YUSU, alongside the University, will be implementing new measures to help tackle problems with exams for disabled students. There are four key measures to deal with the issues, put forward by Thomas Ron, YUSU Disabled Students’ Officer with Jen Wotherspoon of the exams office.
Ron says they or looking for “practical solutions when issues happen” and says that YUSU and the University have been able to work well together to resolve issues.
In March Nouse reported how one disabled student, Sophie Bissell, was given the wrong exam paper. There have been other problems such as the those that Michelle Young encountered when she was directed to the wrong exam room, not given an answer sheet, and her exam ended early. In the end she was forced to re-take the exam due to the issues.
The new measures will aim to have catering services opening early before late exams so students do not go to assessments with an empty stomach, although this has not yet been agreed with catering services.
For PC rooms it will be made clearer that exams are in progress, with bigger signs and warnings further away from the room to avoid noise and distraction near the area.
It will be made clearer that with a better email system when a room is changed for any exam and assessment times will be specified on ‘Exams in Progress’ boards.
Finally the measure, which Ron believes is most important, is that all students with special accommodation will be sent a survey via email which will be anonymous, so that the Exams Office can be made aware of any problems or issues that need addressing.
Ron is keen to develop the ideas of others including those of Maddy Kirkman and Alix Penn who stood against him in the election, and he says the Exams Office have been “very helpful” in implementing the news measures.
Ron said: “I think the new measures will be very useful in flagging down problems, ensuring that YUSU and the University can find solutions to ensure that the exams are administered in the best possible way.”
He added: “I think that by specifying the exam times on the ‘Exams in Progress’ boards we will see less exams being disrupted. I also hope that if Catering Services agrees to open the doors early for students with evening exams there will be less people sitting exams on an empty stomach, which will be beneficial for their performance.”