The Equality Act 2010 says that universities must take reasonable steps to make sure disabled students can get the most out of their studies. These steps are called ‘reasonable adjustments’. Find out more here.
Reasonable adjustments allow you to fully participate in learning, assessment, university facilities and services. When it comes to assessments, for example, a reasonable adjustment could be making a video presentation instead of presenting in person, or having extra time in an exam, or showing your work to the tutor in private, rather than in front of a group. Under the UK Equality Act 2010, reasonable adjustments are required where disabled students experience substantial disadvantage in comparison with non-disabled people. Universities have an anticipatory duty to provide reasonable adjustments for students. This means your university needs to plan ahead and address any barriers that may potentially affect your studies and well-being. Sometimes, this will be covered by systems in place for all students, such as lecture capture or different assessment options. More often, though, it involves individual reasonable adjustments based on a student’s specific requirements.
How does it work?
To be eligible for individual reasonable adjustments you need to have had an autism diagnosis and have told your university about your autism. Our Accessibility team then liaises with you to discuss your needs and draw up an ILP (Individual Learning Plan).The ILP is shared with your tutors so they know what adjustments need to be made but they will not be told you have autism. It is up to you whether or not to share this information with them, but having an open, honest discussion with them about your learning style and needs can help them to support you better.
Additional information and links
- Disability Rights has a helpful leaflet about Adjustments for Disabled Students which includes some suggested reasonable adjustments for students with autism.
- The Right to Participate website has information and advice to help disabled students assert their legal rights under the Equality Act 2010, before, during and after the course.