Guidelines for conducting written examination for persons with benchmark disabilities 2018
Dated: the 29 August, 2018
Government of India
Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment
Department of Empowerment of of Persons with Disabilities (Divyangjan)
- No need for fixing separate criteria for regular and competitive examinations
- Scribe/Reader/Lab Assistant should be allowed to any person with benchmark disability
- Own scribe/reader/lab assistant or request the Examination Body for the same
- Examining bodies can easily make use of technology to convert question paper in large prints. e-text, or Braille and can also convert Braille text in English or regional languages
- Compensatory time
- Allowed to use – talking calculator, tailor frame, Braille slate, abacus. geometry kit, Braille measuring tape and augmentative communication devices
- Proper seating arrangement – preferably on the ground floor
- Examining body should also provide reading material in Braille or E-Text or on computers having suitable screen reading software for open hook examination
- There should be a uniform and comprehensive policy across the country for persons with benchmark disabilities for written examination taking into account improvement in technology and new avenues opened to the persons with benchmark disabilities providing a level playing field. Policy should also have flexibly to accommodate the specific needs on case-to-case basis.
- There is no need for fixing separate criteria for regular and competitive examinations.
- The facility of Scribe/Reader/Lab Assistant should be allowed to any person with benchmark disability as defined under section 2(r) of the RPwD Act – 2016 and has limitation in writing including that of speed if so desired by him/her.
- In case of persons with benchmark disabilities in the category of blindness, locomotor disability (both arm affected-BA) and cerebral palsy, the facility of scribe/ reader/ lab assistant shall be given. if so desired by the person.
- In case of other category of persons with benchmark disabilities, the provision of scribe/reader/lab assistant can be allowed on production of a certificate to the effect that the person concerned has physical limitation ration lo write, and scribe is essential to write examination on his behalf, from the Chief Medical Officer/Civil Surgeon/ Medical Superintendent of a Government health care institution as per proforma at APPENDIX-I.
- The candidate should have the discretion of opting for his own scribe/reader/lab assistant or request the Examination Body for the same. The examining body may also identify the scribe/ reader/lab assistant to make panels at the District/Division/ State level as per the requirements of the examination. In such
instances the candidates should be allowed to meet the scribe two days before the examination so that the candidates get a chance to check and verify whether the scribe is suitable or not.
- In case the examining body provides the scribe/reader/lab assistant, it shall be ensured that qualification of the scribe should not be more than the minimum qualification criteria of the examination. However, the qualification of the scribe/reader should always be matriculate or above.
- In case the candidate is allowed to bring his own scribe, the qualification of the scribe should be one step below the qualification of the candidate taking examination. The persons with benchmark disabilities opting for own scribe/reader should submit details of the own scribe as per proforma at APPENDIX-II
- There should also be flexibility in accommodating any change in scribe/reader/Jab assistant in case of emergency. The candidates should also be allowed to take more than one scribe/reader for writing different papers especially for languages. However, there can be only one scribe per subject
- Persons with benchmark disabilities should be given, as far as possible, the option of choosing the mode for taking the examinations i.e. in Braille or in the computer or in large print or even by recording the answers as the examining bodies can easily make use of technology to convert question paper in large prints. e-text, or Braille and can also convert Braille text in English or regional languages.
- In case, the persons with benchmark disabilities arc allowed to take examination on computer system, they should he allowed to check the computer system one day in advance so that the problems, if any in the software/system could be rectified. Use of own computer/laptop should not be allowed for taking examination. However, enabling accessories for the computer based examinations such as keyboard, customized mouse etc should be allowed.
- The procedure of availing the facility of scribe should be simplified and the necessary details should be recorded at the time of filling up of the forms. Thereafter the examining body should ensure availability of question papers in the format opted by the candidate as well as suitable seating arrangement for giving examination.
- The disability certificate issued by the competent medical authority at any place should be accepted across the country,
- The word “extra time or additional time” that is being currently used should be changed to “compensatory time” and the same should not be less than 20 minutes per hour of examination for persons who arc allowed use· of scribe/reader/lab assistant. All the candidates with benchmark disability not availing the facility of scribe may be allowed additional time of minimum of one hour for examination of 3 hours duration. In case the duration of the examination is less than an hour, then the duration of additional time should be allowed on pro-rata basis. Additional time should not be less than 5 minutes and should be in the multiple of 5.
- The candidates should be allowed to use assistive devices like talking calculator (in cases where calculators are allowed for giving exams), tailor frame, Braille slate, abacus. geometry kit, Braille measuring tape and augmentative communication devices like communication chart and electronic devices.
- Proper seating arrangement (preferably on the ground floor) should be made prior to the commencement of examination to avoid confusion or distraction during the day of the exam, The time of giving the question papers should be marked accurately and timely supply of supplementary papers should be ensured.
- As far as possible, the examining body should also provide reading material in Braille or E-Text or on computers having suitable screen reading software for open hook examination. Similarly online examination should be in accessible format i.e. websites, question papers and all other study material should be accessible as per the international standards laid down in this regard.
- Alternative. objective questions in lieu of descriptive questions should be provided for Hearing-Impaired persons, in addition to the existing policy of giving alternative questions in lieu of questions requiring visual inputs, for persons with Visual Impairment.
- As far as possible the examination for persons with disabilities should be held at the ground floor. The examination centres should be accessible for persons with disabilities.
It is requested to ensure that the above guidelines are scrupulously followed while conducting examination for persons with benchmark disabilities. All the recruitment agencies, Academics/Examination Bodies etc. under the administrative control of each Ministry/Department may be advised appropriately to ensure compliance of implementing these guidelines. Action taken in this regard may be intimated to this office.