INFORMATION ABOUT APPLYING FOR A LONG TERM CONCESSION FOR EXTRA TIME IN EXAMINATIONS This information is intended for students who wish to apply for extra time in examinations in terms of rule G24 (see below). It may also be useful to practitioners whom students approach to conduct the evaluations that are required to support the application. Accommodations other than extra time are also possible, but are not covered by this rule. This document deals only with extra time awarded for a long term disability. For other types of accommodation offered to students with disabilities, please see section E and contact the Disability Service. For short term awards of extra time (e.g. for an injury that will heal), please see the separate document “Short term concessions for extra time”. It must be noted that the Senate will consider in its absolute discretion applications for extra time from students who have a learning or physical disability. In terms of the rules, the decision to grant extra time to students with learning or physical disabilities lies with Senate, not with the health practitioner making the assessment. A previous award of extra time by another institution should not be considered grounds for UCT to award extra time. Without the documentation listed below, it is extremely difficult to determine if a student has a disability that requires extra time, or whether other kinds of accommodation will better meet a student’s needs. Therefore, no application will be considered without the specified documentation. It must be noted that documentary evidence of a learning or physical disability is a necessary but not sufficient condition for the consideration of extra time in examinations. All information submitted in the application will be treated confidentially by the Deferred Exams Committee (DEC) which considers these applications on behalf of Senate. Students wishing to apply for extra time during the first semester must register with the Disability Service no later than 31 March. When students register, they will be given an appointment with the Co-ordinator: Specific Learning Disabilities. Specified documentation not available at the time of the appointment must reach the Disability Service by 30 April. Students who miss the first semester deadline can apply for a time concession for the second semester. Students must then register at the Disability Service before 30 August. Students will be given an appointment with the Co-ordinator: Specific Learning Disabilities and all required documentation must reach the Disability Service by 30 September. Students who have not previously been assessed for a time concession should note that it can take some time for practitioners to complete a comprehensive evaluation and to compile a detailed report. To make it possible for the submission deadlines to be met, students are advised to seek evaluations timeously. Where a concession for extra time has been granted for the duration of a student’s study, it is not necessary to reapply in subsequent years. If the concession was for one year only, the student will need to reapply in the subsequent year(s). A new assessment report may be needed if the previous report is older than three years, or does not contain the necessary assessments. (You will be advised of this by the Co-ordinator: Specific Learning Disabilities if this is the case.) Students applying for examination concessions are expected to work with staff at the Disability Services to develop ways of managing their disability during their studies at UCT, and not just during examinations. A. GROUNDS FOR APPLICATIONS In terms of the rule G24, the grounds for applying for extra time are: 1) a specific learning disability, (i.e. “a disability that affects one or more of the basic processes involved in the use of written or spoken language in a manner that constitutes a significant impairment of that function”); or 2) a physical disability (i.e. “a disability that seriously impedes a student’s ability to read and write”). Extra time is not granted in cases where the motivation for the application is: 1) that the student’s cognitive functioning in all or most areas, as measured by a standardised test of general intellectual functioning, is below the average range of intellectual functioning; or 2) that the student has difficulty with the language medium of the examination due to writing in his or her second or third language; or 3) any psychological disorder which may manifest itself in the form of anxiety and or depression. Note also that the Senate does not grant spelling dispensations for examinations. Where Senate decides on the basis of the grounds presented that extra time may be awarded, Senate and not the practitioner who conducted the evaluation, will decide how much extra time is to be awarded. Note that requests for extra time in examinations will only be considered if evidence is provided in the practitioner’s report which indicates that other accommodations will not address the applicant’s needs (see Section D). B. LEARNING DISABILITIES 1) A psychometric assessment of the student’s cognitive functioning must be conducted in person by a clinical, counselling or educational psychologist registered with the Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA), and the practitioner’s HPCSA registration number should be provided on the evaluation report. There should be no personal relationship (e.g. family member, friend) between the student and the practitioner conducting the assessment. 2) The assessment must have been conducted within the past three years. The date of the assessment must therefore be specified on the report. 3) The assessment report must be printed on the practitioner’s official letterhead. Alternatively, a covering letter by the practitioner, printed on an official letterhead, must be attached to the report. 4) Even when a cover letter is provided, the assessment report itself must be signed by the practitioner. 5) The student’s relevant educational, developmental and medical history must be provided in the assessment report. History of school performance and any relevant history of previous medical or therapeutic interventions must be documented. 6) The practitioner’s observations of the student during testing should be summarised. 7) The assessment report should give the names of all tests used in the psychometric assessment. 8) An interpretation of the test results should be provided. In this interpretation, the practitioner should describe as fully as possible the specific functional limitations for the student resulting from any identified cognitive difficulties, including the specific limitations to performing in timed exam situations, as well as limitations to daily functioning. 9) In the conclusion of the report, the specific disability must be stated. Where appropriate, the disability should be framed according to applicable professional diagnostic systems (e.g. DSM-IV or ICD-10). 10) Recommended interventions by which the student can manage his or her disability should be noted in the assessment report. It is expected that the practitioner should inform the applicant about a range of possible options for addressing and managing the disability, not restricted to extra time. PLEASE NOTE: IN ORDER TO ENABLE THE UCT DISABILITY SERVICES AND THE DEC TO CONSIDER WHETHER EXAM ACCOMMODATIONS ARE REQUIRED AND, IF SO, WHICH ONES WOULD BE SUITABLE TO THE STUDENT’S NEEDS, THERE ARE SPECIFIC TESTS THAT MUST BE INCLUDED IN THE PSYCHOMETRIC ASSESSMENT. EXTRA TIME APPLICATIONS THAT DO NOT INCLUDE A PSYCHOMETRIC ASSESSMENT, USING THE REQUIRED TESTS, WILL NOT BE CONSIDERED BY THE DEC. The tests are as follows 1) The WISC-IV (UK) if the student was 16 years or younger at the time of testing, or the WAIS-III (SA norms) or WAIS-IV if the student was older than 16 years at the time of testing. 2) The Edinburgh Reading Test (ERT) Stage 4. 3) A Graded Word Reading Test standardised in the 1990’s or later (practitioners can advise on when tests were standardised). The test must have norms appropriate to the age of the testee. 4) 2 x 20 minute handwriting samples, administered according to the instructions provided by the Independent Examinations Board (IEB) in South Africa Prior to conducting the assessment, the practitioner should contact Ms Margie le Roux (a registered psychologist at the University of Cape Town) to obtain written guidelines regarding the use of the above tests: Margie le Roux: Tel.- 021 650 3616, Email - firstname.lastname@example.org If the student has been assessed previously and the assessment did not include any of the required tests, the student will need to have another assessment that includes all the required tests. If some, but not all, of the required tests were included in the original assessment, the student should request a practitioner to conduct just those required tests that are missing and to integrate these results into their conclusions and recommendations. In addition to these required tests, the practitioner may include others as they are deemed relevant to explore the presenting disability and to provide evidence for recommendations. The student may also submit reports from other professionals (e.g. an occupational therapist), however these should be submitted in addition to the psychometric evaluation by a psychologist. C. PHYSICAL DISABILITIES Depending on the nature of the disability, students may be required to provide an assessment from a medical practitioner when applying for extra time. Guidance will be given by the Director of the Disability Services on an individual basis. D. OTHER EXAMINATION ACCOMMODATIONS AVAILABLE AT UCT Examination accommodations other than extra time, offered by the Disability Service at UCT include the following: 1) use of a computer as an alternative to handwritten exam scripts 2) having exam questions read out orally (as many times as necessary, within the time limit of the exam) as an alternative to reading the exam questions, 3) dictating the answer to a scribe/tape recorder. 4) secluded locations for writing 5) breaks during the exam In all the above cases, the exam will be completed away from the main exam venue. If the student’s needs can be met by one or more of the above concessions, then additional time should not be requested. Accommodations other than extra time are applied for through the Disability Service and not on the long term extra time form. Rule G24 Learning and physical disabilities and extra time in examinations G24.1 Extra time Senate recognises that a student with a learning or physical disability may require extra time in examinations. Senate will consider applications from students for extra time in examinations and may in its absolute discretion grant extra time to a student who has a learning disability or a physical disability. (An examination includes class tests that contribute to the final result in a course.) G24.2 Definition of a learning disability A learning disability, for the purpose of this rule, is a disability that affects one or more of the basic processes involved in the use of written or spoken language in a manner that constitutes a significant impairment of that process/function. (A psychological disorder which may manifest itself in the form of anxiety and/or depression will not form grounds for an application for extra time in examinations.) G24.3 Definition of physical disability A physical disability, for the purpose of this rule, is as a disability, whether long-term or short-term, that seriously impedes a student's ability to write. G24.4 Extra time for learning disabilities A student who applies for extra time on the grounds of a learning disability must: (a) Register with the Disability Service, taking the deadlines below into account: Application deadline Semester 1: 31 March is the closing date for registration with the Disability Service for students who wish to have their application for extra time processed before the mid year examination. Application deadline Semester 2: If the Semester 1 deadline is missed, students can register with the Disability Service between 15 May and 31 August so as to have their application processed before the year end examination (late applications will only be accepted if the student provides reasons satisfactory to the Senate); (b) Provide with the application all papers, assessments and reports he or she has relevant to his or her disability; (c) Present himself or herself for professional assessment or examination, at such time and by a person as may be prescribed; (d) If required to do so by the Student Wellness Service, refer herself or himself for assessment by an appropriately qualified professional, at his or her own cost; and G24.5 Extra time for physical disabilities (a) Long and short term physical disabilities A student who applies for extra time on the grounds of a long term physical disability must register with the Disability Service by 31 March (a late application will be considered if the student provides reasons satisfactory to the Senate.) If the physical disability is short term, the student must apply at least seven days before the date of the first examination for which extra time is sought: (b) Present himself or herself for a physical examination at such time and by a person as may be prescribed; and (c) Provide with the application all papers, assessments and reports he or she has relevant to his or her disability; and (d) If required to do so by the Student Wellness Service, refer herself or himself for assessment by an appropriately qualified professional, at his or her own cost. (In the case of a short-term disability: it is not necessary to register with the Disability Service; and a late application may be accepted on good cause shown) G24.6 Senate to consider Each application together with reports from the Student Wellness Service and any professional referred to in terms of G 24.4 (d) or G 24.5 (d) above must be submitted to the Senate which may: (a) grant such extra time, not exceeding a third of the time set for the examination, or refuse the application; (b) specify a different venue, or venues at which the student must sit any examination for which he or she has been granted extra time Note: where the Senate grants extra time on the grounds of learning disability or a long-term physical disability this will apply for all examinations taken by the student while registered for a specific degree, diploma or certificate. provided that Senate may withdraw any grant of extra time following a review of the concession, and provided also that if the dean of the faculty concerned, on the basis of the performance of the student, requests this the case must be reviewed. G24.7 Change of faculty A student who changes faculty before completing a degree or diploma must, at the time of registration, notify the dean of his or her new faculty of any concession he or she has been granted allowing extra time in examinations on the grounds of a learning disability or a physical disability.