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Home > Assessment > External Assessment Information > Special Disability Provisions


Special Disability Examination Provisions for Candidates with an Impairment or Disability


The TQA provides for special assessment arrangements to be made for students who, because of particular circumstances, are unable to be assessed in the same way as other students.

In some cases it may be difficult or impossible for a student to satisfy particular criteria for a course. In all such cases TQA should be consulted about the action to be taken for both internal and external assessment. Students are expected to demonstrate the same standard of achievement as is expected of all students. To do so, however, they will require assessment procedures that allow them to provide evidence of their achievement in different ways or under different conditions from other students.

Special Disability provision is...

* Not compensation for learning that has not occurred
* Not an exemption from meeting the requirements for Satisfactory Achievement
* Not a compromise of the expectations of the learning program
* Not automatic because of other funding eligibility
* Not always the same for the same diagnosis or disability

Guiding Principles

* Enable students to access examination questions and communicate their responses within a timed examination
* Fairness to all students within each class, school and the state
* Preserve the academic integrity of the assessment process

Fairness to All

* Each application is considered individually
* Approval by TQA is based on available evidence
* Professional recommendations vary greatly

Reasons for Applications

* Significant Health Impairment
* Significant Physical Disability
* Learning Disability
* Hearing Impairment (Disability)
* Vision Impairment (Disability)

Please Note: The TQA does not provide special disability provisions for students on the basis of lack of familiarity with the English language. Nor do we provide special disability provisions or consideration to students for normal exam stress, unless a request was supported by medical evidence about a chronic condition that is undergoing ongoing treatment.

What is available?

* Extra time (note if extra time is granted it will also be before the official starting time - ie 9.30 am rather than 9.00 am)
* Permission to leave room (under supervision)
* Medication (food and drink)
* Reader
* Scribe
* Computer
* Smaller examination room with fewer candidates
* Permission to stand, stretch or move around room
* Alternative format papers (vision and aural impaired)
* Advice to markers about spelling, grammar or poor handwriting
* Borderline consideration (does not apply if candidates do not sit their external assessment(s))

Applying for Special External Examination Disability Provisions

Special Examination Disability Provision Application forms are available (below) and also from the TQA Co-ordinator in your school/college.

Please Note: That applications for special disability provisions need to be made each year of assessment, requests CAN NOT be rolled over from year 11 to year 12.

The TQA Co-ordinator, School Counsellor or other nominated teacher may assist you (the student) in completing the application form. In doing so, he or she should take the following steps:
    1. Indicate the provisions for which you are applying.
    2. Indicate how the special examination needs affect your performance in examination situations.
    3. Ensure that you have signed the declaration on the front page of the application form.

It is important that you (the student) return the completed application form to the TQA by no later than the end of TERM 2.

If an application for a pre-existing condition is received after the above closing date a LATE FEE of $50.00 will apply until the end of August.

If an application for a pre-existing condition is received after the end of August the LATE FEE will increase to $250.00 per application.


Only emergency cases, such as a physical injury that occurs after the end of Term 2, that will impair a student undertaking their examinations will be considered for that year's examinations.

Note that NO new provisions that require physical arrangements to be made at the examination centre will be granted once the written examinations commence.

If all the necessary information is not provided, the Authority will need to contact the student to request this information. This will delay the process of considering the application and of advising the outcome.

Please Note: All relevant documentation/medical assessments/testing CAN NOT be more than 3 calendar years old - including the year to be externally assessed (ie not undertaken before Year 10 for the student).

We recommend that reports/testing for students be undertaken during year 10 which means the reports will be current for both year 11 and 12.

Policy on Use of a Computer (0.07 Mb PDF)TQA Policy on use of a computer in written TCE examinations (Updated Aug 7,2014)
Policy on Use of a Reader (0.06 Mb PDF)TQA Policy on use of a reader in TCE written examinations (Updated Aug 7,2014)
Policy on Use of a Scribe (0.06 Mb PDF)TQA Policy on Use of a Scribe in written TCE examinations (Updated Aug 7,2014)
Special Disability FAQs (0.08 Mb PDF)Special Disability Provisions - Frequently Asked Questions (Updated Aug 7,2014)
Special Disability Provisions Form (0.18 Mb PDF)To be used when requesting special written examination conditions (Updated Nov 4,2013)


Applications for students who need a re-written examination paper (ie braille or deaf papers) MUST be with the TQA by no later than the end of Term 1.

Evidence Requirements:

Significant Health Impairment or Physical Disability

* Evidence from independent medical professional who has treated the student
* School based professional evidence should be supported by an external independent professional
* Diagnosis, history and statements about impact on student?s day-to-day functioning and capacity to complete an examination

Learning Disability

* Testing to be administered by a registered psychologist
* Types of tests accepted: one of
- WISC III IV
- WAIS III or IV
- Stanford Binet IV or V
- WASI


Hearing Impairment (Disability)

* Report from qualified practitioner indicating a bilateral sensory-neural hearing loss that is moderate/severe/profound
* Support statement and recommendations from specialist teacher e.g. Visiting Teacher Service, hearing impaired facility/school

Vision Impairment (Disability)

* Current professional vision assessment report indicating moderate/severe vision impairment
* Support statement and recommendations from specialist teacher e.g. Visiting Teacher Service
* Details of school arrangements
* Detailed alternative format paper requests: Braille, enlarged print, diagrams, colored paper, recorded examination, diagram descriptions

Emergency Special Arrangement Applications

Only Emergency Special Arrangement applications can be submitted after this time and MUST include the following evidence:

* A medical certificate containing:
* Diagnosis
* Date of onset
* Outline of symptoms and treatment
* Likely effect of the illness on the students capacity to complete the examination(s)
* Medical recommendations for particular Special Examination Arrangements

How does the process work?

The application is assessed by a TQA officer and if required further information sought/clarified.

When a final decision has been made, written notification of the approved and/or declined provisions is sent to the student with a copy also sent to the school/college.


Reviewing a decision

Should a student wish to request a review of a decision, they should refer to the following link on the TQA website:

Complaints Guidelines for Senior Secondary Assessments and Certification

All other enquiries regarding special examination provisions should be directed to the TQA Co-ordinator or Counsellor at your school.


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