Ds Scholarship

Leaving and visually impaired students

Sir, – It is hard to believe that in this day of modern technology, the Department of Education will not allow students who are visually impaired access to their Leaving Cert exam via a digital paper. The largest exam paper they print is A3 size, and if this is too small for the student to see, they have to sit and wait while someone rushes into the staffroom to enlarge it further. In my son’s case, his honors maths paper will be 52 pages long! Obviously, this will leave him at a huge disadvantage to his sighted peers.

He accesses all his information digitally and has done so the whole way through secondary school. Imagine how stressful it will be for him, on the biggest exam in his life to date, to have to access the questions via this huge cumbersome paper.

I was told that no-one gets digital exam papers. Why? To protect the integrity of the exam.

This advice was drawn up 22 years ago by the then advisory group. The use of assistive technology and digital books was in its infancy 22 years ago, and it probably was appropriate advice then. Now it is outdated advice and leads to discrimination.

This is yet another micro-aggression by the Department of Education against students with disabled attending mainstream education.

It teaches them their place in society – that they must fit in or get out! – Yours, etc,

EITHNE WALSH,

Wicklow.

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