Southern Hub-funded project the catalyst for assessment support provision for tertiary learners with disabilities
By 2013, the number of students with disabilities/impairments had risen to 5% of the total tertiary student population. ACHIEVE - the national network that ensures equal opportunity and access to tertiary education and training for people with impairments completed a Southern Hub-funded project last year - Alternative assessment arrangements policy for students with disabilities in tertiary education - that has attracted considerable attention since its completion.
The project and report were developed by the co-presidents of ACHIEVE, Marg Dobson and Melissa Lethaby, with ACHIEVE administrator Rachel ‘Aluesi and independent researcher and member of ACHIEVE, Martha Bell. The research report is in the top five most viewed Southern Hub pages on our website and has been downloaded more than 50 times.
The recommendations outlined in the report aim to standardise the assistance, such as extra time, offered to tertiary students with disabilities when they are sitting exams or other written assessments. Students with disabilities would receive the same assessment support regardless of which TEI they attend or move between.
ACHIEVE's aim is to continue the drive towards reducing access barriers to tertiary education faced by students with disabilities.
The organisation is seeking feedback from disability staff at tertiary education institutions (TEIs) on its proposals in support of students with disabilities.The proposals are compiled in an assessment policy discussion paper - Guidelines and procedures for the provision of alternative arrangements in examinations and tests to students with disability/impairment in Aotearoa, New Zealand which will be available soon.
Feedback gained from tertiary staff working in this area will contribute to the development of those guidelines. The intention is to also bring New Zealand TEIs into line with international best practice.
Find out more at the ACHIEVE website