The university must take reasonable steps to ensure that disabled students can fully participate in the education and services provided for students. The reasonable adjustments duty helps universities to take steps to avoid as far as possible “by reasonable means” the disadvantage which a disabled student experiences as a result of their disability.
The steps to be taken require three key areas of action:
- Amending unjustified practices, rules, policies requirements or conditions which have a harsh or adverse impact on access to the service by disabled students.
- Providing auxiliary aids and services (e.g. induction loops/information on tapes etc) where this is reasonable and achievable.
- Removing or altering physical barriers or providing alternative means of access.
Examples of reasonable adjustments
Examples of both anticipatory adjustments for all disabled students and specific individual adjustments can be reviewed in the Equality Challenge Unit (ECU) guidance on managing reasonable adjustments in higher education (pages 4 - 5).
See also guidance from ADSHE on reasonable adjustments for students with Specific Learning Differences and University of Exeter's Dyslexia Marking Guidelines. Disability Rights UK has an excellent leaflet on Adjustments for Disabled Students.
What is an ILP?
An Individual Learning Plan (ILP) is a document that informs staff within the University that a student has declared a disability and for whom reasonable adjustments are recommended. For a student to have an ILP in place, the student will have a health condition or Specific Learning Difference which meets the definition of disability under the Equality Act 2010.
ILPs are produced following an assessment with a University Accessibility Adviser. This requires the student to provide independent evidence of their health condition or Specific Learning Disability. For an overview of the process, please see this diagram.
Why are ILPs important?
ILPs are important as they document the recommended reasonable adjustments that minimise or remove barriers that may prevent students from participating at University, and minimise the impact that a student’s health condition or disability may have on their ability to study.
When are ILPs created?
ILPs will be generated at any point throughout the academic year and staff will be notified of their existence as soon as practically possible.
Falmouth University staff: via My Falmouth, you will be able to view a list of students who have an ILP (instructions here). You can also check your students' adjusted deadlines/extensions by following the instructions here.
University of Exeter staff: via SRS, you will be able to search for students' ILPs (instructions here).
It is your responsibility to make yourself familiar with the ILP requirements of students on your module and implement reasonable adjustments as required. If you feel you may have difficulty implementing any of the recommended actions, or need support or advice, you must discuss this with an Accessibility Adviser at your earliest convenience.
If anyone teaches on your module who is not a permanent member of staff on the module (visiting lecturer, one off speaker etc) please ensure that they receive a copy of all ILPs.
Failure to put into place reasonable adjustments is likely to put the University at risk of not meeting our responsibilities under the Equality Act 2010.
Further advice and information
For further advice on reasonable adjustments, please contact:
Accessibility and Inclusive Learning Service: Phone/text 01326 253629 Accessibility@fxplus.ac.uk