Reasonable Accommodations Policy
Reasonable Accommodations Policy for Students with Disabilities
Version Number: 1.0
Revision date: 16 June 2023
Policy Owner: Deputy President & Registrar
Approval Body: Academic Council (16 June 2023)
Review: Three months and annually thereafter
1. What is a Reasonable Accommodation?
2. What is the purpose of this policy?
3. Who does this policy apply to?
4. Where can I find the meaning of the terms used in this policy?
5. What are the roles and responsibilities of staff and students in relation to this policy?
6. Guiding Principles
7. Informal Resolution Procedure
8. Formal Review of Reasonable Accommodations
9. Disability Support Contact
10.Related Publications and Policies
Appendix 1 Definitions
Appendix 2 Needs Assessment
-Standard Reasonable Accommodations - Learning & Teaching
-Reasonable Accommodations - Research Students
-Examinations - Standard Reasonable Accommodations
-Examinations - Non- standard Reasonable Accommodations
Appendix 4 Case studies - UCC students availing of Reasonable Accommodations
A Reasonable Accommodation does not refer to living arrangements, it is a professional term used to explain the range of supports and services available in University College Cork (“UCC”) to assist students with disabilities/learning differences/significant ongoing health conditions to fully participate in their studies. In the education sector, Reasonable Accommodations are described as any action that helps alleviate a substantial disadvantage due to a disability/learning difference/significant ongoing health condition. Examples of Reasonable Accommodations can be found in Appendix 3.
2.1 UCC is committed to the provision of an equitable, inclusive, and accessible learning environment to facilitate all learners to achieve their maximum potential. UCC recognises the importance of inclusive learning, teaching, research and assessment methods in meeting the needs of all learners and strives to incorporate the principles of Universal Design (See definition in the Appendix 1) across all aspects of the learning, teaching and research experience. It is recognised that inclusive teaching, learning and research practices contribute to a more accessible learning and research environment and therefore may reduce the need for individual Reasonable Accommodations to be made.
2.2 This policy is intended to ensure that students with disabilities/learning differences/significant ongoing health conditions may access a holistic learning experience on an equal footing to all members of the UCC community. This policy provides a framework for the provision of Reasonable Accommodations for students with disabilities/ learning differences/significant ongoing health conditions who have registered with Disability Support in UCC.
2.3 As an educational institution, UCC has a legal duty to do all that is reasonable to accommodate the needs of a person with a disability/ learning difference/significant ongoing health condition. There are no determinative factors for Reasonable Accommodations and each case needs to be reviewed on its own merits. The policy refers to standard and non-standard Reasonable Accommodations which may be made available to students registered with Disability Support. See definition of standard and non-standard Reasonable Accommodations in Appendix 3.
2.4 UCC is mindful of its’ obligations under relevant national legislation and international standards. This document has been developed in accordance with the Disability Act 2005, the Equal Status Acts 2000 (as amended), the Universities Act 1997, and the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. UCC also acknowledges its’ duty to have regard to the need to eliminate discrimination, promote equality of opportunity, and protect human rights under the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission Act 2014.
3.1 This policy applies to all undergraduate and postgraduate (taught and research programmes) students with disabilities/ learning differences/significant ongoing health conditions studying in UCC who are registered with Disability Support and only for the duration of their registration with Disability Support. To register with Disability Support, students must be able to provide acceptable medical verification of their disability/ learning difference/significant ongoing health condition. For further information on the types of acceptable evidence for each disability/learning difference/significant ongoing health condition, please refer to Information on Disability Support.
3.2 Students with disabilities/learning differences/significant ongoing health conditions are encouraged to register with Disability Support as soon as possible to seek supports where their disability/ learning differences/significant ongoing health conditions could affect their ability to participate fully in all aspects of their programme of study.
3.3 International students with disabilities/learning differences/ significant ongoing health conditions may avail of Reasonable Accommodations while studying at UCC. International students with disabilities/learning differences/ significant ongoing health conditions should apply for Reasonable Accommodations with Disability Support as soon as they register for their UCC programme of study. It should be noted that Reasonable Accommodations available in the student’s home country may not be available or applicable in UCC. For further information, please see How to Register with Disability Support
3.4 The UCC community is responsible for ensuring that this policy is adhered to, including but not limited to:
- Schools, Departments and RICUs, henceforth Unit
- Professional Services and Technical Staff
3.5 Students with disabilities/learning differences/ significant ongoing health conditions participating in Work Integrated Learning during their programme of study are advised to contact Disability Support to have a Work Integrated Learning Needs Assessment conducted. In advance of this meeting students must review the Learning Outcomes and the Special Requirements for passing the Work Integrated Learning module which can be found in the Book of Modules. On reviewing the material in the Book of Modules If students have any queries, they should contact the Unit.
When the Disability Advisor and student meet, they will work together to identify appropriate Reasonable Accommodations for their Work Integrated Learning module. The student will be emailed a copy of their Work Integrated Learning Needs Summary (WILNS) and it will be available to Academic Staff on DMIS. It is the responsibility of the student to share the Work Integrated Learning Needs Summary with the relevant staff in Work Integrated Learning organization. In some cases, it may be necessary to organise a meeting between the student, the Unit, Disability Support and the Work Integrated Learning organization before the student commences work.
3.6 Students with disabilities/learning differences/ongoing significant health conditions who transfer to UCC from another academic institutions will usually be required to undergo a new Needs Assessment to identify suitable Reasonable Accommodations.
It is necessary to be familiar with the terminology used throughout this policy. You will find definitions of the relevant terms set out in Appendix 1.
Students: To avail of Reasonable Accommodations, students with disabilities/learning differences/significant ongoing health conditions have a proactive responsibility
- to register with Disability Support,
- provide the required appropriate medical evidence and follow UCC’s procedures in a timely manner.
- In addition, students should keep Disability Support informed of any changes to their circumstances.
Further information on registering with Disability Support is available on their website: Information on Registering with Disability Support
Units are responsible for:
- implementing recommended standard and non-standard Reasonable Accommodations.
- having an effective dissemination and implementation system in place to allow for information on Reasonable Accommodations to be circulated to all relevant lecturers, supervisors, professional services and technical staff e.g. those organising examinations, timetabling, laboratory space, etc.
Disability Support: The role of Disability Support is
- to facilitate in the process of advising and/or providing Reasonable Accommodations.
- Disability Support is a resource to both students and Units in the identification and implementation of Reasonable Accommodations in teaching, learning, research and assessment.
6.1 UCC welcomes applications from prospective learners with disabilities/learning differences/significant ongoing health conditions and endeavours to meet the diverse needs of both prospective and current students. Where a student's needs are likely to go beyond those provided by inclusive teaching, learning and research methodologies, UCC is committed to making Reasonable Accommodations to enable learners to fully participate in all teaching, learning, research and assessment activities.
- How is the policy applied?
6.2 Students with disabilities/ learning differences/significant ongoing health conditions are encouraged to disclose their disability to avail of Reasonable Accommodations, safe in the knowledge that their individual needs will be assessed and reasonably accommodated for in a supportive environment that will facilitate their participation in academic activities, insofar as is possible.
6.3 In relation to assessment and examination, the provision of Reasonable Accommodations aims to alleviate the impact of a disability/learning difference/significant ongoing health condition to enable the student to demonstrate their knowledge of the material being assessed. The integrity of the programme and learning outcomes must be maintained when determining Reasonable Accommodations for any student. Any adjustments or modifications to assessment methods must ensure that learning outcomes remain validly assessed.
Students taking programmes of study which are subject to UCC’s Fitness to Practise policy must be capable of achieving the core competencies, learning outcomes, and academic requirements relevant to their programme of study by the time of their graduation. It should be noted that core competencies are reviewed on an annual basis and therefore may be subject to change. To find the relevant core competencies for a programme of study, please visit Fitness to Practise | UCC College Cork (ucc.ie)
-What if you don’t want to disclose a disability/ learning difference/significant ongoing health condition?
6.4 A student can disclose a disability/learning difference/significant ongoing health condition and register with Disability Support at any time whilst studying in UCC. A condition may emerge during their studies, or a student may choose to disclose and register with Disability Support later in their programme. A student can choose not to disclose but should be informed that this may limit the support they receive, until such time as they choose to disclose their disability/learning difference/significant ongoing health condition and register with Disability Support. Lack of registration could result in a barrier to UCC providing the full range of supports available, however a lack of initial disclosure does not preclude a student accessing the full range of supports, once they choose to disclose and fully register with Disability Support.
-Privacy, Confidentiality and Sharing of Information
6.5 UCC fully respects students’ right to privacy and actively seeks to preserve the privacy rights of students who disclose a disability/learning difference/significant ongoing health condition. Data collected by UCC in this regard will include ‘personal data’ and ‘special category personal data’ within the meaning of Data Protection Acts 2008-2018 and General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), as it involves information by which students could be identified and may also contain information concerning their health.
6.6 Where a student chooses to disclose a disability/learning difference/significant ongoing health condition to Disability Support and submits a request for Reasonable Accommodations, relevant information regarding the student’s request may be shared with the relevant stakeholders to ensure that the Reasonable Accommodations can be facilitated in a timely and effective manner. Relevant details may also be shared with external providers, funding bodies and Work Integrated Learning organisations where appropriate. The content of the information shared is agreed with the student’s permission.
-How are reasonable accommodations decided on/recommended?
6.7 Students who wish to avail of Reasonable Accommodations are asked to register online with Disability Support through the student portal MyStudentAdmin. Once appropriate medical verification has been received and registration is complete, students will be invited to a Needs Assessment meeting with a Disability Advisor to identify Reasonable Accommodations. Needs Assessment is outlined in Appendix 2.
A Needs Assessment considers the nature of the disability /learning difference/significant ongoing health condition, course requirements, and individual differences when identifying appropriate Reasonable Accommodations. The Disability Support Advisor may also consult with the relevant Unit as part of the Needs Assessment.
Following the Needs Assessment meeting, a copy of the Learning Educational Needs Summary (which contains the recommended Standard Reasonable Accommodations, if any) will be emailed to the student. The recommended Reasonable Accommodations will be communicated to the relevant Unit via DMIS and Student Records and Examinations Office and the Graduate Studies Office via ITS system.
6.8 It is important to note that Reasonable Accommodations will be made on an individual basis and depending on the context, similar accommodations may not be suitable for another student with similar needs. In addition, accommodations do not set precedents for other students but can be taken into account when considering another student's needs.
There are currently no clear definitive rules to determine what is reasonable. The consideration is judged against:
- The effectiveness of the accommodations in preventing the disadvantage.
- The extent to which it is practical for UCC to make the accommodations.
- The cost and availability of the resources including external services and finance.
- The extent to which making the accommodations would be conducive to UCC’s activities. The need for the learning outcomes of each programme of study to be met.
What if a student’s needs go beyond a standard reasonable accommodation?
6.9 Where a student’s needs are likely to go beyond a standard Reasonable Accommodation, provision of a non-standard Reasonable Accommodation may be considered. In these circumstances, Disability Support will engage with the relevant Unit or relevant Director of Teaching and Learning or Programme/Course Director or Supervisory Team (in the case of research students) to determine if the appropriate non-standard Reasonable Accommodation can be implemented. If the non-standard Reasonable Accommodations refer to End of Semester exams, then Student Records and Exams will also engage in the process.
-What if there is a difficulty in implementing the recommended Reasonable Accommodation?
6.10 It is expected that standard and non-standard Reasonable Accommodations to teaching, learning, research and assessment recommended by Disability Support through the Needs Assessment process and communicated in the Learning Educational Needs Summary or the Research Educational Needs Summary reports will be put in place.
6.11 It is recognised also, however, that in some instances Units may have difficulty in implementing some Reasonable Accommodations due to course requirements or requirements of professional bodies. For example, adjustments cannot be made to programme learning outcomes and core competencies. (see paragraph 6.3 above). Furthermore, it may not be possible to provide a Reasonable Accommodation which involves more than a nominal cost to UCC. Where a difficulty arises, it is vital that the Unit promptly raises any concerns with Disability Support and that both parties discuss whether an alternative, effective, and reasonable form of accommodation can be made to ensure that the principles of equality are being upheld. This must be done as soon as possible after receiving the Reasonable Accommodation request via the Learning Educational Needs Summary or the Research Educational Needs Summary report, to ensure timely communication with a student and the ability to consider alternatives.
- What if the student doesn’t believe that the recommended Reasonable Accommodation is reasonable and/or effective?
Where a student believes that the Reasonable Accommodations made or recommended are not effective or are unreasonable, the student should promptly raise any concerns with their Disability Advisor in the first instance and arrange a review of their Needs Assessment.
If the Review is unsuccessful the student may invoke the resolution procedure outlined below.
This procedure should follow the progressive stages outlined below i.e .Step 1 must be used in the first instance and Step 2 thereafter, through to the final formal review, if necessary.
Step 1: In these circumstances, the Disability Advisor will liaise with the relevant Lecturer/Supervisor/Unit within 14 working days (of having raised the concern) to agree alternative measures, if possible. If the matter is not resolved or is not resolved within the 14 working day period and the student wishes the matter to be considered further, the student may invoke Step 2 of the resolution procedure.
Step 2: This step is invoked by the student sending an email to or setting out in writing the request to the Disability Advisor requesting a meeting under Step 2. That meeting will be attended by a relevant person from the Unit in question, the Disability Advisor, Manager of Disability Support, and the student. The meeting will be convened within 14 working days of the receipt of the correspondence from the student invoking Step 2.
8.1 In exceptional circumstances, where an agreement between Disability Support and the Lecturer/Supervisor/Unit and/or student cannot be reached regarding an appropriate Reasonable Accommodation under the informal resolution procedure, the relevant Unit and/or student concerned can request that Disability Support convene a Reasonable Accommodation Review Committee to consider the matter (“Review”). A meeting of the Committee should be convened within 14 working days (during term) or 20 working days (outside of term time) of the request made by the Unit and/or student concerned.
8.2 The request for Review must be submitted either by email to firstname.lastname@example.org or in writing to Disability Officer, Access UCC, 1.43 The Hub, UCC, Cork and must state in sufficient detail the grounds for requesting a Review and the desired outcome.
8.3 The Reasonable Accommodation Review Committee will be chaired by the Academic Secretary and Assistant Registrar (or nominee) and a quorum of at least three members of the list below will be required to convene a meeting:
- Head of relevant College (or nominee) in consultation with the relevant lecturer or supervisory team (in the case of a research student).
- Chair of Learning & Teaching Committee of relevant College
- Head of Access UCC
- Student Union Representative
- Director of Student Experience (or nominee)
- VP for Learning & Teaching (or nominee)
- Dean of Undergraduate and Postgraduate Studies
- Dean of Doctoral Studies (or nominee)
- Head of Student Records and Examinations Office (or nominee)
- Relevant external expertise as required.
8.4 The Reasonable Accommodation Review Committee will, at its absolute discretion, consider the Review in such a manner as it deems appropriate to the circumstances of the case, having regard to fairness and due process.
8.5 The Reasonable Accommodation Review Committee will decide as to what, if any, accommodation should be made for the student in question. The decision of the Reasonable Accommodation Review Committee will be final, binding on all parties and communicated to the relevant stakeholders in writing via email or post, including the student, Disability Support, Unit and/or Student Records and Examinations Office and /or Graduate Studies Office.
For further information in relation to Disability Support, please contact Disability Support Office; Room 1.43, Access and Participation, First Floor, The Hub, Main Campus, UCC College Cork., T12 YF78;
Telephone: 021 490 4807.
Inclusive Learning and the Provision of Reasonable Accommodations to Students with Disabilities in Higher Ed in Ireland Reasonable Accommodations in Higher Education
Disability is defined broadly to include physical, intellectual, learning, cognitive, emotional, or medical conditions.
The legal definition of disability is set out in the Employment Equality Acts 1998-2015 and defines disability as follows:
1. “the total or partial absence of a person’s bodily or mental functions, including the absence of a part of a person’s body,
2. the presence in the body of organisms causing or likely to cause, chronic disease or illness,
3. the malfunction, malformation or disfigurement of a part of a person’s body,
4. a condition or malfunction which results in a person learning differently from a person without the condition or malfunction,
5. a condition, illness or disease which affects a person’s thought processes, perception of reality, emotions or judgement or which results in disturbed behaviour. And shall be taken to include a disability which exists at present, or which previously existed but no longer exists, or which may exist in the future, or which is imputed to a person.” A disability is significant, long term and/or enduring in nature, lasting longer than a year.
The Disability Act 2005 sets out the following definition for disability: “disability in relation to a person, means a substantial restriction in the capacity of the person to carry on a profession, business or occupation in the State or to participate in social or cultural life in the State by reason of an enduring physical, sensory, mental health or intellectual impairment.”
As per the Equal Status Acts 2000-2021, Reasonable Accommodations are intended to facilitate equality of participation in the education system for students with disabilities/learning difference/significant ongoing health conditions to ensure that they achieve appropriate learning outcomes.
Section 4 of the Equal Status Acts (2000-2021) states that refusal or failure of a service provider to provide special treatment or facilities is not reasonable, unless the treatment or facilities requested would give rise to a cost, other than a nominal cost to the service provider.
It has been established within the education sector that reasonable accommodations ‘any action/s that helps alleviate a substantial disadvantage’. Making a reasonable accommodation could involve changing procedures, modifying the delivery of a course, providing examination arrangements, altering the physical environment, or providing additional services such as assistive technology, materials in alternative formats or extra tuition.
Reasonable accommodations are determined on a case-by-case basis by a suitably qualified staff member in the Disability Support through a Needs Assessment process that considers the nature of the disability, course requirements, and individual differences.
It is essential, therefore, that staff engage with students with disabilities/ learning differences/ongoing health conditions in UCC and recognise the individuality of reasonable accommodations.
Examples of Reasonable Accommodations are contained in Appendix 3.
A standard reasonable accommodation
An amendment to the student’s learning, teaching, research and assessment which enables students to participate fully in their education.
A non-standard reasonable accommodation
Non-standard reasonable accommodations are actions which may be necessary where standard Reasonable Accommodations are not sufficient to meet the needs of the student.
UCC recognises that Units may need to consider providing alternative non-standard teaching, learning, research and assessment methods.
The Disability Act 2005 defines Universal Design as:
Disability Support (“DS”)
Disability Support is part of the wider Access UCC Team and supports students with disabilities/learning difference/significant ongoing health conditions by identifying appropriate supports/reasonable accommodations to meet their individual needs. The Disability Support team works with students to enable them to achieve their academic potential and with the UCC community to promote a fully inclusive learning environment.
A Needs Assessment is a meeting between a student and a member of the Disability Support team to determine any reasonable accommodations and/or supports required for students to engage with their course of study. The nature of the student’s disability, course requirements, and individual differences are discussed. The needs assessment is informed by the student’s evidence of disability, educational history, and experience.
Learning Educational Needs Summary (LENS)
The agreed Reasonable Accommodations are reported in the Learning Educational Needs Summary (LENS). A student receives a copy of the LENS via email, and the relevant recommended Reasonable Accommodations detailed in the LENS are shared with the Unit via DMIS and Student Records and Exams via ITS.
ITS is a database system to support the administration life-cycle of students. It includes application registration examination and award. Details of Reasonable Accommodations identified for students are uploaded to ITS by Disability Support.
Departmental Module Information System is for returning student marks at module level. It also provides class lists and module results reports. Staff in Units can see the Reasonable Accommodations identified for students via DMIS.
Work Integrated Learning Needs Summary
The agreed Reasonable Accommodations are reported in the Work Integrated Learning Needs Summary(WILNS). A student receives a copy of the WILNS via email, and the relevant recommended Reasonable Accommodations detailed in the WILNS are shared with the Unit via DMIS.
Work Integrated Learning Organisation
A Work Integrated Learning Organisation is a third party with whom a student is placed during their course of study which forms part of the accreditation award to the student.
Research Educational Needs Summary
The agreed Reasonable Accommodations are reported in the Research Educational Needs Summary (RENS). A student receives a copy of the RENS via email, and the relevant recommended Reasonable Accommodations detailed in the RENS are shared with the Supervisory Team, and Unit via DMIS and Student Records and Exams via ITS and Graduate Studies Office.
In the context of this policy, disclosure means informing UCC about a disability, learning difference or significant ongoing illness as part of their registration with Disability Support.
A student meets with a Disability Support Advisor for a Needs Assessment to determine what Reasonable Accommodations will need to be put in place for the student for the learning teaching, and research environments as well as for assessment, such as, In Class and End of Semester Exams. This meeting will be informed by the student’s evidence of disability, educational history, and experience.
Recommendations on reasonable accommodations are determined on a case-by-case basis based on the Needs Assessment. A Needs Assessment considers the nature of the disability /learning difference/significant ongoing health condition, course requirements, and individual differences. The Disability Support Advisor may also consult with the relevant School or Department as part of the Needs Assessment. Following the Needs Assessment meeting, a copy of the Learning Educational Needs Summary (which contains the recommended Reasonable Accommodations, if any) will be emailed to the student. The recommended Reasonable Accommodations will be communicated to the relevant School or Department via DMIS and Student Records and Examinations Office via ITS system. It is important to note that Reasonable Accommodations will be made on an individual basis and depending on the context, similar accommodations may not be suitable for another student with similar needs, In addition, accommodations do not set precedents for other students but can be taken into account when considering another students needs. (See paragraph 6.8 above)
UCC endorses the practice of inclusive teaching, learning, research and assessment, and aims to ensure that courses are accessible and enable full participation for all students. Units are encouraged to ensure that accessibility is a key consideration when developing new courses or when redesigning or evaluating existing courses.
Reasonable Accommodations must be made to any aspect of teaching or assessment that would substantially disadvantage a student with a disability in relation to their peers, unless this accommodation would compromise the academic standards or professional practices associated with the course of study or would involve more than a nominal cost to the UCC. As indicated in the policy, Reasonable Accommodations are based on medical verification of a disability and information obtained at the Needs Assessment carried out by Disability Support. All standard Reasonable Accommodations listed below are in the Learning Educational Needs Summary report and communicated via the student record in DMIS.
Standard accommodations in learning and teaching are listed below. The list is not exhaustive, neither in terms of the kinds of adjustments that may be required nor the types of students who may require them.
- Support of a Lab Assistant for a student who has a mobility difficulty or a vision impairment.
- Accessible learning and teaching venues where possible.
- Prioritised reading lists for students with a visual impairment or students with a particular dyslexic profile.
- Provide lecture material in advance, wherever possible but especially for students with a visual impairment or students with a particular dyslexic profile.
- Access to lecture recording to assist student study subject to the discretion of the lecturer as outlined in Recording Policy.
- Ensure field trips and off-campus visits are accessible.
- Use of audio devices in teaching venues – e.g. microphones, loop systems for students who are hard of hearing.
- Provide students with the support of a personal assistant, lab assistant, or academic assistant, when appropriate
- Use of assistive technology in lectures/labs
- Permission to take rest breaks in lectures/labs.
- Irish Sign Language Interpreter in teaching, learning and research session in lectures/labs.
- Marking guidelines are available to staff correcting the work of students with Dyslexia and students who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing for timed assessment.
- Course material in alternative formats, for example in Braille, large print or electronic format.
Non-standard Reasonable Accommodations
In an event where standard Reasonable Accommodations are not sufficient to meet the needs of the student and they cannot undertake the standard teaching, learning, and assessment, UCC recognises that schools may need to consider providing alternative non-standard teaching, learning, and assessment methods, while maintaining academic standards. These are referred to as ‘non-standard Reasonable Accommodations’.
If the Unit/Course is unable to implement the recommended non-standard Reasonable Accommodations, the Unit/Course may propose an alternative Reasonable Accommodations.
Non-standard Reasonable Accommodations – Learning & Teaching
- Flexible assessment deadlines
- Flexibility with course attendance requirements for relevant degree programmes
- Splitting a course over 2 or more semesters where possible.
- Splitting 1 academic year over 2 where possible.
- In the case of graduate students registered for Masters by Research or Doctorate degrees, the principles of Reasonable Accommodations and Non-Standard Reasonable Accommodations should similarly be applied. The distinctive nature of learning on research degrees requires that Reasonable Accommodations may differ in form or scope from those at taught-course level.
- Reasonable Accommodations and Non-standard Reasonable Accommodations will be agreed during the Research Educational Needs Summary on a case-by-case basis in collaboration with the student, Supervisory Team, Disability Support and the Unit as appropriate for both the duration of the programme and examination.
UCC is committed to ensuring that its examination system (undergraduate and taught postgraduate programmes) as far as possible enables students with disabilities/learning differences/significant ongoing health conditions who are registered with Disability Support to compete equally with their peers. UCC will endeavour to ensure that its examination procedures are effective in assessing the knowledge and abilities of all students, whilst at the same time ensuring the maintenance of academic standards. Students are advised that a deadline applies for the request of examination Reasonable Accommodations beyond which it may not be possible to facilitate such requests. Further information on the relevant deadlines can be requested from Disability Support. Students are advised to notify Disability Support of their need for Reasonable Accommodations in respect of examinations as early as possible in the academic year.
During the student’s Needs Assessment, Disability Support will discuss and identify appropriate Reasonable Accommodations to enable students to be assessed fairly. Reasonable Accommodations will be communicated to the Student Records and Examinations Office for implementation during the main examination periods. To enable the exam timetable to be finalised a deadline is in place for Semester 1 and Semester 2 Reasonable Accommodations in exams. Students registering with Disability Support after this deadline will not have Reasonable Accommodations for their end of semester exams but will be facilitated in the next semester.
Example of standard reasonable accommodations for examinations are listed below. The list is not exhaustive, neither in terms of the kinds of adjustments that may be required nor the types of students who may require them.
- 10 minutes extra per hour for exams greater than 60 minutes.
- Access to specialised software such as Read and Write or Claro Read to support students in proof reading assignments independently. Currently these software packages are available on all PCs across the UCC Campus.
- A student with a particular dyslexic profile may be recommended an exam paper on a particular colour of paper or a screen reader/C Pen to read exam questions to them.
- An exam paper in an alternative format may be recommended for a student with a visual impairment, for example, an exam paper in large print or in Braille.
- A student with anxiety might be recommended a smaller venue.
- Special furniture – standing desk, adjustable chair.
- Electronic Reader
- Computer Lab
- Food and drink in examinations
- Noise Reduction Headphones
- Students with Type 1 Diabetes can now use their phones during exams to check their blood sugar levels.
Where an alternative way of demonstrating learning is permitted, the expectation is that it will be equally rigorous in comparison to the assessment undertaken by a student’s peers. It must be as capable of demonstrating that the student has met the requisite learning outcomes as the original form of assessment.
- The time the exam is scheduled during the day may need to be looked at.
- Provision of rest periods between exams
- An alternative form or time/length of examination may be recommended where a student cannot display their learning in a traditional, speeded, timed assessment.
- Alternative forms may include : submit (take home) work or submit a portfolio in place of speeded, timed assessments
- A series of shorter unseen papers in place of one longer paper, thus allowing a student to be assessed in the traditional way but over a longer time period.
- Rest breaks are often recommended for students with fatigue conditions, conditions which require the student to mobilise to relieve discomfort or pain (such as hypermobility), conditions which necessitate frequent visits to the toilet (such as irritable bowel syndrome).
- Alternative forms of assessments
Reasonable Accommodations - flowchart PDF (image below)
Ken is a student in Engineering and Architecture and is autistic, the Reasonable Accommodations below were identified at his Needs Assessment
|Learning & Teaching
|End of Semester and In Class Exams
Ken was enjoying his course but ran into difficulties with a particular assignment that required him to complete a Linux based assessment. The difficulty arose when Ken was required to engage with the Linux software in a remote experiment and this resulted in huge stress and anxiety, and Ken was unable to complete the assessment. Ken’s Disability Advisor linked with the School to discuss if a non-standard Reasonable Accommodation could be considered for this assessment. The School agreed to a modified assignment on the same topic that would allow Ken to complete the work without requiring him to log into the Linux based system remotely, but he would achieve the same learning outcomes.
Fiona is a Public Health student who is Dyslexic but also has a history of self- harm, anxiety and depression. Fiona faces considerable challenges with notetaking and processing verbal information in class as well as experiencing significant difficulty and anxiety when required to approach lecturers for support.
The Reasonable Accommodations identified for Fiona are.
|Learning & Teaching
|End of Semester and In Class Exams
Fiona does have access to Panopto for most of her modules, but one module is not recorded as it would not be appropriate to record due to the confidential information shared in the lecture. The lecturer has provided copies of lecture slides and of the script they follow in class as an alternative accommodation.
Barry is a 1st year student doing BIS and he has Type 1 Diabetes so needs to monitor his blood sugar levels regularly. Due to advances in technology to monitor diabetes people are now using Glucose sensors to monitor their glucose levels. The monitor is worn on the body and measure glucose in and around the body’s cells giving more of an insight into glucose level variability and patterns. Barry has a glucose sensor on his arm, and it connects to an app on his phone.
|Learning & Teaching
|End of Semester and In Class Exams
Chloe is a 2nd year student doing Biological and Chemical Science. She has ADHD, Autism, Dyspraxia and Dyslexia. She has difficulty with time keeping, planning, note-taking and maintaining attention. She has been granted the following Reasonable accommodations.
The Reasonable Accommodations identified for Chloe.
|Learning & Teaching
|End of Semester and In Class Exams
Liam is a Social Science student who has significant processing difficulties which make interpreting and understanding the content covered in lectures extremely difficult. Lecture recording has been identified as a crucial reasonable accommodation for Liam to ensure that he captures all the content covered in lectures.
The Reasonable Accommodations identified for Liam are.
|Learning & Teaching
|End of Semester and In Class Exams
Miriam is a 2nd year Medicine and Health student with PTSD, so she reacts badly to sudden movements and becomes easily overwhelmed with anxiety in crowds so concentrating in lectures is a challenge. Miriam is being allowed to sit her exams in a separate room on recommendation from her Psychiatrist.
The Reasonable Accommodations identified for Miriam are.
|Learning & Teaching
|End of Semester and In Class Exams
Access to lecture recording
Ann is a 3rd year CACSSS student and due to her physical disability, she can experience both mental and physical fatigue. Due to the nature of Ann’s disability, she needs the support of a Personal Assistant to navigate the campus. Ann also works with an Educational Assistant who supports her in accessing her course content and scribing her assignments.
The Reasonable Accommodations identified for Ann are.
|Learning & Teaching
|End of Semester and In Class Exams