CASE STUDIES JAMES
Case Studies James Adjustments that don’t affect the academic standards of a course
James – Adjustments that don’t affect the academic standards of a course
A drama school runs a course for people who want to write reviews about plays. The course requires students to watch and make comments on a number of plays. A blind man, James, wants to participate in this course, but he is told he can’t because he can’t physically see the plays. James points out that many blind people enjoy attending plays and would benefit from reviews from another blind person. He provides examples of his experiences from listening to plays and following what is happening with help from a script that has stage directions.
After consultation, the drama school apologises and agrees to adjust its policy. The school acknowledges that theatre can be experienced and reviewed on many different levels and that a blind person’s experiences are as important and relevant as those of people who are not blind. For that reason James’ participation is consistent with the purpose of the course and maintains the course’s academic standards.
CASE STUDIES FIONA
Case Studies Fiona – Consulting and working together to find adjustments and solutions to help students participate
Fiona – Consulting and working together to find adjustments and solutions to help students participate
Kate and her daughter Fiona have moved to a country town. Fiona has an intellectual disability and sometimes has difficult behaviour, like yelling out in class. The country town has only one public school.
When Kate tells the school about her daughter’s disability the principal refuses to accept Fiona’s enrolment as a student. Kate writes a letter to the principal telling her that she thinks this is unfair, especially when the principal won’t provide written reasons for the refusal. Kate says she will be making a complaint to AHRC if the principal doesn’t do something about it.
The principal organises a meeting with Kate and Fiona. During that meeting they discuss some of the challenges that Fiona’s disability might create in the classroom. The principal agrees to have a teacher with special training come and look at the class and make recommendations on how these challenges might be overcome by adjustments, including whether a teacher’s aide could sit with Fiona to provide support.
Gradually, the time the teacher’s aide spends with Fiona is less and less, until they only have to meet once a week to talk about how Fiona is going. With the right supports Fiona can participate successfully in her education.