Reasonable adjustments enable you to participate in the academic assessment process on a fair basis, and according to your preferences. Find out how to arrange reasonable adjustments that work for you at University Centre Sparsholt.
Adjustments can be made to allow you to fully participate in learning, assessment, university facilities and services- but they must be what is called ‘Reasonable’. For example, if you find presenting to a group of people difficult, a reasonable adjustment could be making a video presentation instead of presenting in person, or just presenting to your tutor.
Under the UK Equality Act 2010, reasonable adjustments are required where disabled students experience substantial disadvantage in comparison with non-disabled people. Universities have an anticipatory duty to provide reasonable adjustments for students. This means that at UCS we try to plan ahead and address any barriers that may potentially affect your studies and well-being. This is why it’s important that you share any potential barriers to your learning with tutors as soon as possible so they can work with you to find reasonable alternatives.
How could this affect me?
If you need adjustments to be put in place, you need to have told your tutors about your autism diagnosis and have provided evidence of it. Tutors may ask the HE Learning Support team for advice on reasonable adjustments and you will be included in any discussions about this.
It is important that you are actively involved in this process, and also in making decisions regarding reasonable adjustments that work for you. This is not about being singled out – it’s about getting the best, personalised support for you. There is not one package that works for all students with autism so it may be that, in discussion with you, different reasonable adjustments are tried before deciding on what should stay in place throughout your course.
What to do next?
Arrange a meeting with tutor or if you don't feel comfortable talking directly to them, the HE Learning Support team will be happy to help you.
- Tell tutors about your barriers to learning as soon as you can as this will help them plan ahead for you
- Talk to the HE Learning Support team if you need advice and guidance. Contact them via email; HELearningSupport@sparsholt.ac.uk
- Consider what reasonable adjustments are being offered and whether they work for you. If they don’t, continue the conversation with your tutor.
- Focus on learning outcomes rather than assessment procedures – what are alternative ways for you to evidence your knowledge and understanding?
- Ask tutors to be creative. Acknowledge that this may not always be easy for them and that they do need to make sure the integrity of the assessment is maintained.
- Remember that the HE Learning Support team is always there to support you, but they won’t necessarily know the academic requirements.
- Reply promptly to all communications regarding your support and reasonable adjustments, to ensure support is put in place when it’s needed.
Additional information and links
The Equality Challenge Unit has published guidance on reasonable adjustments to assist universities in planning and implementing them: http://www.ecu.ac.uk/publications/managing-reasonable-adjustments-in-higher-education/