All applications for reasonable accommodations are considered in light of a published Framework of Principles as set out by the Expert Advisory Group on examinations.
The principles are:
- Reasonable Accommodations should be made for candidates who, because of a temporary, permanent or long-term disability, have special assessment needs in examinations.
- Provision should be made for both physical and learning disabilities.
- Reasonable Accommodations should not put the integrity, status, or reputation of the examination at risk.
- Reasonable Accommodations should be designed to remove as far as possible the impact of a disability on a candidate's performance, so that he or she can demonstrate in the examination his or her level of achievement.
- Reasonable Accommodations are designed to assist a candidate in demonstrating his or her achievements in an examination setting. They are not designed to compensate for a possible lack of achievement arising from a disability.
- Since a core principle of the Certificate examinations is to ensure equitable treatment for all candidates, arrangements should not give the candidate for whom they are made an advantage over other candidates.
- Independent evidence of a disability and support needs should be required before allowing reasonable accommodations.
- The precise arrangements to be made should be determined on the basis of the disability or impairment established in each individual case and of the particular needs of the candidate in each individual subject area. Different subjects and different methods of assessment may make different demands on candidates.
- A candidate's disability may be such that it is not possible for him or her to participate in a particular mode of assessment (an aural examination for a candidate with severe hearing impairment), in which case it should be open to the candidate to apply for exemption from part of the assessment procedure.
- Where it is not possible for a candidate to participate in a particular mode of assessment,an alternative assessment procedure may be specified.
- An alternative procedure is not acceptable where the purpose of an examination would be compromised by its use (e.g., providing a scribe to draw for a candidate in an Art examination).
- When an element or elements of an examination have been waived, so that the purpose of the examination regarding that element or elements has not been met, or the method of examining has been significantly altered, this should be indicated by the presence of an explanatory note on the candidate's certificate of results.
- Circumstances that may affect a candidate's performance (e.g., illness, trauma, bereavement) should, insofar as is possible, be addressed during the examination period.
The Report of the Expert Advisory Group on State Examinations.
The Report of the Expert Advisory Group - Irish Version