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Reasonable Adjustments: ADD and ADHD

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 with ADD and ADHD may benefit from a range of inclusive teaching and assessment strategies.  Some adjustments that are frequently used for students with ADD and ADHD include:

  • provision of lecture recordings
  • assignment extensions
  • provision of note-takers and/or access to lecturer notes
  • assistance in the library or with additional learning supports
  • extended exam time, preferred seating or alternative venue where distractions can be minimised
  • allowance for breaks in exams
  • alternative formats and use of Assistive Technology such as use of text-to-speech and speech recognition software, smartpens and so on
  • use of organisational apps to assist with planning 
  • alternative assessment arrangements such as oral presentation of information, individual rather than group presentations, recognition of practical demonstration of skills and knowledge (particularly in VET)
  • allowance for student to leave the teaching space periodically.


    1. Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA) 2013. Student Diversity. Accessed on July 21, 2016 from
    Australian Disability Clearinghouse on Education and Training, Identifying Student Requirements and Making Reasonable Adjustments.  Accessed on July 20 2016 from
    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
    Vicker, M.Z., (2010). Accommodating College Students with Learning Disabilities: ADD, ADHD and Dyslexia.  Pope Center Series on Higher Education, The John William Pope Center for Higher Education Policy: Raliegh, North Carolina.  Accessed on July 20 2012 from