A student whose disability, mental health or medical condition impacts on their learning, will probably want to ensure that their Course Coordinators are aware of their learning issues. To support negotiation of reasonable adjustments, students should provide a copy of their Access Plan to their Course Coordinator.
Before negotiating adjustments, students should read through their Course Information Booklet (CIB) and make themselves aware of how the course will be run and what is expected of them. This will enable students to be able to plan what kind of adjustments they might need. Students will then need to arrange a suitable time to discuss these adjustments with their Course Coordinator. It is important to do this at the beginning of the course. Disability Advisers are able to support students in this negotiation.
Tips for students negotiating with academic staff
- Check your Course Information Booklet before classes start and make sure you are aware of all the assessments, what is expected of you and when they are due
- Understand the impact of your disability on your study
- After reading the CIB note down the adjustments you wish to request; these requests should relate to the impact of your disability in the course
- Be realistic about what are reasonable requests and recognise that you will need to meet the objectives of the course
- Liaise with the Disability Services if you need support negotiating adjustments
- Be aware of relevant policies
- Request any extensions or alternative arrangements well in advance (if you do not negotiate in a timely manner, your request may not be granted)
- Plan for how you want to deal with issues relating to disclosure.
- Remember that you don't need to tell your Course Coordinator about the nature of your disability, but rather how it will impact on your study. You should have this documented in your Access Plan which you should bring to the meeting
- Arrange to meet away from class to ensure confidentiality
- Make sure you are punctual and well organised
- Take notes and agree to an email exchange following the meeting to ensure that agreements are documented
- If you are dissatisfied with the outcome of your meeting you may wish to seek advice from an advocacy or support service.