What is compensation for disadvantage?
An individual compensation for disadvantages is NOT A PREFERENTIAL TREATMENT, but a way to achieve equality of opportunities. Students with a disability or chronic illness/psychosocial disability have a right to a compensation for disadvantages. Nevertheless, these students have to be able to acquire the knowledge and skills specified in the respective examination regulations and to demonstrate them by taking examinations. The students have to acquire the learning outcomes, but the form and conditions of acquiring and demonstrating these learning outcomes can be modified. Disabilities and chronic illness come along with different restrictions, which also depend on the degree course and the learning outcomes of individual lecture courses. Therefore, it is necessary to examine every request for a compensation for disadvantages individually, and to specify requests in close coordination with the respective departments and lecturers. There is no legal claim to a specified compensation for disadvantages as such.
A few examples of compensation for disadvantage:
- Extension of deadlines for study and examination achievements
- Adapted time and/or relocation of classes and examinations to accessible rooms
- Extension of deadlines, e.g. for examinations, homework and final assignments
- Permission of special breaks, e.g. during examinations
- Test performances can be divided into partial performances
- The periods between individual academic achievements and examinations can be extended
- Students may participate in setting exam dates (e.g., not immediately before or after specified therapeutic measures)
- Deadlines of examinations can be extended, e.g. if there were necessary study breaks prior to an examination because of a student’s bad health
Examinations can be arranged differently:
- Oral examinations instead of written examinations or vice versa
- Theoretical performances instead of practical performances and vice versa
- Individual examinations instead of group examinations
- Written examinations as part of oral examinations for students with a hearing impairment or a speech impediment
- Partial release from compulsory attendance in courses (students have to perform compensatory services instead)
- Additional work tools or aids can be permitted (e.g., refreshable braille display); assistants can be arranged (e.g., sign language interpreters); special exam papers can be prepared (e.g., in large print)
- Examinations can be held in the rooms of the Disability & Diversity Centre.
Such compensations for disadvantages must never affect the evaluation of a student’s course achievement and test performances and must not appear on performance records, diploma supplements and certificates.
Legal basis: Alternative examination arrangements UG 2002 §59 (1) 12: “According to legal provisions, students have a right to study. This especially includes the right to alternative examination arrangements, if the student has a chronic disability which makes it impossible for them to take the examination in the prescribed method, and if the content and the requirements of the examination are not affected by the alternative examination arrangements.”