Teaching and exams adaptations
The Teiresias Centre offers a wide range of study adaptations. Certain adaptations are not restricted only to specific groups of students; adaptations reflect the student’s current health or psychological condition, the student’s difficulties described in the required documentation and specified by the functional assessment. Specific adaptations are proposed by student counsellors, often in cooperation with other staff at the Teiresias Centre, or with the supervisors of individual fields and courses.
Technical and organizational adaptations of standard teaching
Technical and organizational adaptations of standard teaching
This adaptation means that the students attend their regular lectures and seminars and are supported by the Teiresias Centre which supplies the needed services, such as sign language interpreting, visualization of the teacher's speech (by the means of articulation or speech to text reporting), personal or pedagogical assistance, ensuring accessibility of study materials, etc. Specific adjustments to the teaching are determined by the student counsellor on the basis of the provided documentation and an interview with the student.
- Ensuring accessibility of study literature – This applies especially to students with visual impairments who, due to their disability, cannot work with standard printed or electronic texts. Requests for adaptations to study literature should be sent well in advance (ideally immediately after the course registration in IS) to colleagues providing library services. Visit the Library and Publishing section for more information.
- assistance in lessons / for travelling to/from school – Assistance is mainly used by students with mobility or visual impairment, whose independent movement and orientation is complicated or made impossible due to their disability. For more information see the section Students with visual impairments and Students with mobility impairments. If you are interested in using assistance services, please contact the Physical Accessibility Section.
- Interpreting, speech-to-text reporting, content notes – Interpreting and speech-to-text reporting are study modifications designed for deaf and hard of hearing students. For more information see the section Deaf and hard of hearing students. Content notes can be provided to students with mobility impairment, autism spectrum disorders, or psychological difficulties who can’t take their own notes due to the nature of disability or difficulty they have. These services should be requested well in advance (before the start of the teaching period) from the head of the dispatching centre.
- Spatial orientation – It is primarily intended for students with visual or motor disabilities, or students with autism spectrum disorders. Newly enrolled students are contacted by their counsellors offering spatial orientation services. If you are interested in spatial orientation services later in your studies, e.g. when classes are held in unfamiliar areas, please contact your student counsellor (students with autism spectrum disorder) or colleagues in the Physical Accessibility Section before the start of the semester. For more information, see Students with mobility impairments and Students with visual impairments.
- Priority registration of courses, registration for seminar groups and examination dates – That means the possibility to request registration of compulsory, compulsory elective and elective courses before the start of the registration period, registration for a seminar group or examination date before the start of the official registration period. It helps to ensure an even study load or eliminate disadvantages related to disabilities or other difficulties in the time competition. Priority registration for courses or registration for seminar groups should be requested from and arranged with your student counsellor prior to the start of registration or registration for seminar groups.
- Tolerance of increased absences – This adjustment is provided to students with chronic illnesses or mental health problems whose illness is accompanied by a short-term deterioration in their health or mental state (often repeated) that prevents them from attending classes regularly. The tolerance for absence and any make-up work (term papers, extra work) should always be agreed at the beginning of the semester so that the teacher is informed of and accepts the possibility of higher absences.
- Possibility to replace presentations in front of a group of students with another task – This is intended for students with psychological difficulties, autism spectrum disorder or communication disorder, whose difficulties make it difficult or impossible to speak in front of a group of people. This adaptation should be consulted with the teacher as soon as possible after the requirements of the course have been known.
- Tolerance of lower activity in classes – This applies especially to students with psychological difficulties or autism spectrum disorder who may find it difficult to actively participate in class (discussions, reactions to teachers' questions, etc.). The teacher should be informed about this adaptation (and a potential alternative) as soon as possible after the course requirements are known so as to put the chosen alternative into practice (e.g. the students do not participate in the discussions at all, they participate only when invited by the teacher or they summarise their views on the topic discussed in writing after the seminar).
- Individual deadlines for the submission of seminar works and continuous assignments – This adaptation is not restricted to a specific group of students; it may be used by those who, due to their disability or difficulties, need more time to complete written assignments, such as deaf students, students with visual impairment, psychological difficulties or attention deficit disorder. An individual submission timetable needs to be agreed on at the beginning of the semester when the teacher announces the assignment submission dates; should the student's medical condition or their difficulty worsen in the course of the semester, it needs to be communicated as soon as possible so that the individual submission date(s) can be fixed.
- Adaptations of lessons for students with ISP only
- extension of the study period of the course to twice the standard length of the course
- progression to the next semester with a lower number of credits
- extension of the total study time to twice the standard length of the study period
They are mostly provided to students with learning difficulties but can also be offered to other students depending on their current situation. They are typically proposed by educational-psychological counsellors or student counsellors on the basis of the learning disabilities assessment or the consultation on the student's current situation.
Supportive courses can only be used as a supplement to the standard teaching, i.e. the student must also be enrolled in the corresponding course at the faculty in a given semester. For instance, if you want to have language supportive classes, you must be enrolled in a course that is part of the compulsory language teaching. Courses are usually individual and the timetable is arranged to suit both the teacher and student.
It is typically used by:
- deaf and hard of hearing students because of the excessive use of specialist terminology that makes real-time sign language interpretation impossible, the teacher's inexpressive or unintelligible articulation, inappropriate acoustic conditions in the classroom, the teacher's frequent turning away to write on the blackboard or to look at the projection screen, or working with audio recordings;
- blind students and students with severe visual impairment because of the frequent use of whiteboards, printed and photographic materials, use of applications that are not accessible in their standard form or excessive reference to specific information displayed on the data projector screen;
- students with mobility impairment if teaching takes place in the field, or should movement of fine motor skills be needed e.g. to control special equipment;
- students with psychological difficulties and autism spectrum disorders if the pace of work is too fast, if frequent active engagement in class is required, such as in language teaching, or if the teaching methods are not manageable for the students and cannot be compensated for in standard classes by any other adjustments.
Individual tuition is usually organized by the Teiresias Centre's student counsellors in cooperation with the course supervisors. However, if you feel that standard tuition is not accessible to you, please contact the Studies Section immediately and they will discuss the matter with you.
Courses that often require this form of adaptation are, e.g.:
- language teaching;
- mathematics and computer science education;
- computer courses;
- physical education;
- practical training
- Increasing the time for written tests / moving the test to the classrooms of the Teiresias Centre – this is the most common adaptation of the written tests; it is intended for all students with any disability or difficulties, whose work pace is slower, or who find it harder to navigate in the text and need more time to read it.
- Other modifications of written examinations include::
- the possibility to write the answers on a computer with a spell checker on, provided it does not interfere with the aim of the exam - especially for students with specific learning difficulties.
- the possibility to work with adapted assignment formats (electronic, enlarged printed or tactile instructions). This adjustment may be required by students with visual impairment as well as students with mobility impairment who use a PC to take their exams or who require other specific modifications of the instructions, such as one-side print or ring binding.
- use of an adjustable desk – adjustable desks in classrooms are primarily designed for students with mobility impairments, but can also be used by students with chronic conditions who require a particular desk position.
- the use of rest breaks in longer tests – especially for students with chronic illnesses and psychological difficulties.
- Adaptation of oral examinations – in most cases it means the opportunity to be examined first, or to be given time to prepare in writing. If you need such an adaptation, contact the student counsellor for your faculty well in advance.
- Individual examination dates – students with special needs or ISP are still required to use the dates announced by the teacher in the IS; however, in justified cases, individual examination dates may be applied for. Among these cases are: an extension of the standard study period for the course (students with an ISP), long-term health problems confirmed by a doctor, or an aggravation of an illness during the examination period that will not allow you to use the standard examination dates. The legitimacy of this request is assessed by the staff of the Studies Section of the Teiresias Centre. You must request an individual exam date from the student counsellor well in advance (as part of the planning process for the exam period), and as soon as possible in the event of an unexpected worsening of an illness during the exam period.
Any modification to the written or oral examination needs to be requested from your student counsellor at least 5 days prior to the examination date. The date of the test (the day and time the test begins) does not change. What changes is the time limit of the test or the classroom in which the test takes place. In the case of a request for an adaptation of the final state exam, the student's counsellor must be informed of the request for adaptation immediately after the student registers for the state exam.
Please note that Masaryk University assumes that disabilities, learning and psychological difficulties or autism spectrum disorders do not constitute grounds for changing the content or form of the examination. Changing a written examination to an oral examination and vice versa is possible only in cases where the given form of examination is not accessible to the student despite the use of assistive technologies.