What are Standard Reasonable Accommodations?
Standard Reasonable Accommodations identified through the Needs Assessment process by the Disability Service are accommodations that alleviate a substantial disadvantage for students with disabilities and/or significant ongoing illnesses. It is expected that the standard Reasonable Accommodations stated in the LENS report will be put in place. In cases where an RA cannot be applied and a specific rationale is provided the non-standard decision route will apply.
Below are examples of standard teaching and learning reasonable accommodations. Please note, this is not an exhaustive list.
Standard Teaching and Learning Reasonable Accommodations
- Allow additional time to develop practical skills
- Provide Accessible Teaching and Learning Locations
- Allow students to record lectures
- Allow personal assistant/lab assistant/academic assistant to attend lectures or labs
- Where possible, prioritise reading lists
- Provide enlarged handouts and exam papers
- Provide feedback on continuous assessment
- Provide lecture material in advance, where possible
- Repeat questions before answering
- Professional Placement and Internship Supports
- Ensure Field trips and off-campus visits are accessible
- Use of audio devices in teaching venues – microphones
- Student will have access to a note taker in lectures
- Permission to eat and/or drink in teaching venues
- Use of assistive technology in teaching & learning venues
- Permission to take rest breaks in teaching and learning session
- Irish Sign Language Interpreter in teaching and learning sessions
- Marking the Work of Students with Dyslexia and Students who are Deaf/Hard of Hearing
- Course Material in Alternative Formats
Allow additional time to develop practical skills
Where possible, students with reduced fine motor skills; processing speed difficulties; or disabilities which can cause pain, fatigue or reduced mobility, should be given additional time to develop alternative techniques or to practice specific practical skills.
It is not reasonable to expect everyone to work at the same speed. For any student with reduced fine motor skills, processing speed difficulties or a disability which can cause pain, fatigue or reduced mobility, working at the average speed may be too fast.
Provide Accessible Teaching and Learning Locations
Most teaching and learning spaces in Trinity are accessible but there are some buildings that are not accessible or are only partially accessible. If a student has an accessibility issue the DS will communicate this in the LENS report and ask that the School ensure that all teaching venues are accessible. Schools can view the accessibility of College buildings within Trinity by clicking this link to the university map website.
All students are entitled to have full access to the buildings that they are learning within.
Allow students to record lectures
Students with disabilities may be permitted to record lectures and tutorials if as part of the Needs Assessment it is deemed a reasonable adjustment by the Disability Service.Students are advised that all recordings remain the property of the University and are for personal use only. As in the case of provision of lecture notes, the student will sign a Permission to Record form with the Trinity Disability Service that states that the recordings made are for their own personal use and will not be shared. Where a recording of a lecture is not permitted, it will be necessary for the lecturer to provide a suitable alternative (i.e. a transcript of the lecture). This is in the Trinity College Calendar as per extract below:
Recording of Lectures – College Calendar Part II General Regulations
Students with disabilities may be permitted to record lectures if it is deemed a Reasonable Accommodation by the Disability Service. Students will be advised that all recordings remain the property of College and are for personal use only. See also DATA PROTECTION (section VIII) and COPYRIGHT (section IX) of the University Calendar.
If a student is unable to take accurate notes in a lecture on account of their disability, students may request that they record the lecture on a Dictaphone. This request only applies to lectures and may not be seen to apply to tutorials or classes of a practical nature (e.g. laboratory work).
Allow personal assistant/lab assistant/academic assistant to attend lectures or labs
Some students may require an Educational Support Worker (ESW) to attend their lectures or labs to assist them with a physical task such as note-taking or carrying equipment or materials.
In certain cases, the physical presence of another person is necessary for assistance in physical tasks, e.g. lab/library situations and academic tasks e.g. notetaking/alternative formatting
Where possible, prioritise reading lists
Subject librarians should receive reading lists from lecturers well in advance of the beginning of the course/module. Annotated reading lists and texts that need to be provided in an alternative format for students with sensory/print disabilities should be provided in advance.
If reading lists are prioritized indicating core texts, or annotated, giving a brief outline of the text, this will assist students with disabilities to pace their workload and ensure that core material is covered. Individual lecture handouts that include suggested reading that differs from the course reading list can be provided in advance of the beginning of the module.
Provide enlarged handouts and exam papers
The College Accessible information policy recommends that printed material be provided in a sans serif font, like Arial, and a font of size 12pt. Some students with significant visual impairments require a larger font size to make their texts readable. A request for enlarged handouts will specify the size of the font.
Some students with significant visual impairments must be accommodated with a larger font size to make their texts readable. Usually, a request for enlarged handouts and/or exam papers will specify a size 14 font. For further details, click here.
Provide feedback on continuous assessment
Provide feedback to the student on submitted work so they can understand why they got the mark they did and how they could have done better. Please be aware that special accommodations for marking grammar and spelling in the work of students with dyslexia do not apply to essays and other forms of continuous assessment. Some students, particularly those who are blind and vision impaired may have difficulty formatting submitted work.
Provide lecture material in advance, where possible
Due to their disability, some students have difficulty with concentration and processing information and therefore may require handouts of PowerPoint presentations or slides in advance of class to ensure that they are not placed at a significant disadvantage in comparison to their peers. Where a School is unable to provide this Reasonable Accommodation (with good academic reason), it is important that the appropriate academic member of staff liaises with the Disability Service to discuss alternative Reasonable Accommodations.
Acquiring prior lecture notes has benefits for those who due to their disability wish to prepare for a lecture in advance; students who find lectures become exercises in speed writing rather an active cognitive engagements; students who find it hard to follow the structure of the lecture aurally and can gain structure from the handout and students who sometimes miss classes for medical reasons.
Repeat questions before answering
Repeating questions will allow students time to reflect on what the question means and give them time to come up with their own answer. This helps students with a hearing impairment and those with processing difficulties and is a useful inclusive teaching strategy that will assist all students, not just those with a disability.
Professional Placement and Internship Supports
The Disability Service, as part of the Needs Assessment process, can help students prepare for professional placement/internships. They can also provide advice to placement staff on disability-related issues. The Disability Service works closely with students and placement staff to provide guidance on the following:
- Discuss work placement demands as part of the Needs Assessment process, and encourage students to start thinking about the impact of their disability, and the types of Reasonable Accommodations that may be required.
- Help students understand the disclosure process and support them to make informed choices about disclosure.
- Support students to engage with placement staff if Reasonable Accommodations are required.
- Provide guidance to placement staff on disability related issues and Reasonable Accommodations that may be needed.
- Attend placement planning meetings if required to identify work placement needs.
Ensure Field Trips and Off Campus Visits are Accessible
Lecturers should consider the accessibility of field trip locations. By providing full details of field trips in advance, students can make sure field trips are accessible and organise travel arrangements.
Use of Audio Devices in Teaching Venues- microphones
Lecturers should use a microphone to assist those with hearing difficulties if requested and included in the LENS report.
Student will have access to a note taker in lectures
The Needs Assessment process explores all appropriate solutions to assist with note taking difficulties and students are expected to engage with the Reasonable Accommodations that are identified through this process. Technology solutions are explored in the first instance. It is the student’s responsibility to complete the training that is provided and to become proficient in the use of that technology. A note taker may be provided in the absence of a technological solution and/or where the student is unable to handwrite or type notes due to the impact of a disability.
In certain cases having a notetaker in lectures allows the student to absorb the lecture as it occurs, listening to the lecturer, reading the slides and understanding the lesson without having to engage in the process of notetaking at the same time. Can result in better understanding and better quality of notes after the lecture.
Permission to eat and/or drink in teaching venues
Permission to eat or drink should be given to the student if so required by his / her disability, such as physical illnesses. For example, lecturers should be aware that diabetics may require food at specific times.
Use of Assistive Technology (AT) in teaching & learning venues
Lecturers should allow the student to use a laptop or computer to take notes or use assistive technology software during class. The students have a responsibility to use the AT solely for this purpose in class.
To provide the student with a piece of software or equipment that will allow the student to overcome the disadvantage that the disability imposes.
Permission to take rest breaks in teaching and learning session
Lecturers should allow the student to take rest breaks if stated in the LENS. This may involve taking a short break between classes. The lecturer should note that a student with such a disability may sit close to the exit to allow for this, or may be absent for certain periods of the teaching session.
Irish Sign Language (ISL) Interpreter in Teaching and learning sessions
Lecturers should allow ISL interpreters in all teaching, learning and assessment sessions. This will provide deaf students who use ISL interpretation as their means of communication with the appropriate tools to function in their course.
To provide deaf students who use ISL interpretation as their means of communication with the appropriate tools to function in College.
Marking the Work of Students with Dyslexia and Students who are Deaf/Hard of Hearing
Even with the provision of additional supports in examinations/assessment, students who are Deaf or hard of hearing, or who present with a Specific Learning Difficulty, may not demonstrate their full potential in an examination.
The University’s Council approved a policy with guidelines on marking the work of students with dyslexia and students who are Deaf/Hard of Hearing as part of the University Guidelines for students and staff on the modification of examination and assessment arrangements for students with disabilities.
Specific marking guidelines provide examiners with a framework for marking the scripts of such candidates.
Course Material in Alternative Formats
Some students with visual impairments may require course material in alternative formats such as Braille, large print, or electronic format. In order to comply with the Disability Act 2005 (Provision of accessible information) it is important that Schools ensure that reading lists are available in advance to ensure that books can be sourced from publishers in an appropriate format. Schools also have an anticipatory duty under the legislation to ensure that they consider the needs of students with disabilities when preparing course material. Further advice on alternative formats can be obtained from the Trinity Inclusive Curriculum guidelines of accessible information or by speaking to a Disability Service staff member.