Creating accessible information about courses or programmes of study for disabled students.

2. Reflecting on content from the legal angle

I’m responsible for writing up the description of our programme. What are the legal points I need to take note of?

Course and programme providers do not need to make adjustments to genuine and relevant competence standards. But they do need to be very careful indeed about what they want you to state in a course or programme description as competence standards. These are tightly defined in the DDA Part IV as amended in 2006. You should satisfy yourself that you are not conveying to intending disabled students that the course providers are unwilling to make adjustments to standards unless these standards are relevant and genuine competence standards.

Where the course providers do wish to state competence standards, then they must be prepared to justify these standards. They would do so by first of all showing that the standard was applied to all, and not only to disabled people. They would then need to show that the application of the standard was a ‘proportionate way of achieving a legitimate aim’. To do that, they need to show:

(DDA Part IV, Code of Practice revised 2007.)

The Code of Practice (DDA Part IV, Code of Practice revised 2007) at 8.10 says says,

Although an education provider is entitled to specify that applicants for a course must have certain qualifications, it will have to show that these are genuine competence standards required for the course and that the application of the competence standard is a proportionate way of achieving a legitimate aim.

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