In Finnish higher education, 4.4% of students have been diagnosed as having dyslexia (Finnish Student Health Service 2016). Reading is slow for people with dyslexia due to difficulties in perceiving and mentally processing the sounds of words and text.
Individual study arrangements at the Open University
Open University students are entitled to receive reasonable, individual study arrangements.Such students are required to demonstrate the same level of knowledge and skills as other students. The right to the individual arrangements are based on the Non-Discrimination Act (1325/2014) and section 24 of the Aalto University General Regulations on Teaching and Studying.
There are various reasons for why a student may need individual study arrangements. Requirements are specific to the individual but may include a need for:
- Extended time to take an examination or complete a task
- Taking the exam in a quiet, private space
- Using a computer during the test
- Personal feedback on tasks or assignments
- Alternative ways of completing a course
A student may bring up his or her need for individual study arrangements at any time during his/her studies.
Granting individual study arrangements
Instructions to students
If you need individual study arrangements for your Open University studies, proceed as follows:
- Contact the Open University office (at [email protected]) well in advance of the start of your course, e.g. immediately after registering for the course or, at the latest, 14 days before the start of the course or before the examination date.
- Deliver a certificate by a doctor, psychologist or other expert according to the instructions you receive from the Open University office; deliver by encrypted email, regular postal mail or by coming to the office in person.*
- We will go through with you what arrangements you need and for what length of time. You will receive from the Open University a written recommendation on the agreed, individual study arrangements. The recommendations will be valid in all the Aalto schools for a set period of time. You will receive more specific instructions when the recommendation is sent to you.**
- The Open University will contact, when necessary, the course teacher about making the arrangements, or the student himself/herself may contact the teacher.
- Should problems arise, contact the person who provided the recommendation. The recommendation provides the contact information.
*The Open University will destroy the certificate copy when the recommendation is ready.
**The Open University will retain the recommendation until the end of the term (autumn, spring, summer) that follows the expiration date of the recommendation.
Note: The student is obliged to report any change in his/her situation or condition that may affect the individual study arrangements.
Instructions to Open University teachers
Students may be granted individual study arrangements only after being granted the university’s recommendation verifying their right to the arrangements. Recommendations are granted to both Aalto University and Open University students who need them, and the recommendation is valid throughout Aalto University. Teachers shall take such recommendations into account in their teaching.
The right to reasonable, individual study arrangements is granted by the Open University. The student must verify his or her need for individual study arrangements by presenting a statement by a doctor or other relevant professional. Recommendation for individual study arrangements are valid for a set period of time.
The recommendations state the arrangements agreed upon, but they include no health data health as defined in the EU General Data Protection Regulation. Details of the student’s health status are disclosed only to the person granting the right to individual study arrangements. The contact information of the person granting the right to the arrangements are included in the recommendation.
Students who contact teachers directly about the arrangements should be referred to the Open University office. Students will receive more detailed, practical instructions about the arrangements when the recommendation is prepared. The teacher has the final say in judging how the arrangements may be carried out in a reasonable manner. If you have questions about individual study arrangements, please contact the Open University office at [email protected]
The right to individual study arrangements is secret information (Act on the Openness of Government Activities 621/1999, section 24, subsection 1, para. 25)
Secret information is information that may be disclosed only to those who have a justified need to access it. This means that a student’s right to individual study arrangements must be disclosed only to the course teacher and possibly to members of university staff involved in arranging or assessing the final examination.
Accessible coursebook service is intended for students who are unable or have difficulties to read standard printed books and who have enrolled on open university courses. The service is provided by Aalto Learning Centre in cooperation with Celia, national center for accessible literature and publishing in Finland.
Accessibility and diversity are the guiding principles of equality at Aalto University. Accessibility refers to convenience of use and access to education, research and related support services regardless of the diverse qualities of individuals.
Attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder may present in students as a difficulty concentrating, making mistakes of ‘carelessness’ , or encountering hurdles to independent study.
Of mental disorders, particularly depression is common with young adults. With mental disorders, it is important to listen to one’s own feelings and remember to reserve sufficient time for recovering from the strain of studies.
Anxiety means a state where a person is feeling restless and worried. Short-term anxiety and performance anxiety are very common and natural phenomena. Anxiety disorders refer to situations where feelings of anxiety are long-term and disproportionate to the situation.