Accommodations for Students with Special Physical Needs September 2001 Policy and Procedures The HCT Task Force document (1998) entitled “Policy and Procedural Guidelines for HCT Students with Special Needs” recommended that: HCT provide reasonable accommodation for physically and medically disabled students who meet HCT entrance requirements and assist them in their efforts to meet graduation requirements without compromising HCT’s academic standards. Policy Council approved the paper in principle, without resource commitments, and Central Student Services was asked to provide support and guidance to college student services within the HCT, within the spirit of the 1998 Policy and Procedures Guidelines One outcome of that request was the establishment of a Special Needs subcommittee of student and academic services to develop an operational plan with policy and procedural guidelines reflecting the spirit of UAE Federal Law (No 13, 1981 revised 1991). The following policy and procedural guidelines are derived form the recommendations of the task force report and currently limited to students with special physical needs. 1 1. POLICY 1.1. In accordance with the laws of the UAE, HCT will provide reasonable accommodation for students with special physical needs. 1.2. HCT will ensure confidentiality of special needs cases. 1.3. Students cannot be exempted from any part of an assessment as a result of physical disability. They can however be accommodated in ways that allows them to demonstrate their ability in the required skills area. 1.4. Entry to a program is dependent on the student being physically able, with appropriate assistance, to achieve the objectives of that program. 1.5. It is recommended that the scope of the policy be broadened in the future to address disabilities of those students who are disadvantaged by reason of verifiable and persistent learning, cognitive, sensory, psychological, neurological or temporary impairment that may affect their academic progress. (Modified from current definitions of the World Health Organization as quoted in the Athabasca University Policy Manual for Students with Disabilities) 2. PROCEDURES 2.1. Each college will develop its own procedures for identifying and accommodating students with special needs. 2.2. As soon as a special need has been identified the case will be brought to the attention of the Student Services Supervisor or his/her designate. 2.3. When a special need has been identified after a student is registered in class, he or she may be asked to have a medical examination and provide a medical evaluation to keep on file. 2.4. Accommodations will be identified and made available as determined by the student counselor in consultation with the student’s physician, faculty members and the appropriate professional designated at each college by the Director to deal with this policy. 2.5. The accommodation will be coordinated by the College Counselor and be implemented by the relevant faculty in consultation with the Academic and/or Student Services Supervisor as necessary. 2.6. The special accommodations remain in force for the entire duration of the student’s study or until the disability has disappeared. 2.7. The College Student Services Supervisor ensures implementation of approved accommodations and informs Central Student and Academic Services (CSAS) of special needs cases and their accommodation for tracking purposes. 2.8. System Wide assessments such as IELTS and PET are governed by policy and procedure for students with special needs as determined by the organizations that develop and administer 1 See Definitions those tests. The local administrator of ILETS and PET assessments, must apply a minimum of six months in advance of the test date for permission for those special cases where academic accommodations required. 2.9. The Manager of CSAS will: Disseminate the policy and procedures system-wide, Report the special needs accommodations on an annual basis to the HCT community Review and refine the policies and procedures above in consultation with the colleges as needed Evaluate the Special Needs Policy annually and report the results to the HCT community and Review applications from students with Special needs, who want their request for accommodation reconsidered. 3. TYPES OF SPECIAL PHYSICAL NEEDS AND POSSIBLE ACCOMMODATIONS Suggested Accommodations for auditory, visual, motor skills and speech impairments may include but are not limited to the following: Hearing, If a student can lip-read then the listening script can be read aloud to them at normal speed. A headphone can be used for the listening test. A speaking test can be modified to allow time for the student to understand and answer. Vision, If useful, enlarged versions of text can be given. If the student reads Braille, external examinations can in some cases be given in Braille. Extra time - usually 50% - can be given for reading assessment material. Motor Skills, Extra time - usually 50% - can be given for writing or keyboard assessments, for example, in case where students have fewer digits on one or both hands. The students can keyboard answers, where there are difficulties with handwriting. Speech, A students with stammering or other speech impairment can be paired with a partner who will interact slowly and empathetically. 4. GLOSSARY AND TERMS Reasonable academic accommodation within the context of this document means accommodations within the available human, financial and physical limitations of the individual college. Special physical need in the context of this document is used interchangeably with disability and handicap, but does not include mental or psychological impairment. The World Health Organization (WHO) defined and distinguished between the words “Disability” and “Handicap” in 1980. In this distinction, disability refers to reduced role functioning caused by physical or mental impairments arising from anatomical loss or disease. Handicap refers to problems that result from society’s adverse judgments or behaviors toward those whose functional limitations interfere with the role functioning considered normative by society. In 1986 The National Council on the handicapped (USA) has spelled out what accommodation should include: “The nondiscrimination requirement should expressly include a duty to make reasonable accommodations, which should be defined as providing or modifying devices services or facilities, or changing practices or procedures in order to allow a particular person to participate in a particular program, activity or job. The duty not to discriminate should also include an obligation to remove architectural, transportation, and communication barriers, including meeting accessibility requirements.