Directive on studies for students with special needs

Preamble
Section 1 Definition of key concepts
Section 2 Scope of competence
Section 3 General provisions
Section 4 Admission procedure for applicants with special needs
Section 5 Students with special needs
Section 6 Customized study plans
Section 7 Evaluating the course of studies in the case of persons with special requirements
Section 8 Special requirements of other persons
Section 9 Interpretation
Section 10 Application and effect

 

Preamble

The Rector of Masaryk University (hereinafter referred to as “MU”), in accordance with the mission of a higher education institution as set out in Act No. 111/1998 Coll., on Higher Education Institutions and on the Modification and Amendment of Other Acts (hereinafter referred to as the “Higher Education Act”) and with particular regard to the ramifications associated with the higher education institution in question:

  • the provisions of articles 1–3 of Act No. 198/2009 Coll., on Equal Treatment and on the Legal Means of Protection against Discrimination and on the Amendment of Other Acts (hereinafter referred to as the “Anti-Discrimination Act”),
  • the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, in force in the Czech Republic since 28 October 2009,

and in accordance with the MU Study and Examination Regulations, as amended, issues this Directive on the Studies of Persons with Special Needs at Masaryk University.

Section 1
Definition of key concepts

Key concepts associated with disabilities, specific needs and requirements and universal design are set out in section 1 of the Directive on Ensuring Accessibility to Masaryk University for Persons with Disabilities (hereinafter referred to as the “Directive on Accessibility to MU”).

Section 2
Scope of competence

This directive defines the rights and obligations of Masaryk University in relation to persons with special requirements in areas associated with the rights and obligations of students with special requirements arising from physical or sensory disabilities in accordance with section 42 of the MU Study and Examination Regulations.

Section 3
General provisions

  1. MU employees are required to treat persons with special requirements (see section 1, subsection 5 of the Directive on Ensuring Accessibility to Masaryk University for Persons with Disabilities) in accordance with the provisions of the Directive on Ensuring Accessibility to MU and with this Directive.
  2. The Masaryk University Support Centre for Students with Special Needs (hereinafter referred to as the “Teiresias Centre”) is tasked with the provision of methodological assistance to all members of the academic community involved in communication between members of the academic community with and without special requirements.

Section 4
Admission procedure for applicants with special needs

  1. The director of the Support Centre for Students Special Needs works in collaboration with MU Information System administrators in order to ensure that entrance applications submitted by persons with special requirements are electronically recorded; all entrance applications must be made available to the Teiresias Centre Office for Studies. The faculty office for studies or other designated unit of the relevant dean's office is tasked with ensuring that the Teiresias Centre Office for Studies receives – without delay – any entrance applications citing special requirements or entrance application attachments delivered to the faculty in printed form.
  2. The Teiresias Centre Office for Studies is required to contact each applicant individually, carry out a functional diagnosis of his/her requirements and decide whether he/she is to be considered a person with special requirements; for this purpose, the Teiresias Centre Office for Studies is authorized to request a document certifying the status of a person with special needs as well as his/her consent with its archival in accordance with the Personal Data Protection Act.
  3. The Teiresias Centre Office for Studies will decide, on the basis of all available information, whether the admission procedure can be correctly implemented within the university's universal design policy or whether it is necessary to provide an appropriately customized procedure in accordance with the provisions of the Directive on Ensuring Accessibility to Masaryk University for Persons with Disabilities.
  4. Applicants who fail to enable the Teiresias Centre to carry out a functional diagnosis of special requirements listed in an entrance application must make use of one of the universal design variants on offer; in such cases, knowledge of standard technologies necessary for tackling specific barriers is presupposed.
  5. Applicants who fail to indicate any special requirements in an entrance application waive their rights to adequate individual adjustments of the admission procedure as well as to any but the implicit variants of entrance examination design.
  6. The director of the Support Centre for Students with Special Needs is responsible for providing applicants who provided the Teiresias Centre with the necessary cooperation in accordance with subsections 2 and 3 of this section with information regarding granted specific requirements in advance, so as to provide them with sufficient time to adequately prepare for the entrance examination. This information is simultaneously provided to the relevant faculty office for studies.
  7. The relevant faculty dean or a person authorised by the dean is responsible for notifying the Teiresias Centre Office for Studies without delay of the admission or denial of admission to studies, subsequently working in collaboration with the Teiresias Centre in order to facilitate enrolment in studies or the implementation of a review procedure.
  8. In order to provide an applicant with equal opportunities during the course of a review procedure, the Teiresias Centre provides the faculty dean or Rector of MU with a written report summarizing the course of the applicant's admission procedure; a request for review is subsequently discussed in the presence of the Teiresias Centre director.

Section 5
Students with special needs

  1. In the case of persons with special requirements who have been admitted to studies, faculty offices for studies are required to proceed in collaboration with the Teiresias Centre in such a way as to respect all granted special requirements in the area of communication and information provision throughout the entire enrolment and matriculation period. Matters associated with this procedure are treated by the Directive on Ensuring Accessibility to Masaryk University for Persons with Disabilities.
  2. The director of the Teiresias Centre Office for Studies is responsible for establishing a functional diagnosis in accordance with section 1, subsection 3, letter b) of the Directive on Ensuring Accessibility to Masaryk University for Persons with Disabilities in the case of persons whose functional diagnosis was only established with respect to their participation in the learning potential test due to their interest in multiple fields of study and did not take into consideration one selected course of studies.
  3. Records of the functional diagnosis outcome, along with a document certifying the status of a person with special needs in accordance with section 1, subsection 6 of the Directive on Ensuring Accessibility to Masaryk University for Persons with Disabilities, are archived in the MU Information System on the basis of previously granted consent, as set out in section 4, subsection 2 of this Directive. Failure to provide consent with the archival of necessary documentation precludes the establishment of a functional diagnosis.
  4. Persons with special requirements who preclude the Teiresias Centre from establishing a functional diagnosis of special requirements associated with studies in a selected field of study within a period of one month following the beginning of their first semester are considered persons with special needs for the purpose of their actual studies. They may be reinstated as persons with special requirements, making use of the opportunities comprising universal design associated with studies and/or the relevant adequate individual adjustments, once they apply for the recognition of special requirements and facilitate the establishment of a functional diagnosis.
  5. Persons with special needs who submit a document certifying the status of a person with special needs in accordance with section 1, subsection 6 of the Directive on Ensuring Accessibility to Masaryk University for Persons with Disabilities and apply for the recognition of special requirements may become persons with special requirements once they facilitate the establishment of a functional diagnosis – as set out in section 1, subsection 3, letter b) of the Directive on Ensuring Accessibility to Masaryk University for Persons with Disabilities – which is associated with their selected course of studies. These special requirements may not affect the assessment or evaluation of studies prior to the recognition of special requirements. In case such additionally granted special requirements also include a customized study plan, the study plan comes into effect on the day of its signing in accordance with section 6, subsection 1 of this Directive.
  6. The establishment of a functional diagnosis in the case of persons with special needs calls for the collaboration of pedagogical, psychological and informatics advisers of the Teiresias Centre and the guarantor of the relevant field of study, whose competence includes the specification of the scope and manner of knowledge required of a student of that field, skills he/she must acquire and the range of tasks he/she must accomplish, including an alternative sequence of enrolled courses and functional task alternatives in cases where the student's functional limitations require that didactic and technical alternatives be taken into consideration.
  7. In the case of persons with special needs, the Teiresias Centre director submits a ruling proposal to the dean of the relevant faculty prior to the beginning of the first semester of studies or prior to the end of instruction in a semester immediately preceding a semester which requires that instruction be provided with respect to newly formulated special needs; the ruling proposal indicates whether:
    1. MU qualifies a person's special needs as a special requirement;
    2. MU stipulates that – with respect to the extent of special needs – his/her granted specific requirements also include a customized study plan,
    The defining criterion is that the course of studies diverge from the standard course of studies only when required in order to ensure the greatest possible measure of professionalism and independence for the person with special requirements.
  8. A ruling made in accordance with the provisions of subsection 7 of this section is issued by the relevant faculty dean in accordance with recommendations made by the Teiresias Centre director and subsequently delivered to the applicant as stipulated by internal regulations and the Higher Education Act.
  9. Special requirements in the case of students with no customized study plan include educational and psychological counselling and a recommended study plan.
  10. In order to facilitate the provision of the necessary services, persons with special requirements who received a specific course of studies recommendation in view of these requirements are required to consult all changes to course or seminar group enrolment with the Teiresias Centre Office for Studies throughout the duration of a period starting one week prior to the beginning of instruction and concluding with the end of the period designated for changes to course enrolment. Changes required by persons with special requirements will not be made possible in case their implementation is mutually exclusive with the provision of the necessary services in a given semester. In case a person with special requirements insists on making changes to course or seminar group enrolment regardless, he/she thus loses his/her claim to the special requirement for that course and semester; furthermore, his/her special requirements will not be taken into consideration for course assessment purposes in the case of a course so enrolled.

Section 6
Customized study plans

  1. In order to become eligible for a customized study plan, a student with special requirements must present a recognized document with proof of functional diagnosis of disability issued in accordance with the provisions of section 1, subsection 6, letters a) to c) of the Directive on Ensuring Accessibility to Masaryk University for Persons with Disabilities. In exceptional cases, a customized study plan may be granted with the consent of the Teiresias Centre director on the basis of a document listed in section 1, subsection 6, letter e) of the Directive on Ensuring Accessibility to Masaryk University for Persons with Disabilities, or to persons waiting for the issuance of recognized documents specified in section 1, subsection 6, letters a) to c) of the Directive on Ensuring Accessibility to Masaryk University for Persons with Disabilities; such an arrangement must not exceed the duration of one semester.
  2. In addition to requirements listed in section 5 of this Directive, a customized study plan includes measures which presuppose an exception from MU Study and Examination Regulations and which are governed by the Directive on Ensuring Accessibility to Masaryk University for Persons with Disabilities, namely the opportunity to utilize the following:
    1. individual instruction including the use of assistive technologies and alternative communication and didactic procedures, with no more than double – or, in exceptional cases, triple – the designated total study subsidy of a given course;
    2. customized standard and alternate dates, established on request and with the consent of the course teacher, set up in such a way so as to facilitate the completion of individual instruction within a maximum period of one month following the end of instruction, no later than by the end of the examination period of a second semester or, in exceptional cases, a third semester following initial course enrolment;
    3. prolonged study period, up to double the standard length of studies; studies prolonged in this manner are treated as standard studies with respect to study-related fees, scholarship-related matters and other benefits.
  3. The decision to grant the use of selected customized study plan components in the case of an individual person and individual course is made by the faculty dean in view of recommendations issued by the director of the Support Centre for Students with Special Needs. A customized study plan enters into effect on the day of its signing by the person with special requirements, the Teiresias Centre director and the relevant faculty dean. A customized study plan sets out the following:
    1. stipulated period of validity, no shorter than one semester in duration and including an approximate projection for a further semester;
    2. study plan for the relevant semester, including an approximate projection for a further semester and a description of the total study workload, corresponding to the disability in question and Teiresias Centre capacity;
    3. obligations of MU and obligations of the person with special requirements, including especially the manner of teaching, studies and evaluation of study results and deadlines associated with course completion and course registration in a subsequent semester;
    4. limitations regarding the rights of a person with special requirements with respect to changes to course registration in a stipulated period, including a complete banning of changes to course registration and enrolment following the conclusion of the agreement in the case of extremely demanding requirements;
    5. the right – reserved by MU – to cancel course enrolment in the case of a person with special requirements in case it is impossible to provide instruction due to the specification of the field of study timetable in a given semester or due to teacher requirements including demands associated with study literature, demanding practical communication, etc.
  4. A customized study plan must be finalized and must enter into effect no later than two weeks following the end of the period designated for changes to course enrolment in a given semester. Both contracting parties reserve the right to withdraw from a concluded customized study plan in case either of the parties fails to observe the agreed rights and obligations. In case the student fails to observe his/her obligations, the faculty dean reserves the right to withdraw the customized study plan entirely. A decision to withdraw a customized study plan is made by the faculty dean in view of recommendations issued by the director of the Support Centre for Students with Special Needs. Even in case a student's customized study plan is withdrawn, he/she retains any granted special requirement as set out in section 5, subsection 7 of this Directive.
  5. The director of the Support Centre for Students with Special Needs works in collaboration with MU Information System administrators in order to establish electronic records of instruction provided to persons with special requirements and persons who have been granted customized study plans. Matters associated with these records are treated by the Directive on Ensuring Accessibility to Masaryk University for Persons with Disabilities.
  6. In the case of persons with special requirements admitted to more than one field of study, the Teiresias Centre director reserves the right to preclude such persons from concluding more than one customized study plan for a given semester in case there is reason to believe that the customized study plan is used facilitate concurrent studies rather than satisfy legitimate requirements associated with studies in a given field.
  7. In the event of a serious breach of the MU Study and Examination Regulations or of this Directive by a person with special requirements, the Teiresias Centre director and faculty dean are required to demand the reimbursement of costs unnecessarily expended by MU in association with such a breach.

Section 7
Evaluating the course of studies in the case of persons with special requirements

  1. The evaluation of the course of studies is carried out in adherence with MU Study and Examination Regulations to the greatest possible extent, unless such a procedure is contrary to the specific requirements of the individual. Matters associated with meeting these requirements are defined by the Directive on Ensuring Accessibility to Masaryk University for Persons with Disabilities.
  2. In the case of persons with special requirements who have been granted a customized study plan, the manner of evaluation of studies is set out in the customized study plan agreement.
  3. In the case of persons with special requirements who have been granted a customized study plan, the right to enrol in a subsequent semester is extended to persons who have not acquired the necessary number of credits required by the MU Study and Examination Regulations, as long as all other requirements indicated in the customized study plan have been met.
  4. In case a person with special requirements fails to fulfil the conditions of a customized study plan and thereby does not have the right to enrol in a subsequent semester, the Teiresias Centre director may decide to submit a recommendation to the faculty dean seeking an enrolment exception in case the departure from the customized study plan was caused by factors beyond the student's control.
  5. In case a person with special requirements, not studying according to a customized study plan, fails to fulfil conditions set out by the MU Study and Examination Regulations and thereby does not have the right to enrol in a subsequent semester, the Teiresias Centre director may decide to submit a recommendation to the faculty dean seeking an enrolment exception in case this failure was caused by factors beyond the student's control.
  6. In the case of persons with special requirements who were granted the right to a customized study plan during their Bachelor’s studies in accordance with section 6, subsection 2 of this Directive and who completed their studies with more than 180 credits and wish to transfer the extra credits to their Master's studies in accordance with section 14, subsection 5 of the MU Study and Examination Regulations, the Teiresias Centre director or a person designated by the director shall issue a recommendation to the faculty dean or a person designated by the dean with respect to the number of credits suggested for transfer.
  7. Matters associated with Bachelor’s state examinations, Master's state examinations, advanced Master's state examinations, doctoral state examinations (hereinafter referred to as state examinations), graduation ceremonies and habilitation procedures of persons with special requirements are governed by the relevant provisions of the Directive on Ensuring Accessibility to Masaryk University for Persons with Disabilities.
  8. In the case of persons with special requirements who were granted the right to a customized study plan in accordance with section 6, subsection 2 of this Directive and who completed their studies in double the standard length of studies, the Teiresias Centre director may – in legitimate cases – suggest, above and beyond the provisions of section 22, subsection 10 of the MU Study and Examination Regulations, a period by the end of which the student is required to complete the last part of the final state examination of his/her studies; a period so designated may not exceed one year in duration. In the case of persons with special requirements who exceeded the standard length of studies but whose duration of studies did not reach double the standard length of studies, a period exceeding the parameters designated in section 22, subsection 10 of the MU Study and Examination Regulations may be authorized as well; a period so designated is proportionately shorter than one year, as appropriate.

Section 8
Special requirements of other persons

  1. A person participating in education organized by MU who is not an MU student as stipulated by the Higher Education Act or is an academic or non-academic employee with special needs as defined in section 1, subsection 4 of the Directive on Ensuring Accessibility to Masaryk University for Persons with Disabilities, is eligible for universal design of his/her study or work environment or adequate individual adjustments of his/her study or work environment (section 1, subsection 9 of the Directive on Ensuring Accessibility to Masaryk University for Persons with Disabilities) in a range stipulated by the Directive on Ensuring Accessibility to Masaryk University for Persons with Disabilities.
  2. The director of the Support Centre for Students Special Needs works in collaboration with MU Information System administrators in order to ensure that MU lifelong learning applicants and applicants registering courses offered via the MU Shopping Centre are granted access to electronic records of special needs in a manner specified in section 4, subsection 1 of this Directive. The faculty office for studies or other designated unit of the relevant dean's office is tasked with ensuring that the Teiresias Centre Office for Studies receives – without delay – any entrance applications citing special requirements or entrance application attachments delivered to the faculty in printed form. The director of the Teiresias Centre Office for Studies is responsible for establishing a functional diagnosis in accordance with section 1, subsection 3, letter b) of the Directive on Ensuring Accessibility to Masaryk University for Persons with Disabilities in the case of such persons. Records of diagnosis outcomes are archived in the IS MU on the basis of previously granted written consent.
  3. In the case of persons listed in subsection 1 of this section, the Teiresias Centre director submits a ruling proposal to the dean of the relevant faculty prior to the beginning of instruction or, in all other cases, within one month of application submission; the ruling proposal indicates whether:
    1. MU qualifies a person's special needs as a special requirement;
    2. MU stipulates that – with respect to the extent of special needs – a participant's granted specific requirements also include a customized study plan, or customized employment conditions in the case of employees.
  4. A ruling issued in accordance with the provisions of subsection 2 of this section is issued by the relevant faculty dean or unit head in accordance with recommendations made by the Teiresias Centre director.
  5. Persons with special requirements interacting with academic and non-academic university employees on MU soil as partners in their activities are eligible for universal design of their study or work environment or adequate individual adjustments of their study or work environment (section 1, subsection 9 of the Directive on Ensuring Accessibility to Masaryk University for Persons with Disabilities) in a range stipulated by the Directive on Ensuring Accessibility to Masaryk University for Persons with Disabilities. The head of a unit responsible for activities associated with special requirements consults with the Teiresias Centre director who subsequently assesses the legitimacy of such requirements and suggests a corresponding solution.

Section 9
Interpretation

The interpretation of this directive is the purview of vice-rectors whose areas of competence are affected by this directive and whose subsequent actions are methodologically coordinated with the director of the Support Centre for Students with Special Needs.

Section 10
Application and effect

  1. This Directive replaces Directive No. 4/2003 on the Studies of People with Special Needs.
  2. This directive enters into force on 1 September 2014.