Reasonable adjustments in assessment: Putting law and policy into practice in Australia



Publication Details

Cumming, J., Dickson, E. & Webster, A. (2013). Reasonable adjustments in assessment: Putting law and policy into practice in Australia. International Journal of Disability Development and Education, 60 (4), 295-311.


The Australian Disability Standards for Education 2005 (Cth) require education providers to make reasonable adjustments in educational assessment so that students with disability can participate on the same basis as other students and be able to demonstrate what they know and can do. Reasonableness is governed by a determination of the balance of interests, benefits and detriment to the parties involved. The Standards require providers to consult with students and associates on adjustments, although guidance on how consultation should occur and how the views of students and associates are to be taken into account is vague. In this article, we identify three principles to be considered in order to put appropriate and effective reasonable adjustments in assessment into practice. While Australian law and assessment contexts are used to examine intentions, expectations and practices in educational assessment for students with disability, we argue that these three principles must be considered in any national education system to ensure equitable assessment practices and achieve equitable educational inclusion for students with disability.

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