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Disability Service
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Information for international students

Welcome to the University of Cape Town (UCT). We look forward to working with you during your time here. The University is committed to working towards the creation of a discrimination free and inclusive environment which encourages disabled students full, independent and effective participation in the mainstream of UCT life. We work together with students and staff to facilitate the removal of barriers facing disabled students and staff. Some examples of our work include,

  • Advocacy on disability issues
  • Support in transforming attitudinal barriers that may be encountered
  • Access to inaccessible venues and designated disabled parking
  • Access to lecture and study material in alternative format for people with sensory impairments
  • Fully accessible transport between residences and lectures
  • Accessible residential accommodation
  • Resource centre: literature and material related to disability studies and disability research
  • Facilitation of extra time applications and/or other accommodations around exams for students with disabilities

Applications for Extra Time / Extended Time in Examinations

At the University of Cape Town, applications for extra time in tests and examinations are submitted to a subcommittee of the Senate for approval. Students wishing to apply for extra time, or other examination concessions, are urged to register with the Disability Service and submit the required documentation as soon after their arrival as possible.

Those who are applying on the grounds of a Specific Learning Disability make their application through Margie le Roux, Clinical Psychologist and Co-ordinator: Specific Learning Disabilities, Disability Service. Where application is being made for extra time on the grounds of a physical disability or medical condition, students first register with the Disability Service and then application for extra time is made through a doctor at the Student Wellness Service.

All students who qualify for extra time in examinations write their exams in smaller alternate examination venues. The maximum amount of extra time offered to students with Specific Learning Disabilities is typically time and a quarter i.e. 15 minutes per hour. Students from the USA, who are accustomed to receiving time and a half i.e. 30 minutes per hour extra time, must please take this into account when applying to study at UCT.

Please Note:

Only in the most exceptional cases (where students have severe or multiple impairments) will the university grant more than fifteen minutes per hour extra time. Thus, in the case of a three hour examination a maximum of an additional 45 minutes is permitted.

If you have any queries in this regard please contact Margie le Roux.

Other Accommodations & Support

Denise Oldham is the Direct Services Coordinator and arranges accommodations in addition to extra time to support a student's academic progress during the semester and also for test and exam writing. Examples of these follow:

Access to Assistive Software

JAWS, Zoomtext, Open Book, Read and Write Gold Literacy Software are available.

Access to Assistive Technology and Assistive Furniture

Large screen computer monitors, Merlin Print Magnifier, FM Transmitter, Domino Pro, Induction Loop system, Standing desk/podium, kneeling chair.

Access to Human Support

Student Volunteer Support team, Sign language interpreter, Notetakers for students with hearing impairments or physical hand mobility disabilities (where needed).

Text Conversion of Course Material into Accessible Format

Electronic, Braille, Voice recording, Print enlargement – A3 maximum, transcription of audio recordings.

Documentation Required

Students are required to provide the accommodations letter issued by their home university. In addition, all students who apply for extra time on the basis of a Specific Learning Disability need to provide an assessment report from an appropriately qualified psychologist. In the case of international students, the assessment report presented to the Disability Service of their home university will be accepted. Students who apply on the grounds of a physical disability or chronic illness need to provide the relevant medical documentation. It is frequently the case that students who apply for a time concession also qualify for additional accommodations. In order to expedite the implementation of these accommodations, students are advised to submit the relevant documentation in advance of their departure for Cape Town. It is recommended that documentation be scanned and emailed in advance to Margie le Roux, including details of the nature of the disability.

How to go about applying for Examination Concessions & Other Accommodations once you have arrived at UCT.

For information on how to go about submitting your accommodations applications please click here.

Contact Staff

Manager: Edwina Ghall
Tel: 021 650 5089
Email: Edwina.ghall@uct.ac.za


Learning Disability Support/Clinical Psychologist: Margie le Roux
Tel: +27 21 650 3616
Email: Margie.leRoux@uct.ac.za

Direct Services Co-ordinator: Denise Oldham
Tel: +27 21 650 2737
Email: Denise.Oldham@uct.ac.za