Support for students with special needs

PROCEDURE FOR SUPPORTING STUDENTS WITH SPECIAL NEEDS

The Social Support Service for Students with Special Needs has created and promoted an accessible community at T.S.C.C., in which students with special needs have equal opportunities to participate fully in all aspects of the curriculum and student life.

It offers a wide range of services and facilities that can be adapted to meet the special needs of students and enable them to make maximum use of their time at the TSCC.

The Support Service for students with special needs offers advice to students, teachers and other members of staff at the School on all matters relating to practical, personal or any additional needs arising from all disabilities.

Students with special needs and health issues can communicate directly with the Student Welfare Officer to notify them of their difficulties, or can complete and send in the “Declaration of Special Needs Form”. Students with disabilities and health problems are assessed via several procedures such as:

  • The admissions procedure for students with special criteria,
  • The registration form, on which the student declares their particular difficulty,
  • Referral by academics,
  • Referral by parents, external groups, Associations, Organizations, etc.

The Aims of the Special Needs Student Support Service

The purpose of the Support Service for students with special needs is to provide the best and most effective support possible to students with disabilities and health problems, in order to ensure equal access to all aspects of academic life. In pursuance of this the decisions of the relevant School Committees are always taken into account based on a) the “On Education and Training of Children with Special Needs Law 1999” b) the regulations “On Education and Training of Children with Special Needs of 2001 and 2013”, c) available support funds and d) the practices followed by other Universities/ Schools and/or other countries.

Addressing the needs of students is achieved in cooperation with the Academic Advisers responsible, the Teaching staff, the Administrative Services of the Theological School of the Church of Cyprus, and other State Services and Organizations. Special efforts are also undertaken to improve access for all students to the School premises.

The Support Service is also on hand for any information regarding the medical and hospital care facilities available in Nicosia.

The Committee for the Support for Students with Special Needs

This committee is responsible for assessing each case on an individual basis and takes decisions in relation to appropriate adjustments, and ensures that the adjustments decided upon are implemented.

The members of the Committee are:

  1. The Director of the Theological School of the Church of Cyprus,
  2. The Head of the course attended by the student,
  3. The Academic Adviser responsible for the Student,
  4. The Officer of the Student Welfare Service.

Depending on the problem, the following external partners are called upon:

  1. Psychologist, or
  2. General Practitioner (GP), or
  3. Psychiatrist / Neurologist, or
  4. Orthopaedic surgeon, or
  5. Speech Therapist.

Support Procedure for Students with Special Needs

The “Declaration of Special Needs form” is included in the enrollment file of all new students. Students who are already registered can obtain it, complete it and send it to the Student Welfare Service of the Theology School of the Church of Cyprus.

The Student Welfare Service will evaluate the initial application (“Declaration of Special Needs Form”) and ask the student to provide the relevant certificates and/or any additional information they may need for the Committee. The student may also be asked to present the School’s official certification relative to the special need, (“Certificate of Mental Disability” and “Certificate of Physical Disability”).

By presenting all the necessary documents, the Support Committee for Students with Special Needs meets, proposes and decides on the adjustments to be granted to the student.

The student is informed of the Commission’s decision by means of a formal letter from the Support Service. The student will also be informed of their right to a complaints procedure. Students are also given the official “Handbook for the Support of Students with Special Needs” of the Theological School of the Church of Cyprus.

At the beginning of each semester, the student should receive a letter from the Support Service stating the adjustments decided upon by the Committee. The student will then present the letter to each teacher in order to obtain the relevant adjustments.

The Support Service can provide consultation and advice to any teacher who may have questions and/or concerns about any student’s adjustments.

If the student’s adjustments include any electronic equipment, use of Braille, etc., the Support Service will undertake to provide it.

Academic facilities provided to students with special needs, learning difficulties and health problems.

For students with special needs, learning or health problems, some of the following facilities may be granted as required:

  • Use of a recording device with the agreement of the Academic Teacher,
  • Oral examination (if available),
  • 20% extension of exam time,
  • Extension of exam time depending on the time required for a certain break (e.g., in the case of hypoglycaemia),
  • Explanation of unknown words during examinations/explanation of Examination essay / Leniency towards grammar and spelling mistakes,
  • Text translations (e.g. Braille format),
  • Enlarged format for exam essays and notes,
  • Course notes in electronic form and notes from the board,
  • Taking notes in lessons,
  • Tuition support,
  • Transcripts in exams,
  • Supply of special equipment,
  • Escort for movement within the premises of the School,
  • Transport to the School premises,
  • Access to the premises of the School,
  • Other facilities that are deemed to be necessary.