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Information for international students

Welcome to the University of Cape Town. We look forward to working with you during your time at UCT. 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 who apply for extra time on the basis of a specific learning disability must make their application through Beulah Marks, Clinical Psychologist and Co-ordinator Learning Disabilities.

Applications for extra time on the basis of a physical disability or medical condition must be made through a doctor at the Student Wellness service (after registering with the Disability Service).

All students who qualify for extra time in examinations write their exams in smaller alternate examination venues.

Please note: only in the most exceptional cases (where students have severe or multiple impairments) will the university grant more than 15 minutes per hour extra time. Thus, in the case of a 3-hour examination a maximum of additional 45 minutes is permitted.

Documentation required

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 for a time concession also frequently qualify for additional accommodations. To expedite the implementation of these accommodations, students are advised to submit the relevant documentation in advance of their departure for Cape Town are and urged to visit the Disability Service as soon as they arrive at UCT to complete the necessary application forms.

It is recommended that documentation including details of the nature of the disability be scanned and emailed in advance to Beulah Marks.

Disability accommodations available

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 accommodations follow:

  • Access to assistive software
    • JAWS, Zoomtext, Open Book, Read and Write Gold Literacy Software
  • 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
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