Support for students with special needs
Classification of difficulties entitling you to be registered as a student with special needs
The Faculty of Mathematics and Physics, as a faculty of the Charles University, provides students and applicants with special needs with the necessary support and facilities. The category of applicant/student with special needs includes persons with the following difficulties:
- Visual impairment (A),
- Hearing impairment (B),
- Physical disability (C),
- Specific learning disorder (D) (in particular, dyslexia, dysgraphia, and related disorders),
- Autism spectrum disorder (E),
- Other difficulties (F) (e.g. psychological illnesses, impaired communication abilities, chronic somatic diseases, etc.),
- A combination of the above difficulties
A wide range of support is available at the university for students belonging to the above-mentioned groups. The letter in parentheses indicates the type of disability, standardized throughout the Czech Republic. An important aspect of the status of a student with special needs is the fact that the undelying health condition may change during the course of their studies. In this context, it is clear that a student may become a student with special needs any time during the course of study. On the other hand, if the health condition of a student registered as an SSN improves to such an extent that they can be removed from the records, then they lose the opportunity to modify their studies resulting from this status.
The process of obtaining a functional diagnosis (FD) and the status of a student with special needs is described on the page Registration of students.
Whom should you contact?
Assistance to students with special needs during their studies and during the admissions process is coordinated by authorized contact persons at the faculties. The contact persons cooperate with the student affairs office, guarantors of study programmes, instructors, and also with student helpers who provide study assistance, tutoring, etc. In some faculties, there are also various specialized workplaces that provide students with a variety of services (e.g. digitalization of study materials, interpretation and transcription services, professional advice, etc.).
The contact person for the Faculty of Mathematics and Physics is Mgr. Veronika Jonáková.
Throughout the Charles University, the Carolina Centre is the main workplace responsible for supporting people with special needs. It coordinates the entire system of services and also provides some of the services directly. On the web pages of the Carolina Centre, you can find a complete overview of the specialized workplaces of the Charles University and an overview of other providers of professional services (organizations, associations, clubs, crisis lines) categorized by the specific disabilities.
Specific support measures based on the functional diagnosis (FD)
Additional time for taking exams
Additional time is provided to students for a specific study assessment type (written or oral examinations for both an exam or course credit, for professional courses or for languages). This is a percentage increase in time compared to the standard time limit. This is determined during the establishment of the FD and may be a 25%, 50%, 75%, or 100% increase in the amount of time. If, according to the assessment of the functional diagnosis, a student is entitled to additional time, all instructors concerned must be informed in advance. At the beginning of the semester, all of the student’s instructors must be informed that the student is in their group and that the student is entitled to these (or other) exam modifications. Students inform the instructors themselves or they arrange with the contact person to convey this information to the instructors.
However, before each exam/grading (preferably a week before), students must remind their instructors of this. The instructor can then make arrangements to accommodate the student at the specific date by providing supervision for an extended period of time, booking a separate room, etc.
Please note that registering the student in SIS for the exam date is not sufficient (the instructor may not notice this in the long list of students). We recommend contacting the instructor (by e-mail or in person), reminding them of the entitlement to additional time and informing them of the selected exam date. The instructor must be informed at least one week in advance (for professional courses) or one month in advance (for language exams – see the web pages of the Department of Language Education). If this is done too late or not done at all the instructor is not required to make the modifications. In such circumstances, the student is entitled to withdraw from the exam. The instructor should also be informed of this fact.
Other modifications to exams
According to the FD assessment, a student may be entitled to oral or written examinations, taking examinations in a separate room, the maximum time spent on examinations and the resulting division of long examinations into several days, etc. All of these modifications must be also reported to instructors well in advance because of the increased complexity of exam organization.
Individual instruction, individual consultation, tutoring
Individual instruction is usually provided in cases where the accessibility (sensory or physical) of regular instruction is limited as a result of the student’s health disability. This may involve instruction provided individually to a single student or instruction in small groups of students with the same special needs or the same working methods. The service is provided upon agreement with the contact person based on the submitted request. However, individual instruction is rarely offered at the Faculty of Mathematics and Physics. A more common case is individual consultation, which the students themselves arrange with the instructor. However, individual consultation should not be confused with learning support. This can be arranged for students with special needs in the form of tutoring where older students provide the tutoring and which is usually paid for from university resources.
Individual study plan - extended year (ISP)
Strictly speaking, this arrangement is not used only for students with special needs; any student can submit an application for this. This kind of an individual study plan means that the Annual Evaluation of Study which involves a check of your credit total is postponed by one year (typically) and you get an extra year to complete the study requirements. Understandably, getting such an ISP means paying an extra annual tuition fee.
ISP is frequently used by students with special needs to slow down the course of study and reduce its burden. However, obtaining an ISP is not an entitlement of the SSN status. Requests for ISP are individually evaluated with respect to two main criteria: (1) how much was the previous course of study impaired by the student's health conditions and (2) how likely it is that the slower pace allowed by the ISP will lead the student to successful graduation.
How do you request an IC? On the page Student forms, download the Request and fill in all the required personal information. Then enter the following text, for example: “I request an individual study plan for the n-th year of study. I am a registered student with special needs”. Then you describe how your health conditions affected your ability to complete the study requirements. Sign the request form with your own hand and deliver it to the student affairs office. The application will be usually resolved within a few weeks.
Electronic versions of study materials
If you need electronic study materials that are not available you can request them from the instructors or agree with them to make the literature available under an electronic licence (depending on the copyrights). The university’s Digitalization service, which systematically converts the required literature into digital form, is also available at the Faculty of Mathematics and Physics. However, textbooks containing many symbols, formulas, charts and diagrams cannot be easily converted into a machine-readable form (Braille, voice output) – these are converted only to pdf and similar formats.
The aim of the service is to improve orientation in places and spaces where students are present during their studies. Through consultation and practical exercises, students learn to manage independent movement in an unfamiliar environment. The service is used in particular by students with visual or motor impairments, or with autism spectrum disorders. The provider of the service is the Carolina Centre. Should you be interested in this service, please contact Mgr. PhDr. Lenka Dobešová (phone: 224 491 507, e-mail: email@example.com).
Accessibility of buildings
For complete information about the accessibility (“barrier-free access”) of the buildings of all faculties, including the Faculty of Mathematics and Physics, click here. The information is updated every one to two years, depending on the modifications made to improve accessibility.
Assistance during your studies
This is assistance relating to study activities, i.e. notes from lectures, assistance with the SIS, escorting a student to school, etc. This service is arranged by the Carolina Centre, and it is usually carried out by students-classmates. All related information may be found here.
This may be compared to taking notes during a lesson. Notes can be supplemented after the lesson (especially by the instructor) with additional information that is essential to the specific subject matter. Note-taking services are provided as part of the study assistance service. Students-assistants taking notes can be trained by the staff of the Institute of Deaf Studies at the Faculty of Arts, and they may use their methodological support.
Upon agreement with the student and in cooperation with the instructors, the faculty contact person may arrange transcription services for students. Transcribers are provided by the Institute of Deaf Studies at the Faculty of Arts by way of the Czech Union of the Deaf or other organizations. Transcription services are referred to as simultaneous transcription. This is the verbatim transcription of spoken speech in real time. This service is provided by properly trained transcribers who, according to the “speaker’s dictation”, enter the text into a computer in real time. The text of the transcript can be displayed on a monitor, a larger screen, or a projection screen, depending on the number of recipients (students). The polygraph system enables text transmission to independent devices (tablets, smartphones) regardless of the size of the recipient group. Another option is to use Newton Tech software, which can transcribe a spoken recording into a text document. However, this is not very suitable for specialized lectures containing many abbreviations and mathematical formulas.
Interpreting services may be used by students (typically deaf students) for all situations relating to their studies. They are most often used during classes, consultation sessions, when dealing with administrative tasks, and communicating with the employees of the Charles University. As with transcription services, the contact person for the Faculty of Mathematics and Physics arranges the service after agreement with the student and the instructors. The contact person arranges the specifics and scope of cooperation with the interpreter and then supervises fulfilment of the terms of the contractual relationship. Interpreters agree on specific interpreting dates individually with the students. Students can use the services of multiple interpreters during lectures. Interpreters are provided by the Institute of Deaf Studies at the Faculty of Arts, the Czech Union of the Deaf, or other organizations.You can find all services for deaf students here.
Lending of study aids
Students with special needs may borrow study aids during their studies according to their needs. The service is offered by the Carolina Centre and is intended for all students who are entered in the register of students with special needs in the Student information system at their home faculty. The basic loan period is six months with the possibility of an extension if there are no registered parties interested in borrowing the particular study aid. You can find a complete overview of the aids offered, the lending rules, and the contact information for the responsible person here.
Accommodation and meals
Accommodation and meals are provided by the Dormitories and Canteens of Charles University. Accommodation can be booked via the web reservation portal. In the event of special accommodation requirements relating to your special needs (typically wheelchair-accessible accommodation for you and any personal assistant, but others as well), please contact Ms. Hurdová at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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