Reasonable Adjustments: Autism Spectrum Condition
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 Autism Spectrum Conditions may benefit from a range of inclusive teaching and assessment strategies. Some adjustments that are frequently used for students with Autism Spectrum Conditions include:
- Access to peer note takers.
- Provision of recorded lectures or professional note takers.
- Access to Student Access Study Centres if available on campus.
- Access to speech recognition Assistive Technology.
- Access to Assistive Technology or scribe in examinations.
- Arranging the provision of specific tutorial allocations or tutors with whom the student is already familiar.
- Arranging a case management service to support engagement with study and assess regular progress.
- Meetings between lecturing/tutor staff before the course commences, where clear and detailed information about the structure of the course, practical arrangements, assessment requirements, expectations and deadlines can be discussed and provided in written form.
- Protocols established for how to inform the student if any changes must be made (course content or venue etc).
- Protocols and expectations for group work established, including dispute resolution.
- Provision of course materials and instructions in advance.
- Provision of subject word lists, glossaries of terms and acronyms.
- Provision of an individual contact person who can provide support and/or additional explanation of requirements, protocols, benchmarks, feedback, progress and instructions.
- Additional tuition/learner support in language skills, structuring work and so on.
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, Autism Spectrum Condition. Accessed on 21 July from adcet.edu.au/disability-practitioner/reasonable-adjustments/disability-specific-adjustments/autism-spectrum-condition/
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/resource/7383/file/1/