What are access arrangements?   A guide for candidates with disabilities and learning difficulties

  A brief guide for  candidates of GCSE  & IGCSEs, A Levels and IB exams.  Access arrangements are special adjustments for candidates with disabilities and learning difficulties. These adjustments refer to ways of testing in examinations. Examinations involve internal school tests, mock examinations as well as formal examinations such as GCSE, IGCSE, A levels, IB. The purpose of an access arrangement is to ensure that all candidates have equal access to exams. Therefore,  the candidate who is disabled can receive recognition for his/her attainment. Otherwise, he/she would be at a substantial disadvantage in comparison to someone who is not disabled. According to the Equality Act 2010/Section 6 (Appendix I) disability is defined as  a ‘physical or mental impairment which has a substantial and long term adverse effect on someone’s ability to carry out normal day to day activities’. Access arrangements are agreed upon before an assessment. Reasonable adjustments must not, however, affect the reliability or validity of assessment outcomes nor must they give the learner an unfair assessment advantage over other learners undertaking the same or similar assessments.   Adjustments for candidates with disabilities and learning difficulties The candidate must have an impairment in their first language which has a substantial and long term adverse effect. A candidate does not have a learning difficulty simply because their first language is not English. Candidates with Disabilities and Learning Difficulties may have Cognition and Learning Needs, e.g. General and/or Specific Learning Difficulties Communication and Interaction Needs, e.g. Autistic Spectrum Disorder , Speech, Language and Communication Needs Sensory and Physical Needs, e.g. Hearing Impairment , Multi-Sensory Impairment, Physical Disability, Vision Impairment Social, Mental and...