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Educational process adaptations

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Glossary of terms

Spreading the end-of-term examination session over time

The possibility to sit an examination for the first time during the re-sit session while retaining the right to observe the statutory examination deadlines. Requesting this adaptation, the student is given the opportunity to, sitting for example ten examinations in total, take six tests during the original session and the remaining four in the re-sit session. Passing all of them in the original examination session, the student uses just the first exam sitting. However, should the student fail an exam, those sat during the original session may be re-sat in the second session and those sat in the second session for the first time at a date arranged on an individual basis with the examiner. Once the adaptation has been granted, the student is obliged to agree basic organisational issues with the examiners. He/She must inform the teacher of the declared date of taking the exam.

Extending examination duration

Additional time to be used by the student sitting an examination. For example, if the scheduled examination duration for all students is an hour, the person who has been granted a 30 per-cent time extension by the faculty dean will sit the exam for 1 hour and 20 minutes. When implementing this adaptation, one must agree organisational issues with the examiner as the student may be allowed to start the examination earlier or finish later than the other examinees. In the case of this adaptation, it is recommended that a separate room be made available for the student granted the time extension. 

Leaves

There are two kinds of leaves: student's leave and dean's leave, the basic difference lying in the way they are granted:

1. Dean’s leave  (formerly known as health leave) – a leave granted on the student’s request and with the dean’s approval, in special cases, e.g. health circumstances, pregnancy, or raising a child. In the course of their studies, the student may use not more than four semesters of a dean’s leave (when it is taken due to health reasons). The leave shall be granted once there is a ground necessitating the need to take it, on a semester basis (i.e. for a ground appeared in December, the period of the leave granted will be counted from October). A leave for a past period shall be granted exclusively when due to the student’s ill health it was impossible for them to regulate the formalities concerning the studies, including taking the leave at an earlier date, and the medical documentation confirms the fact (e.g. if the student’s health deteriorated in December making it impossible for them to lodge a request for a leave, and in April the student applies for a full-year leave, it may be granted starting already in October once relevant medical documentation has been presented).
There are two types of dean’s leaves:

  • Standard dean’s leave – the student does not attend any classes and does not take any examinations throughout its duration
  • Dean’s leave with the right to follow selected courses – the student may seek to be allowed to follow one or several courses offered during the semester where they are on leave, under conditions defined by the authorities of the faculty or institute. He/She then has to perform all the obligations entailed by such a declaration as to the courses to be followed – related to both attendance and work during course meetings and taking examinations. Under the Rules and Regulations on Studies currently in force, students who apply for a dean’s leave with the right to follow selected courses are obliged to present an attestation that there are no contraindications as to their attending course meetings and taking examinations and partial tests (Article 34(3))

 

2. Student’s leave – a leave granted by the dean on the student’s request with no need to give reasons for it. It may be granted for not more than two semesters, yet not in the first year of the studies. If the student applied for it in the course of the semester, it may be granted only from the start of the following semester. It is allowed to take a dean’s leave directly after a student’s leave.

Indicvidual course of study (known as "ITS")

A modification of the pool of university courses covered by the curriculum, of the sequence and formats of how such university courses are deemed completed, of ECTS points required for the successful completion of the academic year, of the number of hours taught or of dates of course completion assignments/tests and examinations (including the option of completing courses in an extramural regime). The ITS is granted upon the student's request with approval of the head of the University's basic organisational unit, after the consent has been secured of all the academic teachers involved. Students may want to apply for the ITS, if, for instance, they pursue more than one university programme or have exceptional academic achievements. In the case of health difficulties it is not recommended to apply for the ITS as one's health circumstances may change rapidly and so it would be difficult to secure the required approvals from the teachers at the term's start. If the wish to request the ITS is health-related, it would be best and easily replaced by adaptations of the course of studies offered by the JU DSS. They frequently look very similar to the modifications executed under the ITS, yet the application procedure differs. We strive to select adaptations on an individual basis for each student requesting them in order to make it possible for him/her to fully perform all the obligations related to his/her student status.

Educational support

A package of activities including the adaptation of studies to the student's individual needs related to his/her disability/health circumstances which make(s) it difficult for him/her to fulfil his obligations as a student. Such activities can concern both adaptations of educational materials and organisation of course meetings/lectures. The aim of such accommodations is to guarantee students with disabilities equal access to the JU's educational offer as well as supporting them in becoming independent learners.

The educational support offered by the JU DSS covers:

  • individual consultations and guidance concerning the impact of disability on the educational process,
  • organisation of courses, course completion assignments/tests and examinations in formats which take into due consideration the student's specific disability (see: Examinations in adapted formats),
  • support and advice concerning modern technologies in education which compensate for disability (see: Assistive Technologies),
  • developing teaching tips for teachers which may be included in the process of education,
  • cooperation of the educational adviser with teachers in order to prepare adaptations which comply with the substantive criteria applicable for all students,
  • issuing opinions concerning requests related to education and disability submitted by students with relevant university authorities,
  • assistance of educational advisers as intermediaries in contacts with university staff, if necessitated by the student's educational and health circumstances.

7 educational support principles

Developing adaptations of the educational process, the JU DSS advisers always respect the following seven principles:

1. Personalisation: adaptations of the university study process of persons with disabilities are always prepared in response to his/her individual educational needs related to the nature of his/her health circumstances at a given time as well as the specifics of a given university course, including the conditions in which it is delivered.

 

2. Empowerment, or respecting the autonomy of persons with disabilities and their right to decide about themselves.

 

3. Developing the potential of disabled persons related to the course of their university studies. This means selecting such adaptations which would let the student acquire knowledge and develop practical skills.

 

4. The reasonableness of the accommodation, that is suggesting adaptations that are reasonable in economic terms and effectively ensure equal opportunities for the disabled person as well as the maintaining of the academic standard.

 

5. Maintaining the academic standard, or preparing adaptations without compromising the substantive criteria binding for all the student on a given course/programme.

 

6. Adaptations as close as possible to the standard scenario of the course meetings/lectures, that is such that are not privileges for persons with disabilities but reasonably ensure equal opportunities for them as regards access to the educational offer considered optimal on a given university programme.

 

7. Equal rights and obligations, that is focusing not just on exercising equal rights by persons with disabilities but also (thanks to ensuring such rights) on making sure that the students' obligations are fulfilled as they are by non-disabled students.

The social model of disability

A modern approach to the phenomenon which assumes that disability takes place as a result of an interaction between a person with some features related to his/her health difficulties and his/her unadapted physical, social and cultural environment and is not identical to a bodily harm understood in medical terms or any deviation from the standard. Disability does not entail a loss of one's potential, productivity, ability to make a contribution to society, and it is not equal to dependance. A student's environment is the entire academic community together with the university physical environment which is why cooperation is so important between many university entities as regards providing support in the process of educating students with disabilities (see:Academic support triangle).

Educational support strategies

Letters with educational tips sent to the teachers delivering courses respecting the list submitted by the student. The educational strategies may be sent only once the dean for student affairs competent for a given faculty has approved of them. Such letters contain adaptations of the university study process and of course completion assignments/tests/examinations approved by the dean (and previously agreed with the student). They can also include teaching tips concerning soft skills (e.g. how a teacher should deliver the course with a deaf student present in the room or how to teach someone with autism spectrum disorder etc.).

 

Academic support triangle

This model shows how inclusive education can be implemented in practice as well as the division of competences and responsibilities related to ensuring equal access to education for students with disabilities. The model includes three pillars: 

  • The student, as it is only upon his/her request that any action aimed at ensuring equal opportunities could be undertaken in the first place. It is the student who is responsible for his/her own studies and decides whether he/she needs support,
  • The JU Disability Support Service: its educational adviser may suggest to the student possible support options available at tha JU, custom-selected to match the student's needs. The JU DSS is a body issuing opinions concerning the impact of the student's health on his/her ability to fulfil the academic obligations,
  • academic teachers: they have the substantive knowledge transferred during the courses they deliver as well as the knowledge of the competences the student should have after completing a given course. Further, they are the ones who in the teaching process implement the educational support strategies worked out between the student and the JU DSS educational advisor.

 

Educational process adaptations

They are modifications of the format of examinations, the course of studies and the physical environment to match what the student is capable of given his/her disability. Such changes guarantee the retention of the key aspects of the university course and the academic standard which remains unchanged. Thanks to the accommodations, the student will be given the opportunity over the course of the academic year to fully acquire the required knowledge, skills or competences as well as to have them verified on an equal footing with others. Making use of the educational process adaptations, the student acquires the right to fully comply with his/her academic obligations, which are binding for all the students alike and their due fulfilment should be expected of students with disabilities as well.

Educational process adaptations concern adjusting university courses (e.g. allowing the student to use specialist equipment and software, replacing oral with written expression) and course completion assignments/tests/examinations (e.g. extending examination duration, spreading the end-of-term examination session over time). Requesting adaptations is subject to a specific procedure.

 

Educational adviser

A staff member from the JU Disability Support Service with relevant knowledge and experience who suggests specific educational process adaptations at the Jagiellonian University during one-to-one meetings with the student. Typically, the student will have the same adviser throughout the period of cooperation with the JU DSS, who is very familiar with his/her academic and health circumstances. 

 

Inclusive education

The adapted format does not mean exempting students from examinations or simplifying them but adjusting them to the individual needs of persons with disabilities. It only means a replacement of the technical and not substantive aspects of examinations.

Adapted formats of examinations/course completion assignments/tests may be requested by students not later than four weeks prior to the start of the test. Educational support brings best results when granted since the very beginning of the academic year.

 Some examples of examination format replacements:

  • replacacing written with oral examinations
  • replacing oral with written examinations
  • spreading examinations over time during the end-of-term session
  • taking examinations using forms printed with adapted font size or Braille
  • taking examinations using the agency of an assistant
  • using support of a sign or signed language interpreter
  • in justified cases, extending examination duration

Examinations in adapted formats

The adapted format does not mean exempting students from examinations or simplifying them but adjusting them to the individual needs of persons with disabilities. It only means a replacement of the technical and not substantive aspects of examinations.

Adapted formats of examinations/course completion assignments/tests may be requested by students not later than four weeks prior to the start of the test. Educational support brings best results when granted since the very beginning of the academic year.

 Some examples of examination format replacements:

  • replacacing written with oral examinations
  • replacing oral with written examinations
  • spreading examinations over time during the end-of-term session
  • taking examinations using forms printed with adapted font size or Braille
  • taking examinations using the agency of an assistant
  • using support of a sign or signed language interpreter
  • in justified cases, extending examination duration

Technologie wspierające

Dział dysponuje sprzętem komputerowym i multimedialnym. W strefie Wellbeing student może skorzystać z komputerów z oprogramowaniem udźwiękawiającym, powiększająco-mówiącym oraz ze słownikami (polsko-angielski/niemiecki/francuski/hiszpański/włoski) dostępnymi również dla studentów niewidomych i słabowidzących.

Student może liczyć także na konsultacje w zakresie doboru sprzętu i oprogramowania odpowiadającego jego indywidualnym potrzebom wynikającym z niepełnosprawności.

W multimedialnej pracowni językowej, wyposażonej m.in. w tablicę interaktywną oraz system wzrokowego wywoływania do odpowiedzi, odbywają się lektoraty języka angielskiego w metodologii dostępnej dla studentów niewidomych, słabowidzących, niesłyszących i słabosłyszących.

Assistive Technologies

The Service has its own computer hardware and multimedia equipment. In the workroom for blind and partially sighted students they can use accessible PCs, advanced software and specialist aids. They can also count on consultations concerning the selection of equipment matching their personal needs stemming from disability.

In the multimedia language workroom, equipped with an interactive boward etc., English language courses are delivered using methodologies accessible for blind, partially sighted, deaf and hard of hearing students.