Brian's point about pregnancy is a good one, as its covered under the Equality Act as one of the protected characteristics. For this reason, in our exam policy we specifically cite pregnancy as one justification for additional time.

I suppose I see the role of a service like ours as to support students and if that means helping students with their exam arrangement so be it, even if they are not actually 'disabled' using a legal definition. In the current climate the more an institution looks to a specialist service for advice and guidance the less chance there is of having said service cut.


On 01/05/2012 11:37, Bryan Jones wrote:
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There have always been students with temporary disabilities at universities (often members of sports teams that are so enthusiastically encouraged by their universities) and sometimes women who are heavily pregnant at exam times,  who need to be supported in some way.  And indeed were supported long before there was any legislation about disability discrimination. It’s a shame a Disability Office feels the need to be picky about definitions of disability.  With or without the law it always comes down to what can reasonably to done to accommodate a student who is experiencing difficulties for whatever reason, in this case enabling a student with a broken limb to take their exam so that they can progress, either on the course or into employment.  Not surprising if students get upset if for no fault of their own (usually) they are told nothing can be done simply being told they would have to take the exam next time round. Especially when students pay a lot for the course, soon to be a lot more -  then they will get really cross.

As to what provision would be put into place each case has to be looked at individually.  It could be amanuensis provision, for example, It doesn’t cost that much in the scheme of things to fund a scribe, indeed should cost nothing if it is a salaried staff member doing the scribing.  And the student / university might even get the funding if it is required through DSA if an application is sent in or use the Access to Learning Fund.  Dictating an exam isn’t easy so some may well prefer to defer (once it has been discussed), but they should have the options available to them and the Disability Office is usually the best place to go through those options.

 

Bryan Jones

Head of Disability Support Service,

Middlesex University

Tel: 020 8411 5366

 

From: Discussion list for disabled students and their support staff. [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Samantha Gamblin
Sent: 01 May 2012 09:32
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: Exams and broken limbs

 

We have an agreement with our exams office that any students with “temporary disabilities” go directly to them. They can then arrange for them to have extra time etc, or advise them about the Extenuating Circumstances procedure. As you say, the sheer numbers make it hard to cope, and we made the decision that as these students are not “Disabled” they do not fall under our remit.  It doesn’t always go down very well with the students themselves but we are trying to be transparent about the procedure.

 

We do occasionally loan equipment out in term time, but priority would always be given to our other students.

 

Sam

 

Samantha Gamblin          

Head of Disability

3 Elms Road

University of Birmingham

B15 2TT

 

Tel: 0121 414 5130

Web:  www.as.bham.ac.uk/disability

For directions: www.as.bham.ac.uk/disability/visit.shtml

 

Please note my Term time hours: Monday until 3.00, all day Tuesday and Thursday, Wednesday 9.15-2.45

 

From: Discussion list for disabled students and their support staff. [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Julie Spencer
Sent: 30 April 2012 14:57
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Exams and broken limbs

 

Hi All

Wonder if you can help.

Here in our disability service we seem to be getting more and more embroiled in exam adjustments for students who for instance break their arm prior to their exams.

What do you do in your teams. We normally would recommended extenuating circumstances, however that seems this year to no longer work, we have had a few students really unhappy about this.

For students with disabilities we have a vast array of reasonable adjustments, we follow a strict procedure, but im lost at what else we can offer these students with short term, temporary broken arms etc.

Any help or guidance appreciated.

Regards

Julie Spencer
Senior Disability Advisor &
Assessment Centre Manager
The University's Disability Service
University of Lincoln
Tel: 01522 886400
Fax: 01522 886489
Minicom: 01522 886055

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