Reasonable Adjustments: Physical Disability
As per the Disability Standards for Education 2005 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”. 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 other 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 with physical disabilities may benefit from a range of inclusive teaching and assessment strategies. Some adjustments that are frequently used for students with physical disabilities include:
- access to venues
- summaries of lecture information given at the end of lectures to accommodate students who may be late due to difficulties moving between teaching venues on large campuses
- access reviews conducted of all off-campus sites to ensure they meet the access needs of students with a mobility disability
- supplementary tasks as an alternative to difficult field trips
- space provided in teaching rooms to accommodate student’s own furniture or adaptive equipment
- option to stand in classes or take short breaks to accommodate musculoskeletal issues
- recording of lectures and tutorial sessions
- provision of a note-taker
- provision of modified equipment, including computers
- support with locating and use of library resources, including photocopiers and other equipment
- additional one-to-one sessions with tutors for students who are not able to participate in some class activities
- oral examination or access to text-to-speech software where writing or typing of answers is impacted by the physical disability
- provision of a separate room if speech recognition software is to be used
- additional time in exams where a physical disability affects writings speed
- rest breaks in exams
- take home exams
- extensions to assignments where extensive research involving physical activity such as frequent trips to the library or collection of data from dispersed locations is required.