Submission to the SEC on Reasonable Accommodations in State Examinations
Monday, 29th September 2014
This year AHEAD received an unusually high number of complaints from parents of candidates with dyspraxia who had been refused the use of scribes in the Leaving Certificate examination. All of these candidates met the criteria outlined by the SEC and provided reports from occupational therapists identifying difficulties experienced by candidates including recommendations for accommodations such as a scribe. Many of these requests were refused and furthermore the difficulties for the candidates were compounded by the fact that the final decision arrived days prior to the start of the examination. This made the putting in place of alternative supports impossible. In some cases the students were given the option of using a tape recorder or a computer, but these recommendations are totally unrealistic given the timeframe and the lack of training for the candidates in using such devices. This situation is unacceptable to students and their parents and AHEAD recently made a submission to the State Examinations Commission calling for a review.
The key recommendations made in the submission are listed below but you can view the full submission here.
- Ensure the system for granting reasonable accommodations in state examinations is based on the rights of candidates with disabilities as outlined in EU and Irish law.
- Conduct a review of the criteria for granting reasonable accommodations in the examinations prior to the 2015 process being implemented.
- Ensure the criteria for granting accommodations are clear and transparent and compliant with EU and Irish Legislation
- Bring the appeals system forward so candidates receive the decision in time to prepare to use alternative accommodations if necessary.