Procedure for supporting students with disabilities and health problems

Country Studied: Austria, Denmark, Greece, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands and Spain. This paper will mainly focus on the Dutch framework.

Area of Focus: Assessment of the student’s needs and informing responsibilities for their admission to the university

In order learners with disabilities/learning difficulties and health problems to enter the University of Cyprus and study foreign languages, some procedures must be followed:

  • the admission process of students with special criteria
  • completion of registration form (if the learner declares his/her difficulty)
  • his/her referral by the teachers,
  • his/her referral from external bodies, Associations, Associations, etc.

This practice reflects the local University procedures within the adult students with learning disabilities need to complete, in order to be accepted within the educational institute. This is the same procedure for students who want to enter the Department of Foreign Languages and complete their studies within a period of four (4) years.

N/A – This is a standard procedure that occurs every year when the educational institute accepts new entries.

The best practice is supporting, among other students, students with (learning) disabilities that want to enter the University for studying foreign languages.

Yes. Here it is explained the assessment of the student’s needs and information of the responsible persons:

  1. Once the student with a disability or health problem is identified, a personal meeting is scheduled with the Officer of the Social Support Office. During the meeting, the difficulties encountered by the student and the reasonable adjustments that may be needed will be discussed and recorded. The student must submit all medical certificates, assessments and suggestions he holds according to the form DISABILITY DOCUMENTATION and any suggestions for reasonable adjustments by the Provincial Committee of Special Education and Training of the Ministry
  2. Then a special form – RELIGIOUS ADAPTATION CONCESSION FORM – with the personal data of the student and his academic needs is filled in by the competent Officer of the Social Support Office which are assessed by the Student Welfare Committee of the University
  3. After a decision is made by the Student Welfare Committee, the student is informed about the type of support that can be offered by the University of Cyprus
  4. With the written consent of the student, the instructors, the academic support and the president of the student’s Department are informed in writing – INFORMATION AND RECEIPT FORM. The re-evaluation of students experiencing learning difficulties is decided by the Mental Health Center of the University of Cyprus
  5. Students who experience learning difficulties and need reasonable adjustments or wish to be informed of their teachers, are referred to the University Mental Health Center for evaluation of their needs. After the assessment of the student’s needs, the suggestions of the University Mental Health Center for granting reasonable adjustments are approved and the same procedure is followed for informing the teachers as for the students with disabilities
  6. Explanations are given (if needed) to instructors and support staff about the reasonable adjustments that should be made to the student and how to address their difficulties
  7. Students are informed (if necessary), and their instructors about the total hours allotted to tutoring or other support, as well as the benefits to which the supporting student is entitled

University of Cyprus (2021). Στήριξη Φοιτητών με Αναπηρίες. Retrieved 3 March 2021, from https://www.ucy.ac.cy/fmweb/el/25-top-menu/offices-gr/social-support-office/122-foitites-anapiria

This practice refers to the documentation of disability, health problem, learning difficulties and psycho-emotional disorders that students who want to enter the University of Cyprus may have, students’ obligations, recommendations to teachers, support towards students with disabilities in teaching, as well as tuition support.

The educational institute is qualified with high standards and procedures, in integrating their entries within the system. Every student, regardless his/her physical or mental condition, is entitled to follow some procedures and regulations before starting his/her undergraduate studies. The procedures are the same for every for the learners who are registering for Foreign Languages studies.

Documentation of disability, health problem, learning difficulties and psycho-emotional disorders:

  1. Optical disability: Recent certificates must be submitted by a specialist ophthalmologist recognized by the Medical Council and registered in the Cyprus Medical Register or by a relevant body in the country of origin of the student
  2. Acoustic disability: Recent certificates must be submitted by a specialist otolaryngologist recognized by the Medical Council and registered in the Cyprus Medical Register or by a relevant body in the country of origin of the student:
  3. Mobile and physical disability: Must be presented by the Specialist Doctor recognized by the Medical Council and registered in the register of Physicians of Cyprus or by a corresponding body of the country from which the student comes.

The Social Support Office and the Academic Support, suggest students/graduates to offer support to peers with learning disabilities. The student who needs support can suggest the student or graduate who wishes to provide him/her with support.

Teachers should take into account the confidential note sent to them by the University and the Student Welfare Office, which refers to the reasonable adjustments that should be made to the student. They should also be in contact with the student for his/her effective support