INTRODUCTION The Policy, Guidelines and Procedures for the Granting of Reasonable Accommodations in Examinations to Students with Disabilities is the outcome of work undertaken by the Disability Advisors Working Network (DAWN) in developing standardised assessment procedures for students with disabilities in Higher Education in Ireland. DAWN represents those staff of all Universities, a number of Institutes of Technology, NCAD and NCI, with responsibility for the provision of support to students with disabilities (see Appendix 1). Through this collaboration DAWN hopes to achieve consistency in the standard and delivery of reasonable accommodations in examinations and assessments across the Higher Education sector.
The purpose of this document is to support Higher Education Institutions (HEI) in developing policies and procedures that ensure students with disabilities are treated fairly and equitably in the examination process, thereby allowing them to compete on an equal footing with their peers and to demonstrate their true knowledge and competency.
This document replaces the original Policy on Examination and Assessment Accommodations for Students with Disabilities that was published by DAWN in 2008, and the earlier guidelines on reasonable accommodations in examinations that were published by AHEAD in 20011. A working group, chaired by NUI Maynooth and comprising representatives from CIT, DCU, TCD, UL, UCC and UCD, was established to comprehensively review the original policy (see Appendix 2). The working group conducted extensive research into examination and assessment accommodations for students with disabilities in second level and in Higher Education in Ireland and abroad. The National Educational Psychological Service and the Psychological Society of Ireland were represented on the working group and the State Examinations Commission provided a detailed written submission. The working group met from December 2011 to June 2012. The recommendations of the working group were presented to DAWN on 27th June 2012 for discussion and a final document, incorporating the recommendations of the working group and the views of the wider group, was adopted on 16th November 2012.