Applying for reasonable accommodations
Reasonable accommodation is a specific measure that may be implemented for pupils with special educational needs in order to minimise obstacles that result from an impairment.
Its purpose is to compensate for the impairment, not give individual pupils an advantage over their classmates.
Reasonable accommodations must be suited to the severity of the pupil's impairment. Each application is individually assessed to find the most appropriate solution to the obstacles encountered by the pupil.
Who is concerned
Reasonable accommodations are for students with special educational needs who:
- classic secondary education (enseignement secondaire classique – ESC) schools; or
- general secondary education (enseignement secondaire général – ESG) schools; or
- international schools; or
- adult education establishments;
- have a particular impairment or disability preventing them from demonstrating the skills they have acquired in evaluation tests.
These pupils are capable of following the regular curriculum, but due to an impairment or illness, they face obstacles under standard assessment conditions.
These modifications may be:
- a visual, motor, hearing or organ impairment;
- a specific language disorder;
- an autism disorder;
- a learning difficulty or high potential;
- a permanent or long-term illness.
The implemented accommodations must be able to mitigate the resulting obstacles.
How to proceed
Submitting the application
Applications for reasonable accommodations should be addressed to the principal of the institution by:
- the parents of an underage pupil; or
- the pupil aged 18 or over; or
- the teacher; or
- a representative from the Psychosocial and Scholastic Assistance Service (Service psycho-social et d'accompagnement scolaires – SePAS); or
- a representative from the 'children with special or specific educational needs' support team (ESEB); or
- a representative from the Reasonable Accommodations Commission (Commission des aménagements raisonnables); or
- a representative from the School Inclusion Commission (Commission d'inclusion scolaire).
The reference person
Upon receipt of the application for reasonable accommodations, the principal will appoint a reference person, who will be responsible for the pupil with special educational needs. This person will be:
- a representative from the SePAS; or
- a representative from the 'children with special or specific educational needs' support team (ESEB); or
- a member of the school staff.
Throughout the procedure, this person is the interlocutor of the student and their parents.
The reference person will:
- contact the parents and pupil concerned;
- request their written consent to store and transfer the pupil's personal data;
- notify them of the recommended strategy and the measures that have been approved in the pupil's interest.
Types of reasonable accommodations
Accommodations may be made in the areas of:
- classroom teaching;
- tasks required of pupils inside or outside the classroom;
- classroom evaluation tests;
- examinations at the end of studies or at the end of apprenticeships and integrated projects.
At the request of the reference person, the school principal may approve or, if necessary, adapt or suspend the following reasonable accommodations:
- the layout of the classroom and/or the pupil's desk;
- a separate room for testing;
- suitably adapted written tests (example: braille, enlarged print).
At the request of the reference person, the school's class council may approve or, if necessary, adapt or suspend the following reasonable accommodations:
- exemption from part of the compulsory tests planned for a trimester or semester;
- substitution of part of the planned tests by a single end-of-term or end-of-semester test;
- for annual results, consideration of academic results from only one or 2 trimesters or one semester.
In addition to the accommodations described above, the Reasonable Accommodation Commission may approve or, if necessary, adapt or suspend the following reasonable accommodations:
- increased time allowed for tests and integrated projects;
- additional breaks during the tests;
- allowing examinations at the end of studies or end of apprenticeships to be taken over 2 sessions;
- relocation of tests outside the school to the home or an institution (such as a hospital);
- use of technological aids and human aid (such as assistance during practical work, interpreters for deaf pupils) to compensate for specific impairments;
- use of a spell checker;
- use of a lingua franca, German or French, for questionnaires and/or the drafting of the student's writings other than the one planned for use in secondary general curricula (ESG);
- exemptions from oral, practical or physical tests or from a module (example: exemption from physical education for a disabled student, exemption from musical education for a deaf student);
- temporary transfer into another class for some or all subjects;
- medical examination before access to certain courses;
- transfer of the case file to the National Inclusion Commission (Commission nationale d’inclusion – CNI);
- substitution of some questions on:
- evaluation tests;
- examinations at the end of studies or end of apprenticeships;
- the integrated project;
with questions taking into consideration the pupil's impairment or disability.
Creation and management of a case file
Once the application is submitted, the reference person will:
- create a new case file; or
- if the case file has been forwarded by the primary education authorities to the SePAS, complete the case file.
The file must include reports:
- prepared by specialists about the pupil's abilities and their impairment or disability; and
- on contact with the pupil's parents; and
- produced by the services responsible for the pupil's care in the past.
If a case is referred to the Reasonable Accommodation Commission, at the request of the commission's chairman, the case file should also include:
- the school record prepared by the teacher;
- the psychological record prepared by a SePAS or ESEB psychologist.
The parents or the student will be invited to attend a preliminary consultation meeting with members of the Commission.
All information relevant to the support of the student can be attached to the file.
During the period of schooling in post-primary education, this file is managed by the reference person, who will ensure it remains confidential. The parents and the student have access to the file and the information contained therein.
In case of change of school, the file is transferred to the competent reference person.
At the end of schooling, the file is handed over to the parents or the student.
Review of the file
At the suggestion of the reference person and within 20 days of obtaining the consent of the parents or pupil, the principal will:
- decide which reasonable accommodation will be easy to set up; or
- refer the matter to the class council, which shall authorise the reasonable accommodation, where necessary; or
- forward the application to the Reasonable Accommodation Commission, mostly for accommodations that have a greater impact on assessment conditions.
Referrals to the Reasonable Accommodation Commission
If a case is referred to the commission, the chairman may ask experts to prepare a report and suggest reasonable accommodations.
After consulting the pupil's file, the commission will determine whether there is a need for reasonable accommodation. The commission shall make its decision within one month of referral of the case.
Decision and appeals
The chairman will notify the principal and the reference person, in writing, of the commission's decision.
If there is a disagreement with the decision of the principal, the class council or the commission, the parents or the pupil over 18 may file an appeal.
To do so, they may refer the matter to the National Inclusion Commission, which shall make a decision within one month of the referral.
Once the reasonable accommodation has been granted, the principal shall ensure that it is put in place and implemented. Subsequently, the accommodations may be adapted or suspended depending on changes in the pupil's specific educational needs, i.e. following an improvement or a deterioration in their condition.
End-of-studies and end-of-apprenticeship exams, and integrated projects
If reasonable accommodations have been implemented that change:
- the presentation of the questionnaire; or
- procedures for a written, oral or practical test or an integrated project;
the Government Commissioner will notify the members of the review panel during the preliminary meeting on the reasonable accommodations approved for the applicants in question.
On the proposal of the Government Commissioner, the Minister may appoint an expert as an effective member of the relevant review panel.
Assessment and certification
Certificates and diplomas are the same for all pupils who have passed the tests. Thus, they make no mention of the reasonable accommodations made for some pupils. However, supplements to diplomas, supplements to certificates and newsletters will mention the following reasonable accommodations:
- the regular use of a spell checker;
- the use of a lingua franca, German or French, other than the one planned for use in the curricula;
- exemptions from oral, practical or physical tests or from a module;
- accommodations for a basic area of the final-year class or the final integrated project.
The principal of the institution will ensure that all members of the school community are informed of the reasonable basis for the accommodations made for certain students.
Thus, as needed, the principal will organise awareness courses for pupils, and ongoing training for the other members of the school community, in collaboration with the Department for the Coordination of Educational and Technological Research and Innovation (Service de Coordination de la Recherche et de l’Innovation pédagogiques et technologiques – SCRIPT) of the Ministry of Education, Children and Youth (Ministère de l’Education nationale, de l’Enfance et de la Jeunesse – MENEJ).
Who to contact
National Medical School Commission31, rue du Parc
Phone : (+352) 247 65114/65115Fax : (+352) 247 95114
Special Education Service29, rue Aldringen
Phone : (+352) 247-85181Phone : 247-85178Fax : (+352) 46 01 05
Ministry of Education, Children and YouthDepartment for the Schooling of Children with Special Needs33, rives de Clausen
Postal address :
Phone : (+352) 247-85180Fax : (+352) 46 01 05
Ministry of Education, Children and YouthNational Inclusion Commission33, Rives de Clausen
Phone : (+352) 247 65125
Ministry of Education, Children and YouthSCRIPT (Department for the Coordination of Educational and Technological Research and Innovation)33, rives de Clausen
Phone : (+352) 247-85187Fax : (+352) 247-85137