Disability provisions for the minimum standard online tests
Last Updated: 1 June 2018
The Disability Discrimination Act 1992 (Commonwealth) and the Disability Standards for Education (2005) require NESA to ensure that students with a disability are able to access and respond to an examination or test.
Students may require disability provisions for:
- a permanent condition, such as vision or hearing loss
- a temporary condition, such as a broken arm
- an intermittent condition, such as lower back pain when sitting for long periods
Disability provisions are based on the functional impact of a diagnosis, not the diagnosis itself. The provisions apply only where the disability requires a practical arrangement to provide a student access to read and/or respond in a test situation and are solely determined on how the disability affects the student’s performance.
When determining if disability provisions are required, the online platform of the minimum standard tests should be considered, as features such as manipulation of font/image size, font colour and background colour are available to all students.
The purpose and nature of the minimum standard online tests is different to the HSC examinations and principals have been given greater authority to approve disability provisions that can be implemented for the minimum standard online tests.
There is no guarantee that NESA will grant the same disability provisions for the HSC examinations as those approved for the minimum standard online tests.
Principal approved disability provisions for the minimum standard online tests
Principals can approve the following standard provisions:
- rest breaks (standard is 5 minutes per half hour but principals may approve up to 30 minutes per half hour)
- additional time (standard is 2.5 minutes per half hour but principals may approve up to 30 minutes per half hour)
- writer (for the writing test only)
- modifications to the environment e.g. special furniture, lighting
- access to medication and/or food
Evidence used to determine disability provisions, such as health reports, reading test scores or teacher comments, must be retained in the school for three years after the tests as this evidence may need to be reviewed by NESA.
NESA approved disability provisions for the minimum standard online tests
Non-standard disability provisions for the minimum standard online tests require approval from NESA. Schools must submit an application to NESA for non-standard disability provisions, such as:
- modified paper e.g. modifying questions that contain visual stimulus
- additional time or rest breaks greater than 30 minutes per half hour
Other provisions that are required to provide access and participation on the same basis as a student without a disability may be applied for. Applications should be forwarded to firstname.lastname@example.org.
NESA approved disability provisions are valid for 12 months from the date of approval.
Credentialling disability provisions taken
Where students use a reader to access the online reading test, the reading test report will include the following footnote:
- This test was completed with the assistance of a reader. The reader provided no assistance in the interpretation of the meaning of words or the text.
Information about disability provisions for the minimum standard online tests is available on the NESA website at: http://educationstandards.nsw.edu.au/wps/portal/nesa/11-12/hsc/hsc-minimum-standard/disability-provisions-exemptions