Agreed Record of University Access Adjustments (ARUAA) and Common Reasonable Adjustments
15. An ARUAA is defined within the University's 'Definition of Terms' as 'used when students are identified as requiring additional support requirements, details of agreed reasonable adjustments are made in the student's ARUAA. Examples include alternative assessment methods.'
16. The ARUAA is a document used to record and organise reasonable adjustments for students. It provides information for academic and professional services staff to help support students effectively, as it is recognised that, sometimes, students will require specific adjustments to remove barriers and equalise their access to education, learning and research, and whilst interacting with staff. Whilst ARUAA's are most often created for students who have disclosed a disability, and to facilitate the University meeting its legislative duties under the Equality Act 2010, they can also be used for a range of other reasons and circumstances where although no disability is present, an adjustment of some form is deemed appropriate by a senior manger. This might include the preparation of an ARUAA as an alternative to student disciplinary action.
17. ARUAA's can be established for students across all types, levels and modes of study and research and therefore for undergraduate, taught postgraduate and research postgraduate students.
18. The ARUAA document records agreed adjustments required to help a student overcome/manage the effects of their disability/circumstances in order to achieve their academic potential both on campus (e.g. relating to class tests, examinations, coursework, attendance, the learning environment, research, meetings, viva, supervision and access to technology), and whilst operating out of the University (e.g. on placement or participating in field work or conferences).
19. The ARUAA sets out the specific adjustments that have been agreed, including details of accommodation-related adjustments, ensuring that the document is holistic and not only focused on academic adjustments.
20. An Access Action Plan is created as part of each ARUAA to set out the responsibilities and commitments of the: student; Accessibility and Inclusion team; and University as a whole, in respect to implementing the agreed support provisions. This plan also notes: confirmation that discussion has taken place to explain to the student the process for requesting extensions and/or securing absence on the grounds of disability; confirmation that the student has been advised on the options available regarding colour/size and font for printed text, as appropriate; and that guidance has been provided to the student as to the face to face, online and electronic support and training available.
21. The ARUAA includes the signatures of both the student and the assessor, to confirm that the joint determination of the ARUAA and agreement of both in terms of its provisions.
22. The student may decide at any time to disengage from an ARUAA. Where the University is advised by a student that they no longer wish to have the ARUAA maintained, adjustments and support agreed through the ARUAA process will cease to be in place/operation.
23. In exceptional circumstances, where the needs assessment process identifies that the adjustments sought by the student may require more detailed consideration to determine reasonableness, the Education and Student Experience Committee’s ‘Reasonable Adjustments Panel’ will be convened.
Common Reasonable Adjustments
24. Where appropriate to need, an ARUAA may recommend that a student may request extensions to deadlines. These requests may relate to deadlines for, for example, the submission of coursework or a thesis. Where this is the case, the student must apply for the extension each time they are required and follow the procedure set out in the Quality Handbook; requesting an extension in advance of the deadline date, stating the reason being “ARUAA”. Students with ARUAAs continue to be responsible for their own workload planning and endeavouring to complete coursework within deadlines. Extension requests are considered and granted at the discretion of the academic staff involved and can be granted for up to 7 days for coursework and 14 days for dissertations. For research students, duration of extensions should be discussed and reasonably agreed according to circumstances. Students are not required to provide medical evidence to secure their extension as this will have been considered during the development of the ARUAA. Staff should consider the assignment length, type, progress already made by the student and other outstanding coursework when determining the length of the extension to be provided.
25. Students with an ARUAA must inform faculty staff if they are to be absent on disability grounds, as they would if they were self-certifying on medical grounds. Students must specify they are absent on disability grounds but will not be required to provide a doctor’s letter, as the presence of an ARUAA will confirm that the institution holds sufficient medical evidence of the disability. An ARUAA does not provide students with an attendance waiver, and students should ensure they fully understand the attendance and engagement requirements of each of their modules, and the potential impact of absence.