are presented for marking.
- Additional time for exams.
- Negotiation of take home/alternative exams if appropriate.
- Suspension of assessment and negotiation of enrolment status where possible when the health condition enters and active phase.
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, Health Conditions. Accessed on July 19 2016 from adcet.edu.au/inclusive-teaching/specific-disabilities/health-conditions/
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/