Reasonable adjustment and the assessment of students with disabilities: Australian legal issues and trends

Dickson, Elizabeth (2011) Reasonable adjustment and the assessment of students with disabilities: Australian legal issues and trends. In Hodgson, Stephanie (Ed.) Proceedings of Australia and New Zealand Education Law Association 20th Annual Conference, Australia and New Zealnad Education Law Association, Darwin Convention Centre, Darwin, NT, pp. 22-31.

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Student assessment is particularly important, and particularly controversial, because it is the means by which student achievement is determined. Reasonable adjustment to student assessment is of equal importance as the means of ensuring the mitigation, or even elimination, of disability related barriers to the demonstration of student achievement. The significance of reasonable adjustment is obvious in the later years of secondary school, and in the tertiary sector, because failure to adjust assessment may be asserted as the reason a student did not achieve as well as anticipated or as the reason a student was excluded from a course and, as a result, from future study and employment opportunities. Even in the early years of schooling, however, assessment and its management are a critical issue for staff and students, especially in an education system like Australia’s with an ever increasing emphasis on national benchmarks testing.

This paper will explain the legislation which underpins the right to reasonable adjustment in education in Australian schools. It will give examples of the kinds of adjustment which may be made to promote equality of opportunity in the area of assessment. It will also consider some of the controversies which have confronted, or which, it may be speculated, are likely to confront Australian education institutions as they work towards compliance with reasonable adjustment laws.

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ID Code: 46862
Item Type: Conference Paper
Refereed: Yes
Additional Information: Published on conference CD
Keywords: Education law, Assessment, Disability Standards, Reasonable adjustment
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > LAW AND LEGAL STUDIES (180000) > OTHER LAW AND LEGAL STUDIES (189900) > Law and Legal Studies not elsewhere classified (189999)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Law
Current > Research Centres > Australian Centre for Health Law Research
Current > Schools > School of Law
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2011 Elizabeth Dickson
Deposited On: 06 Nov 2011 22:13
Last Modified: 12 Feb 2015 20:55

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