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Special Provision for Tests and Examinations:. Lyn Robinson Resource Teacher – Vision Impairment Statewide Vision Resource Centre D.E.E.C.D. What are special arrangements?. Any modification which is required to allow access to test materials and reasonable time to complete the test.

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special provision for tests and examinations
Special Provision for Tests and Examinations:

Lyn Robinson

Resource Teacher – Vision Impairment

Statewide Vision Resource Centre D.E.E.C.D.

what are special arrangements
What are special arrangements?

Any modification which is required to allow access to test materials and reasonable time to complete the test.

tests and examinations when should special provision begin
Tests and Examinations: When should special provision begin?

From Prep to Year 12:

  • Benchmarking - Preps
  • Classroom tests – throughout school life
  • The National Assessment Program - Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN) in Yrs. 3,5,7 and 9 (11–13 May 2010). There is an online application form for braille and large print
who decides and how
Who Decides and How?

Class tests and school based exams

  • Class teachers, VT, parents, student in senior levels
    • Based on:
      • reading speed
      • time taken to produce work
      • time taken to complete work in class
      • visual conditions such as visual fatigue

External tests and exams –

  • *VCE Support Group – formal process for VCE
  • VCE and NAPLAN - A written application process to VCAA

*Based on what’s happened for school assessments

  • Request braille or large print from VCAA
    • Fill in form online
  • Extra Time
    • is allowed but not more than school usually gives student for tests
    • Guide, forms & more information available from: http://www.vcaa.vic.edu.au/prep10/naplan/index.html

NAPLAN Helpline: 1800 648 637

vce special provision
VCE Special Provision


  • to provide students with the opportunity to participate in, and complete their secondary years of schooling.
  • Available for VCE, VET and VCAL

Guiding Principals:

  • Students are expected to meet the requirements of the study design for satisfactory completion.
  • The provision should not confer an advantage
special provision eligibility
Special Provision - Eligibility

Application form requires:

  • supporting evidence from EVAC or eye specialist
  • There should be a history of the student receiving special arrangements in the school.
supporting evidence
Supporting Evidence

Student has attended the Educational Vision Assessment Clinic (EVAC) and has been found to have a vision impairment

(i.e. visual acuity worse than 6/18 and/or field reduction of less than 20 degrees).


Medical Report from an Ophthalmologist:

stating that the student is in the partially sighted or legally blind range


A support statement with comments and recommendations from a specialist teacher (Visiting Teacher or Specialist Teacher)

preparing for vce tips for vi students
Preparing for VCE: tips for VI students

Before Year 11

  • Seek career advice re: program selection and workload requirements
  • Options include:
    • Complete units over a longer period e.g. 2 years for Year 12
    • Complete fewer units
    • Complete some units 3/4 in Year 11. i.e. start in year 10
    • Do a combination of VCE, VET, VCAL units
    • Check exam timetable for possible clashes-will the student be able to cope with 12 hours of exams?
    • Be aware of the Special Entry Access Schemes (SEAS) VTAC http://www.vtac.edu.au/
special provision external exams what can you apply for
Special Provision: External ExamsWhat can you apply for?

Extra Timefor reading, production & rest breaks.

  • Consider fatigue, time for scanning, use of equipment, format of paper (alternative format papers may be slower to read than regular print)

Alternative Format Papers

  • Large print, audio, braille, e-text
  • Treatment of Pictures and Diagrams
    • Extra enlargement of Diagrams on a separate sheet
    • Written descriptions of pictures, cartoons, graphs etc.
    • Tactile diagrams and graphics
readers and scribes
Readers and Scribes


  • Read to student as required. E.g. exam paper, student answers, written descriptions, calculator screen


  • Record verbal responses given by the student into script or answer book
  • Plot/draw tables or graphs at the student’s direction
  • Enter data into calculator
  • Fill in mark sense answer sheets and student details
    • Cannot advise or interpret questions in any way or make comments on the student’s work

VCE &VCAL Admin Handbook 2010 pp.127-128

separate room and supervision
Separate Room and Supervision

Supervisors and Reader/Scribes

  • Where permission to use a reader/scribe has been given a separate supervisor must also be provided
    • (must not be anyone who has worked with the student in the past 12 months; must not tutor or teach VCE, must be approved by VCAA)

Separate Room – why?

  • Extra space for paper and equipment.
  • Flexibility e.g. rest breaks, setting up and managing extra equipment and time.
  • Noise: reading aloud, computer with voice may disrupt other students. Other students coming and going from exam room may distract VI student.
computers why
Computers…why ?

Many VI students cannot read or produce handwritten work

  • Computers are used to:
    • Read an e-text copy of the exam paper
    • Type answers
    • Calculate in mathematics
  • How to apply and conditions of approval:
    • Must apply for permission for student to use a computer
    • Student must only access word processing program and must not access any other programs or files
    • Printer in room – may not use networked printer (security issues)
    • May use spellcheck

Be aware that VI students may need to use own computer…

vi authorised materials
VI Authorised Materials

May Bring into the Exam Room.

  • Enlarging or voice software e.g. JAWS or Zoomtext
  • Braillers or braille related equipment.
  • Highlighter pens
  • Approved calculator with voice or large print output
  • Low vision aids
  • Bound notes where permitted e.g. mathematics
  • Reading Stand
  • Desk Lamp
  • CD Player
  • Green line (bold) paper or graph paper
  • Large print dictionary
general achievement test gat
General Achievement Test (GAT)
  • Students with a vision impairment

may apply for an exemption from the GAT

  • Students can sit the GAT if they wish however special arrangements are limited (extra time/enlarged paper, not produced in braille)
  • If a Derived Examination Score is applied for VCAA will use school based results to determine this score.
derived examination score des
Derived Examination Score (DES)

A DES may be granted where exam performance has been adversely affected by:

  • Illness – physical or psychiatric
  • Physical injury
  • Personal factors
  • These circumstances must have affected the student immediately prior to the examination period or during the examination

Vision impairment is not an eligibility criteria for DES

unusual requests
Unusual requests
  • Pdf copy of exam paper
  • Braille exam for geography
  • Colour plates from art exam in a pdf file
  • Guide dogs – bedding, bowl and toilet breaks!
when are applications due
When are applications due?

Applications for Special Examination Arrangements must be submitted on the

“Special Examination Arrangements

Application Form”

First Friday in March (5/3/2010)

Year 11??

more information
More Information:

Special Provision V.C.A.A. Ph.9225 2219

Marilena, Andy or Chris


Deb or Lyn

Statewide Vision Resource Centre, D.E.E.C.D., Ph.9841 0242

  • V.C.A.A. http://www.vcaa.vic.edu.au/vce/index.html
  • Email:vcaa.special.provision@edumail.vic.gov.au