Naomis Story Medical student with dyslexia who feels that multiple choice tests discriminate against people. In normal life, you dont get multiple choice questions…Your patients arent going to ask you heres an option and four answers. Which one is right?. Medical schools will have to look at changing testing systems if she wins an employment tribunal, and other trade bodies may have to follow suit. Every professional body or employer who relies for a professional qualification, or as a promotional gateway, on multiple choice questions is heading for a fall.
Peters Story Lost hearing at the age of 16 due to cholesteatoma and an operation to remove the disease. Achieved GCSEs and A levels; studied Psychology and Neuroscience at University. University failed to implement SENDA provisions; lack of takers for all modules. Ear condition deteriorated; broke wrist; supervisor left; exams missed through illness. Awarded a pass degree. Missed opportunity to appeal due to medical complications. Ineligible for accreditation by British Psychological Society and entry to a BPS to accredited Masters.
Peters Story continued…. Took Masters in Sport and Exercise Science. Could not move to a PhD because of degree requirements of Medical Research Council. Now applied to the BPS. Reminded them of Disability Discrimination Act for Trade Organisations and Membership Bodies. Has been awarded membership, and intends to pursue a career as a Clinical Psychologist.
Peters Story continued….. For interest: 2% of young adults are deaf/hard of hearing. 0.27% of first year undergraduates are deaf/hard of hearing. 0.22% of first year postgraduate researchers ( 35 people) are deaf/hard of hearing.
Work in Progress Psychology British Psychological Society (BPS) has: Standing committee for promotion of equal opportunities; Annual award for people who have challenged inequality or promoted equality; Web site with an Equal Opportunities Policy Statement.
Work in Progress Psychology Publication Clinical Psychology Training and Disability: Information, guidance and good practice guidelines. says that reasonable adjustments should be made in how relevant experience and academic performance are assessed. Experience of a disability as evidence of a wealth of useful experience and expertise.
Work in Progress Psychology Improving Provision for Disabled Students Project (University of York) flagged issues to improve access to the BPS and to professional psychology: accessibility issues on web site; accessibility to offices; accessibility of publications; need for staff training on disability issues; need to work with HEIs in relation to graduate basis for registration of disabled graduates. Led to new Equality and Diversity Strategy and Action Plan, launched in 2008 for the Society – for implementation over the next few years.
Work in Progress Social Policy and Social Work Subject Centre SWAP has regular meetings with the Care Council. Alerts them to issues regarding: Admissions and Registration; Disclosure requirements for disability; Timing – students could be admitted by HEI but then rejected by the Care Council; Practice Learning; Barriers experienced by students on work placements; Reasonable adjustments.
Work in Progress Social Policy and Social Work Noticeable increase in awareness in the Care Council regarding provision for disabled students and review of regulations on admissions, practice learning, and fitness to practice.
The Conference… Changes to disability legislation require professional bodies to review means by which they confer entry and membership to ensure they do not discriminate against disabled people. HEIs required to undertake an equality impact assessment. HEIs report that standards and guidance produced by professional bodies, that underpin professional courses, are not in keeping with the DDA. Must be more collaboration between HEIs and professional bodies in implementation of the DDA. Need to distinguish between fitness to practice standards and competence standards.
The Conference… Need for clarity as to the role of competence standards within programmes of study. Evidence of discriminatory practice on work placements and reasonable adjustments not being provided. Evidence that disabled applicants to courses in HEIs are discriminated against at application as they cannot meet professional practice requirements. Failure to meet practice requirements can lead to disabled students leaving HE without an award.