[AI] Policy urgent

Manish Agrawal magrawal at sapient.com
Tue Feb 19 00:22:28 EST 2008


I've pasted below the sections on which I have comments along with my
comments marked with [MA]
-Manish


2. Examination Form/Application 

a. All Application Forms/Advertisements for exams should mention that a
Visually Disabled candidate will be allowed the use of a Scribe and
alternative formats will be provided. 

b. The examining authority should give a clear option in the
advertisement itself whether the examinee wishes the scribe to be
provided by the examination conducting body or he/she wishes to arrange
the scribe on his/her own.

c. The Examining authority at the time of advertisement/application
should also print the criteria/qualification for scribe to be followed. 

d. The application form should have a provision asking low vision
persons to indicate the requirement of question paper in large print.
The advertisement for examination as well as the application form should
also clearly mention that the low vision persons would be allowed the
use of magnifying glass.




[MA] Points b and c above should read differently. In point "b" use
"advertisement/application". And in point "c", clarify that the criteria
is simply reproduced from this policy with the specifics about stream
and candidate levels spelled out and the examination authority does not
have the power to change/modify/add any other specifications for the
scribe.


3. Scribes chosen by Candidate 
 

a. In case the candidate avails the services of his/her own
scribe/writer, the scribe/writer   should be one grade junior in
academic qualification than the candidate if from the same stream.
However, this condition shall not apply if the scribe/writer is from a
different stream.

b. For competitive examinations the scribe needs to be one level below
the eligibility criteria of the competitive exam in consideration.

c. For internal exams of schools and colleges the condition of the
scribe being one grade junior in academic qualification than the
candidate should not be enforced strictly as this would cause undue
hardship to the candidate and give rise to unviable solutions.   

[MA] Point "b" above is not correct for competitive exams. Competitive
exams are all about practice and studying about the subject at that
point. E.g. a person who has already finished MBA is not likely to be
able to help an MBA candidate more than a student still doing
under-graduation.
Point "b" is more valid for academic exams e.g. a student of B. Com. 3rd
year may be able to unduly help a student of second year. In either
case, cheating can be prevented by invigilation and this restriction
should be removed.




4. Scribes provided by Examining Authorities
 
a. Considering the practical problems, it is necessary that even if the
scribe is provided by the examination conducting authorities, at the
request of examinee, such authorities must ensure the competence of the
scribe/writer. If the scribe is provided by the examining authorities,
it should be ensured that the scribe is adequately qualified to
understand the questions and to explain them to the candidate. 

b. To ensure the competence of such a scribe provided, the following
conditions should be adhered to:

i.	as far as possible and practical, the scribe himself/herself
should be a current student;

ii.	In any case, the time interval between when such a scribe ceased
to be a student himself/herself and the time he/she is acting as a
scribe should not be more than three years, because with the lapse of
time, natural abilities of a student like writing speed, taking
dictation and writing an examination efficiently in a specified time
frame, suffer a considerable decline. However strict adherence to this
requirement cannot be stretched beyond a logical point.    

[MA] The last 2 conditions are applicable to academic exams only. For
exams in govt./corporate institutions like banks, it will be incorrect
to use a student as a scribe.



d. The Chief invigilator of the examination center should have
discretionary powers to accept last minute change of scribes under
exigencies.
[ma] Even if the required authority is not available for some reason
when this last minute change needs to be made, the scribe should be
allowed and the relevant authority can retrospectively review that the
scribe used was in accordance with this policy.


f. The letter approving the scribe should contain the following
information in writing:
i. The extra time given to the candidate 
ii. He shall be seated separately
iii. Contact address and phone number of competent authority should also
be printed for last minute change of scribe.
[MA] Institutions like DU have ambiguous and discriminatory rules about
when this letter can be issued. The policy here should require the
examining authority to clearly state this process in the
advertisement/application/examination rules and this requirement should
not be unjust e.g. one day before the exam in case of some DU exams and
a similar constraint in case of CAT for MBA. 
For all exams, a letter approving the use of a scribe should actually be
issued along with the roll no./ admition ticket for the exam hall. The
letter need not contain the names of the actual scribes and the chief
invigilator at the examination center should be responsible to verify
that the scribe coming along with the candidate is as per this policy
just before the exam. 
The problem of not doing this can be explained by a scenario: In case of
exams conducted at a large scale, correspondence between the candidate
and the authority usually takes a long time. Due to this, the candidate
will need to furnish the details of his/her scribe a long time before
the actuall exam. This is not always possible because people cannot
commit to be available at a specific date far ahead in the future.
In any case, since we are proposing a provision for a last minute change
in the scribe, we should actually propose that all scribes be approved
by the chief invigilator of the examination center unless if the
candidate has taken prior approval from a higher authority, if any.

The procedure will need to be different if the scribe is provided by the
examining authority. In any case, this procedure should be wel
publicised and transparent.






13. Examination on Computers 

a. Visually Disabled candidates can appear in examination on the
computer only if students are computer literate and can type at a
reasonable speed. The software and hardware is now available to make
students write their examinations both in Hindi and English mediums

b. This form of examination is preferable than the use of scribes due to
the following reasons:

[MA{ Point "a" above is incorrect. It should read 
"Visually Disabled candidates can appear in examination on the computer,
if they so desire."

It is for the candidate to decide if he/she feels computer literate
enough to take the exam on the computer. As technology develops, other
language mediums may become available in the very near future. So, we
can skip the clause about "hindi and English" medium. 


ii. The computer must have the following software installed:

A.	MS Office
B.	Page maker 
C.	screen reading software.

[MA] I don't think we need "page maker" here. Instead we should specify
that the computer provided has the following:
1.	OS - MS Windows XP or Windows 2000 (This will obviously change
with time but is the platform currently supported by most versions of
screen readers.)
2.	MS office
3.	Screen reader.



iii. The medium of examination for the student can be in English or
Hindi. 
[MA] Other mediums may soon become available and then this clause may
become restrictive rather than inclusive.



iv. All the data on the Computer must be password protected using the
utility software called Folder Access. This software can make any folder
access limited by password.
[MA] I don't understand this clause. What are we trying to achieve? Who
will know the password for all the "data"? what part of hard disk files
does "data" include in this sense? What will we do in case the candidate
is using his/her own computer?
This, to me, is another instance of trying to prevent cheating that
should be done by the invigilator rather than stipulating password
protection of an ambiguous set of files. This clause should be removed.





iv. If question paper cannot be provided in accessible format, then a
reader is to be provided to read out the question paper.
[MA[ specify that rules laid above for a scribe apply in this case.


iii. if the question paper is in an inaccessible to screen reader format
for eg. page-maker file format then The paper requires to be converted
into a screen reader accessible file. The original file may be opened in
the page maker software. Each page of the question paper must be copied
and pasted in the MS word document. 
[MA] Page maker is a wrong example. It may be a popular form of creating
documents in some exams, but I don't think is the only one or is the
only one that is inaccessible. I think the previous point about "if the
question paper cannot be provided in accessible format" should apply.
Also, in some cases, the conversion suggested in this clause may cause
the loss of some formatting/content from the questions. We can reword
this to say: 
The examining authority should try to use a format that is accessible
using screen readers for creating soft copies of question papers.



v. if the candidate is appearing in English Medium,  the screen reader
software may speak gibberish where Hindi text appears, all Hindi
language text must be deleted from the question paper. 
[MA] The cause of screen reader talking junk can also be caused by
diagrams etc. Again instead of asking that other language text be
"deleted", we should ask that the original question paper be made
accessible by the examining authority, if possible. Any alteration of
the question paper at the examination center is incorrect.



vi. This MS word file must be password protected.  
[MA[ Who knows this password? What is the purpose of this password? We
should instead ask that if the question paper is copied on the
candidates personal computer, and the exam format does not allow
students to take the question papers out of the examination hall, then
this question paper should be deleted from the candidate's hard drive by
the invigilator.
If the purpose here is that the computer is provided to the candidate 20
minutes in advance and we want to prevent cheating here, then it should
be the responsibility of the invigilator to see that the candidate does
not open the question paper. The candidate should be clearly told that
doing so amounts to cheating.


 

-----Original Message-----
From: accessindia-bounces at accessindia.org.in
[mailto:accessindia-bounces at accessindia.org.in] On Behalf Of Pamnani
Sent: Monday, February 18, 2008 2:56 AM
To: accessindia at accessindia.org.in
Subject: [AI] Policy urgent


 
 

I hope this Policy is Ok with everyone. if not then please call me on
9821013644 urgently.   
The Policy for Examination of the Disabled
 

The Policy for the Examination of the Disabled envisages a tension free
environment for the Disabled before, during and after the Examination.
It is time that India had a comprehensive, standard but dynamic policy
for examination of the Disabled. 

 

The need for a standard and comprehensive Policy throughout India for
the examination of the Disabled has been growing since: 

 

  a.. Every year more and more Disabled candidates are appearing for
various examinations.
  b.. The kind of Disability that has to be considered has also been
increasing over the years.    
  c.. Number of examining bodies has been increasing over the years
 

  a.. Various orders/judgments/directions have been passed by various
Courts/Commissions/Authorities that deal with the problem in piecemeal.

 

  a.. Various examination conducting authorities have different rules
and/or implement the rules in different ways.   
 

  a.. Technology is improving and needs to be taken into account
 

  a.. The anxiety suffered by the examinees before and during the
examination has to be removed
 

  a.. Questions asked at written examinations and the examinations
themselves are varied and need to be answered in various ways. 
 

  a.. Competition is increasing and the Disabled have to be given a
level playing field.
 

1. Comprehensive

 

Looking at the needs of each Disability, the Policy must cover as many
issues as possible and not leave any ambiguities and lacuna. Basically
it has to cover all questions raised by the officials of the Examining
authority who tend to harangue the candidates just before the
examinations.  

 

2. Flexible and Dynamic

 

The implementers of the Policy have to be able to adapt to the
situation. There may be a need to change the Scribe at the last minute
or a Disability may arise while the exam Schedule is on for eg. A
candidate may fracture his hand while returning from a paper and may
need the use of a Scribe for the remaining papers. Also technology is
evolving and needs to be taken into account. The discretion of the
officials of the Examining authority has to be exercised keeping the
best interest of the candidate in mind.

This Policy must be reviewed periodically after recording the experience
of all concerned. 

 

3. All Examinations 

 

This Policy will apply to all examinations being conducted in India
generally and specifically to examinations conducted by Educational
institutions- schools and  colleges (both internal and external), School
and College Boards, universities and deemed universities, autonomous
bodies conducting entrance or promotional examinations as well as all
recruiting/promoting  authorities and any other authorities or bodies
under which a Disabled examinee wishes to appear for an examination for
any purpose whatsoever. 

 

The categorization of exams into exams conducted by educational
institutions and competitive exams is uncalled for. However there may be
specific requirements of each exam and these have been addressed in this
Policy.     

 

4. Need for the facility of a Scribe

 

In a country like India which envisages for its citizen's equality of
opportunity, allows its Disabled to take exams but has denied on several
occasions its disabled examinees the use of a Scribe. This denial has
let to anomalous situations where a visually disabled examinee has been
allowed to appear in an examination but has not been allowed the use of
the scribe thereby effectively denying the visually disabled to appear
in the examination and better his prospects. The humanitarian and
logical aspect of providing a facility of a Scribe should not have been
required to be spelt out however since the ground level situation is
such that the Disabled have been discriminated against on such basic
issues even this needs to be clearly documented.

 

5. Entitled   

 

Categorizing of the Disabled persons who will be entitled to get the
facilities of a Scribe could be standardized to some extent. 

 

However there has to be some flexibility depending on the requirement of
a candidate. 

 

Certain disabled persons like the totaled blind would definitely need
the use of a Scribe however others may just need some adjustment or
concession example large font or adjustment of the microscope during
practical exams or graph papers with larger squares. 

 

 Therefore to make an exhaustive list of the disabled who will be
allowed use of a Scribe is not possible. The list of the disabled must
be an inclusive list and should give the examining authority discretion
to include other persons but not to disallow persons mentioned on the
list. It may not   be proper to lay down iron clad rigid rules in terms
of percent with disability that will be allowed Scribe.

 

Learning Disabled candidates have been allowed the use of a Scribe and
other concessions by the State of Maharashtra. 

 

 

6.  Supervision 

 

The examining authorities are duty bound to ensure that no mal practices
like copying and cheating are indulged by candidates during the
examinations. For all examinations the responsibility of a fair and free
examination lies with the Examining Authority. The Examining Authority
evaluates the situation and decides on the number of invigilators,
supervisors and assistants. The examining authorities cannot pass on
this burden to the disabled candidate.  The fetters being put on the
choice of a scribe is unfair and reeks of chauvinism. The examining
authorities must not be allowed to shirk their responsibility of proper
invigilation onto the candidates by restricting his choice of Scribe.
Some Examining Authorities have a practice of appointing one invigilator
per candidate with special needs; some other Examining Authorities have
a special room for such candidates and have one invigilator for the
room. Some Authorities actually have a special Centre for such
Examinees. 

  

7. Scribe



Provisions of a Scribe would not be different for competitive exam and
regular school/college exams. An examination at whatever level and for
whatever course is still a test of the knowledge and skill of an
examinee. The Scribe is a mere facilitator.    

 

Limiting a candidate's choice of a Scribe on grounds of age,
capabilities, qualifications, level of education or marks scored is
actually unfair and prejudices the candidate. It is for the Examining
Authority to take care of supervision as stated in 6 hereinabove.

 

The guidelines in paras 3 and 4 herein Below are to be considered only
as transitionary guidelines and as a compromise to close the matter at
this stage.  These guidelines will need to be revisited as the
acceptability by the Examining Authority increases.  

 

 

Criteria of marks of the Scribe is immaterial and redundant if the
examining authorities do their part as explained in Para 6 above.



Criteria of 40% to 60% marks of a Scribe are paradoxical and arbitrary.
Paradoxical in the sense that Examining Authorities believe 40% to 60%
marks is bad enough that the Scribe would not be unduly able to help the
candidate while 40% to 60% is good enough that the scribe can
sufficiently address all the requirements of a scribe. 

 

Any criteria based on the marks of a Scribe are arbitrary as there is no
uniformity in marking in the different exams conducted in India nor is
there uniformity in marking in the different subjects being tested. Also
no study has been conducted which recommends such a criteria  



Fixing cut of marks for Scribe is unfair, especially in current system
where the students score very high marks in their secondary and senior
secondary school examination. Hence the students with 40% or 60% marks
are bound to be weak student academically & may not be able to
comprehend especially tables & graphs in test of reasoning, mathematical
& scientific symbols and read properly, also their language skills would
be shabby leading to the wastage of valuable time.

 

The discretion to choose a Scribe is always with the Candidate however
for various reasons the Candidate may turn to the Examining Authority
for assistance in this matter.  The examining Authority has to provide
Scribe who can adequately take care of the problem. 

 

The Examining authority has to consider the mental capacity of the
Scribe which includes the Scribe's ability to read out questions, take
dictation and deal with situations   which are fraught with tension. 

 

Change of Scribe just before the start of the exam schedule or just
before a paper or during the paper is a possibility which the Chief
Supervisor of the Examining Authority has to deal with. The candidate
cannot be made to suffer for such eventualities. In case of a necessity
of change of Scribe before the Examination starts the candidate must be
allowed the use of a Scribe     

 

8. Additional Time 

 

There is no doubt that additional time is to be given to a disabled
candidate whether using the facility of a Scribe or not. The Disabled
Candidate is slower while reading the question paper and much slower
while answering it compared to a non Disabled Candidate. While dictating
to a scribe repeating words and sentences and checking the answer sheet
a lot of time is lost. 

 

Different educational institutions and competitive exams all over the
country have varied rules regarding this.

 

The need for a standard policy in this regard has been felt for a long
time.

 

 

9. Technology 

 

The advancement in technology has to be considered and the benefits must
be harnessed for the betterment of the Disabled. The use of technology
has given the Disabled a chance to be independent. It is time that the
Examining authorities accept the new possibilities and facilitate its
use.   

 

The Examining authorities must use the available resources of eg.
Centres at Universities, colleges and in the community which have
facilities to allow Disabled Candidates to give their exams on the
computer. Candidates may be allowed to use their own personal
computers/laptops after proper check of the hard disc by the Examining
authorities. 

The Examining Authorities have to provide other facilities like printers
and UPS which are compatible.

 

The software and appliances to be allowed and utilized are evolving
therefore there cannot be a fixed set and the Examining Authorities have
to see the situation and discuss the matter with the candidates and
experts and then permit the technology to be used. 

 

10. Kinds of Exams 

 

There are many kinds of exams being conducted for eg. Viva, practical,
online, open book apart from the traditional written exam which now has
subjective, multiple choice and one word answers. The Policy has to be
comprehensive to deal with all such exams.    



11. Certificate of Disability

 

The Examining Authority must accept the Certificate of disability
produced by the Candidate which has been issued by the Competent
Authority under the Persons with Disabilities Act, 1995.

 

The Examining Authority cannot ask the candidate to undergo a fresh test
every time he sits for an exam.  

 

12. Publicity and Implementation  

 

This Policy needs to be widely publisised by all the Ministries to their
constituents as past experience has shown that the Examining Authorities
do not believe the candidates when the candidates produce the relevant
circulars or notifications. The hassle of finding proof of the circular
should not be on the candidate.

 

Further, after this policy comes into effect the non-implementing body
should invalidate the examination and they should reorganize the same.
This is a deterrent to the non implementation of the Policy.  

 

13. Disabilities 

 

Although the herein below guidelines are specifically for Visually
disabled candidates these guidelines may be used by the Examining
authorities while conducting examinations for other candidates suffering
from disability whether permanent or temporary.

 

 

Policy for Examination of the Visually Disabled
 

 

 

1. Scribe
 

a. The Visually Disabled candidate must be allowed the use of a Scribe
who will read the question papers and write/type the answers dictated by
the Visually disabled candidate.    

 

b. Since one of the important factors while doing an examination is
speed,  adequate practice is necessary, Visually Disabled persons should
be allowed to use the services of a scribe of his/her own choice. The
Visually Disabled candidate may however request the Examining authority
to provide a Scribe.



c. The discretion to arrange for his/her own Scribe or to be provided by
a Scribe by the Examining Authority is with the candidate alone. 

 

d. No other restriction other than those mentioned in Clauses 3 or 4
herein below should be imposed on the selection of a scribe. 

 

e. It is desirable that the candidate and the scribe are from the same
stream.

 
2. Examination Form/Application 
 

a. All Application Forms/Advertisements for exams should mention that a
Visually Disabled candidate will be allowed the use of a Scribe and
alternative formats will be provided. 

 

b. The examining authority should give a clear option in the
advertisement itself whether the examinee wishes the scribe to be
provided by the examination conducting body or he/she wishes to arrange
the scribe on his/her own.

 

c. The Examining authority at the time of advertisement/application
should also print the criteria/qualification for scribe to be followed. 

 

d. The application form should have a provision asking low vision
persons to indicate the requirement of question paper in large print.
The advertisement for examination as well as the application form should
also clearly mention that the low vision persons would be allowed the
use of magnifying glass.

 

 

3. Scribes chosen by Candidate 



 

a. In case the candidate avails the services of his/her own
scribe/writer, the scribe/writer   should be one grade junior in
academic qualification than the candidate if from the same stream.
However, this condition shall not apply if the scribe/writer is from a
different stream.

 

b. For competitive examinations the scribe needs to be one level below
the eligibility criteria of the competitive exam in consideration.

 

c. For internal exams of schools and colleges the condition of the
scribe being one grade junior in academic qualification than the
candidate should not be enforced strictly as this would cause undue
hardship to the candidate and give rise to unviable solutions.   

 

 

4. Scribes provided by Examining Authorities



a. Considering the practical problems, it is necessary that even if the
scribe is provided by the examination conducting authorities, at the
request of examinee, such authorities must ensure the competence of the
scribe/writer. If the scribe is provided by the examining authorities,
it should be ensured that the scribe is adequately qualified to
understand the questions and to explain them to the candidate. 

 

b. To ensure the competence of such a scribe provided, the following
conditions should be adhered to:

 

i.           as far as possible and practical, the scribe
himself/herself should be a current student;

 

ii.          In any case, the time interval between when such a scribe
ceased to be a student himself/herself and the time he/she is acting as
a scribe should not be more than three years, because with the lapse of
time, natural abilities of a student like writing speed, taking
dictation and writing an examination efficiently in a specified time
frame, suffer a considerable decline. However strict adherence to this
requirement cannot be stretched beyond a logical point.    

 

iii.        The medium of instruction of the scribe in his/her studies
should essentially be, or have been, the same as the examinee.

 

iv.        Scribe should, as far as possible, belong to the same stream
as the examinee.

 

v.         In cases where the scribe is provided by exam conducting
bodies at the request of the examinee, she/he should not have scored
below 55% marks in the last exam. 

 

vi.        While appointing a Scribe the mental capacity and maturity
level of a scribe should be considered.



C. the candidate must have a chance to meet the scribe a day before the
exam. This would ensure that the 2 get comfortable with one another. It
would also give the candidate a chance to check whether the scribe is
suitable.



d. The examining body should identify the scribes/writers and make the
panels at district/Division or state level as per requirement of
examination.

 

e. The Panels of scribe should be as per requirement of the
stream/discipline eg. Arts, Commerce, Science & Mathematics,
Engineering, Medical etc. and only eligible scribes should be included
in the panel.  

 

5. Supervision 

 

Any attempt at cheating and other malpractices can be curbed by ensuring
proper supervision and vigilance by the invigilators. This is the
responsibility of the Examining Authority. No restrictions should be
imposed on the choice of a scribe by a candidate on this account. 

 

 6. Additional time 

a.                   The facility of Additional time must be allotted to
all Visually Disabled candidates appearing for examinations in any
format with or without the use of a Scribe. 

b.                  For a written test of duration of 1 hour at least 30
minutes extra time should be allotted.

c.                   Similarly For written tests involving more than one
or less than one hour extra time should be worked out on the basis of 30
minutes per one hour criteria. 

 

7. Arrangements at the Examination

 

a. Proper sitting arrangement should be made before commencement of the
examination so as to avoid confusion and distraction.

 

b. Sitting arrangements for the disabled candidates should be made on
the ground floor, as far as possible.  

 

c. Refreshments, if any to scribes/writers should either are served
before or after the examination and not during the examination.  

 

d. The Chief invigilator of the examination center should have
discretionary powers to accept last minute change of scribes under
exigencies.

 

e. Considering the fact that many exams are held in overlapping
schedules and also the fact that the scribes may not be free/willing to
commit themselves for the entire duration of exam or examination of
various languages, more than one person may be permitted to write
different papers for the same examination, provided they fulfill all
other conditions laid down in clauses 3 or 4 above. For enacting such a
change in scribes for different papers, the ground of contingency should
not be a mandatory requirement.

 

f. The letter approving the scribe should contain the following
information in writing:

i. The extra time given to the candidate 

ii. He shall be seated separately

iii. Contact address and phone number of competent authority should also
be printed for last minute change of scribe.

 

g. To minimize the need for last minute change in the scribe and in view
of (e) above, a collective sanction letter may be issued, sanctioning
multiple scribes proposed by the examinee, so that any of them may be
called upon to act as the scribe in any particular paper, without the
hassle of formalities involved in changing the scribe at the eleventh
hour.

 

h. Candidate, scribe and supervisor should be provided with full
information about the duration of the examination. 

 

 

8. Aids and appliances 

 

a. a. All Visually Disabled candidates may be allowed to carry special
mathematical aids such as Taylor's frame or abacus as they have no other
way of calculating sums.  Neither abacus nor Taylor's frame calculate
the sums but are mere aids such as a paper for candidates with vision.
Other equipments that should be allowed include welcrove board for
drawing diagrams and drawing wheel. 



 

b. in papers such as accounts the visually disabled candidate may be
allowed to carry Braille slates and papers for writing the numbers as it
is difficult to remember the balance sheets

 

c. The visually disabled candidate should also be allowed to use
optical/ electronic low vision aids such as magnifying glass;

 

d. Visually Disabled candidates must be allowed the use of a talking
calculator in examinations in which the sighted candidates are allowed
to use a calculator. 

 

9. Alternative Formats 

 

a. In addition to the facility of a scribe the Visually Disabled
candidates have the facility to write answers in Braille or on a
computer or a typewriter or may ask for question paper in large font.

 

b. Considering the developments in technology, all examination
conducting bodies should facilitate the use of computers for taking the
exams by the visually Disabled examinees, if the candidate so desires.

 

c. Visually Disabled candidates appearing for "Open book Exams may be
provided the texts of such books in Braille, in digital format on the
computer or in large text at the choice of the candidate.    

 

10. Examination in Braille  

 

a.       The question paper may be provided in Braille or in accessible
digital text or a reader may be provided to read out the question paper.


 

b. the Reader must be chosen based on the guidelines suggested in Paras
3 or 4 as suggested hereinabove. C. Services of a Braille to print
transcriber should be used to transcribe the answer sheet to normal
print.

 

c. this printed answer sheet may be sent for evaluation.

 

d. Alternatively the answer paper in Braille should be evaluated by the
expert/examiners in Braille script.

 

11. Large Print  

 

a. The font size of the question paper should not be less than 20 for
the benefit of low vision candidates. However if the candidate requests
for an alternative font size or style then he may be so provided.    

  

12.  Alternative Questions 

 

a. Alternative questions must be provided in cases where the original
question contains visual elements and/or require the candidate to
interpret or produce such visual elements. However the candidate may
elect to answer the original question.



b. Wherever possible, the visual graphs should be supplemented by
descriptive explanation of the graphs for visually Disabled candidates.


 

c. For practical exams the Visually Disabled candidate must be allowed
the help of a laboratory assistant to conduct the experiment and or be
provided alternative oral questions in place of the experiment to be
conducted. Rules relating to Scribes in Para 3 and 4 hereinabove should
apply to the laboratory Assistant.    

 

13. Examination on Computers 

 

a. Visually Disabled candidates can appear in examination on the
computer only if students are computer literate and can type at a
reasonable speed. The software and hardware is now available to make
students write their examinations both in Hindi and English mediums

 

b. This form of examination is preferable than the use of scribes due to
the following reasons:

 

i. High payments being demanded by Scribes

ii. Wasting crucial time just before the examinations just to look for
scribes. 

iii. Sexual harassment of girl students.

iv. Losing marks due to mistakes of scribes or casual attitude of
scribes.

v. Week students getting away with good marks by making their scribes
write answers to questions that they do not know.

 

c. The use of computers for examination does not mean that a scribe to
read the question paper is dispensed with. However the candidate may not
require a sighted person and dispense with the same.   

 

d. The responsibility to bring a computer is not on the student/
candidate.  The centre/ Examining authority shall spare one of its own
Computers for the exam.

 

e. However if it is feasible then the candidate may be allowed to use
his own computer. This may be decided by the candidate and the examining
authority mutually.    

 

f. the only responsibility that a student aspiring to give exam on
computer has, is to bring the screen reading software.

 

g. The candidate should be allowed to install the screen reading
software a day in advance on the computer provided with printer
installed 

 

h. Access to the computer is to be given at least 20 minutes before
start of the examination. 

 

i . in case of power failure, the time of power failure is to be noted
and the same amount of time augmented in the end time of the paper.  

 

j. recommended Equipment preparation:

 

i.    For each candidate appearing in the examination two computers may
be set up for this purpose. One for writing the examination and one as
stand-by in case of any failure in the machine.

ii.  The computer should be of a configuration greater than the minimum
required to support the screen reader. This is necessary since the
student will be running other software as well so system resources

iii. must be sufficient to run the operating system, the screen reader
and other software concurrently. 

iv.The computer must have the following software installed:

 

A.        MS Office

B.         Page maker 

C.        screen reading software.

 

v. The medium of examination for the student can be in English or Hindi.


 

vi. All the data on the Computer must be password protected using the
utility software called Folder Access. This software can make any folder
access limited by password.

 

vii. UPS with back-up of 2 hours must be installed and connected at the
centre. Enough power back-up needs to be provided for the examination
centre.  

 

viii. Two printers may be kept for taking the final print-outs of the
answer sheets.

 

k. Recommended procedure for examination:

 

l. The computer centre or the library may be designated as one of the
examination centres for conducting the examination.

 

m. Question paper must be sent to this Centre on a CD.

 

n. question paper should be given as a computer document in MS word or
htm format.

 

o. If question paper cannot be provided in accessible format, then a
reader is to be provided to read out the question paper.

 

p. if the question paper is in an inaccessible to screen reader format
for eg. page-maker file format then The paper requires to be converted
into a screen reader accessible file. The original file may be opened in
the page maker software. Each page of the question paper must be copied
and pasted in the MS word document. 

 

q. if the candidate is appearing in English Medium,  the screen reader
software may speak gibberish where Hindi text appears, all Hindi
language text must be deleted from the question paper. 

 

r. This MS word file must be password protected.  

 

s. Answer sheet- One blank MS-word document may be created on the
Computer and shortcut to this may be created on the desk-top. This blank
document must have the paper size and margins set according to the
extension sheets of the answer sheet on which the final print-out will
be taken. Viii. The role-number and other details of the candidate must
be filled on the original sheet by the invigilator using normal pen.
These extension sheets must be stapled with each sheet of the original
answer sheet. Each sheet must be signed by the invigilator. 

 

t. The candidate must be allowed to have access to the Computer 20
minutes before the start of examination time. 

 

u. At the time of start of examination, the password for the question
paper file must be told to the candidate. 

 

 

 

 

14. On line Exams

 

All Examining Authorities conducting online exams must follow the
guidelines stated hereinabove to the extent practicable. It is the
responsibility of the Examining Authorities to make their websites,
question papers and all other study material accessible i.E. designed
and available in accessible format. Examining Authorities must follow
international rules, guidelines and standards laid down in this behalf.
The candidate must be able to do the exam on his own.  

Conclusion 

 

The paramount purpose of the Policy is to alleviate the hardship being
caused to the Visually disabled candidate due to uncertainty in policy
and to mitigate the effects of a disability.       

 

 

 

 

Drafted by Kanchan Pamnani, Advocate and solicitor 

Experienced and contributed by Members of Accessindia,
accessindia at accessindia.org 

Researched and Compiled by Xaviers Resource Centre for the Visually
Challenged, ST. Xaviers college, 5 Mahapalika MargMumbai   

 

Kanchan Pamnani
Advocate & Solicitor
9, Suleman Chambers,
Battery Street, Colaba,
Mumbai - 400 039.


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