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Reasonable adjustments

Introduction to Reasonable Adjustments

The University of Suffolk aims to ensure that all students achieve their full academic potential. We believe that that no student should be disadvantaged because of a disability in their admission to, and participation in, the learning environment.

Student Services has primary responsibility for working with individual students with disabilities to advise on their support needs. This will most likely take the form of a reasonable adjustment agreement, which is created in collaboration with you (the student) and the disability and wellbeing team.

Faculties, centres and relevant professional services are responsible for ensuring reasonable adjustments are implemented satisfactorily.

The Equality Act

The University of Suffolk is subject to the Equality Act 2010 (the Act) which requires that the Institution pays due regard to the need to equality of opportunity between persons who share a relevant protected characteristic and persons who do not share it.

For the purpose of the Act, a person has a disability if they have any impairment (physical or mental) which has a long term adverse effect on their ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities.

According to the Act, the effect of an impairment is considered long-term if:

  • it has lasted at least 12 months
  • the period for which it lasts is likely to be at least 12 months; or
  • it is likely to last for the rest of the life of the person affected.

Progressive conditions such as cancer, HIV and multiple sclerosis are protected by the act from the point of diagnosis, and would therefore be eligible for reasonable adjustments from the outset.

The Act (section 20) confirms the following requirements for reasonable adjustments:

  • where a provision, criterion or practice (of an institution) puts a disabled person at a substantial disadvantage in relation to a relevant matter in comparison with persons who are not disabled, to take such steps as it is reasonable to have to take to avoid the disadvantage.
  • where a physical feature puts a disabled person at a substantial disadvantage in relation to a relevant matter in comparison with persons who are not disabled, to take such steps as it is reasonable to have to take to avoid the disadvantage.
  • where a disabled person would, but for the provision of an auxiliary aid, be put at a substantial disadvantage in relation to a relevant matter in comparison with persons who are not disabled, to take such steps as it is reasonable to have to take to provide the auxiliary aid.