Writing examination could be a challenging task for the persons with disabilities. Those with visual impairment find it difficult to read questions and and write answers. Similarly, persons with locomotor disabilities may also face difficulty in writing exams as well as doing practical exams in labs etc.
The Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment mandates that disabled students should be provided with extra time during the examination in order to compensate the loss of speed / ability in writing the answers.
A person with benchmark disability can make use of a scribe / readers / lab assistant while giving exams. Scribe is a person who writes answers on behalf of the student. A reader helps in reading the text for the disabled student. A lab assistant is a person who is familiar with the laboratory environment and helps the student in practical exams.
Who is Eligible for Extra Time in Exams?
First of all, the Ministry mandates that the “extra time” should be refereed to as “compensatory time”. Any person with benchmark disability and having limitation in writing exams is allowed to have a scribe/reader/lab assistant.
Following people can ask for scribe/reader/lab assistant:
- Persons with visual impairment
- Persons with locomotor disability (in both arms)
- Persons with cerebral palsy
If persons falling in other categories of disabilities require assistance in writing exams, they will have to produce a certificate from the Chief Medical Officer/Civil Surgeon/Medical Superintendent of a government health care institution. This certificate must state that the authority has examined the condition of the candidate and she is found to be limited in writing exams.
How to Select Scribe/Reader/Lab Asst.?
The student has the option of arranging her own scribe/reader/lab asst.
The student can also choose to ask the examination body to arrange for a scribe/reader/lab asst. If this option is chosen by the student, the examination body must ensure that the student be able to meet the scribe/reader/lab asst. at least two days before the exam begins. At this time, the student can decide whether the scribe/reader/lab asst. is suitable for her or not.
Qualification of Scribe/Reader/Lab asst.
Naturally, the qualification of the scribe/reader/lab asst. must be less than the requirement to take the examination in question. If the student selects her own scribe/reader/lab asst. then she will have to give an undertaking with all the details of the scribe/reader/lab asst.
How Many Scribes/Readers/Lab Asst. Are Allowed?
One scribe/reader/lab asst. is allowed per subject. However, separate scribe/reader/lab asst. will be allowed for exams in different languages.
Disability Certificate Required for Availing the Facility of Scribe/reader/lab asst.
As we all know, disability certificate issued in one state is not generally accepted in the other state. But in case of availing the facility of scribe/reader/lab asst. disability certificate or UDID Card issued anywhere in India will be accepted.
How much Extra Time is Given to Students with Disabilities?
For students availing the facility of scribe/reader/lab asst., a minimum of 20 minutes per hour of examination is provided as compensatory time.
To those who are not availing scribe/reader/lab asst., one hour per three hour of examination is provided as compensatory time. For exams of lesser duration, compensatory time will be given on pro-rata basis.
The Ministry mandates that the,
- examination center should be on ground floor, as far as possible
- examination center should be accessible for the persons with disabilities
- As far as possible, alternative mode of taking exam should be provided (for example, using Braille, computer, large text, E-Text etc.)
- Personal laptop/computer is not allowed during the exam but customized keyboard/mouse/joystick may be allowed.
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