Can college refuse accommodations without a diagnosis?

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literarybard
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Hi, trying to keep it short. I went to college 2020-2021 where I had accommodations. I was on an autism support plan, and had extra time, rest breaks, and a small room for exams. I’ve never had a diagnosis of anything. I thought I had ADHD for years but now I’m recalling more things that make me believe I’m autistic. Diagnosis would take years, and would block me from some things I wanted to do in life. I’m also not fussed about a diagnosis.

Dropped out of college 2021, going back September 2022. I said I needed support and they called me one day to talk about it. I explained what I needed and they asked what diagnosis I have. Diagnosis? None. Why do I need one? Apparently they can’t give me any - and I mean ANY - accommodations without them.

Even if I went to my doctor about getting a diagnosis tomorrow, I wouldn’t have one until after I finish college. Is there anything I can do in this situation? Are they allowed to ‘require’ a diagnosis, especially as my old college didn’t require or even ask for one?
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The_Lonely_Goatherd
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Unfortunately/rightly or wrongly, this is the way most disability/neurodiversity adjustments works in schools, colleges, unis and workplaces: you have to have a confirmed written diagnosis to access any adjustments. It makes sense in a way - otherwise anyone can just say anything and get adjustments! - but yeah, can see how the red tape around this feels punitive and frustrating for you...
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gdunne42
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(Original post by literarybard)
Hi, trying to keep it short. I went to college 2020-2021 where I had accommodations. I was on an autism support plan, and had extra time, rest breaks, and a small room for exams. I’ve never had a diagnosis of anything. I thought I had ADHD for years but now I’m recalling more things that make me believe I’m autistic. Diagnosis would take years, and would block me from some things I wanted to do in life. I’m also not fussed about a diagnosis.

Dropped out of college 2021, going back September 2022. I said I needed support and they called me one day to talk about it. I explained what I needed and they asked what diagnosis I have. Diagnosis? None. Why do I need one? Apparently they can’t give me any - and I mean ANY - accommodations without them.

Even if I went to my doctor about getting a diagnosis tomorrow, I wouldn’t have one until after I finish college. Is there anything I can do in this situation? Are they allowed to ‘require’ a diagnosis, especially as my old college didn’t require or even ask for one?
A proper assessment is required by your college SENCO before anyone is allowed access arrangements for exams, especially extra time. In recent years examiners and regulators have tightened up the access arrangements process because in some places it was very liberally applied and sometimes it was being abused. Whether your previous college conformed with the requirements or not, your new one is expected to confirm you are entitled to them. There has to be evidence that you need the access arrangements. This does not necessarily mean a medical diagnosis is required in every case, your SENCO is the expert on what is required to make a successful application on your behalf.
Don't give up. If you need the arrangements to level the playing field then it should be possible to sort out. Go back and talk to them about your situation and any problems it causes you and work out a plan with them.

The rules etc are described here in detail
https://www.jcq.org.uk/wp-content/up...1-22_FINAL.pdf
Last edited by gdunne42; 1 month ago
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Sandtrooper
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Yes, unfortunately, as the others have said. We had an issue where a student stated they had dyslexia but they had no formal diagnosis, so they were unable to access any help in exams, although teachers were considerate in classes etc.
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Petetyerman
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the equality act says that a diagnosis is not required see7.22An education provider should do all it can reasonably be expected to do to find out whether a student is disabled and requires reasonable adjustments. The action that it is appropriate to take to find out about a student’s disability may differ between different types of provision.this duty is on the university however there does need to be some evidence of disability but previous adjustments are evidence as are the things you find difficult if the suggest disability,The courts have made clear the duty to adjust is related to awarness not a diagnosis. https://www.equalityhumanrights.com/...gher-education
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Mintkoala
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(Original post by Petetyerman)
the equality act says that a diagnosis is not required see7.22An education provider should do all it can reasonably be expected to do to find out whether a student is disabled and requires reasonable adjustments. The action that it is appropriate to take to find out about a student’s disability may differ between different types of provision.this duty is on the university however there does need to be some evidence of disability but previous adjustments are evidence as are the things you find difficult if the suggest disability,The courts have made clear the duty to adjust is related to awarness not a diagnosis. https://www.equalityhumanrights.com/...gher-education
‘All that is reasonably expected to find out’, I would think a diagnosis would be reasonably expected. Otherwise, unfortunately, other students would cotton on the idea and pretend they have conditions when they don’t, giving them extra time in exams, etc.
Last edited by Mintkoala; 1 month ago
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Petetyerman
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the courts have indicated that suspicion + evidence is enough i.e you cannot wait for a diagnosis .and the duty is on the university so it can arrange for assessment itself if there is doubt .

(Original post by Mintkoala)
‘All that is reasonably expected to find out’, I would think a diagnosis would be reasonably expected. Otherwise, unfortunately, other students would cotton on the idea and pretend they have conditions when they don’t, giving them extra time in exams, etc.
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Mintkoala
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(Original post by Petetyerman)
the courts have indicated that suspicion + evidence is enough i.e you cannot wait for a diagnosis .and the duty is on the university so it can arrange for assessment itself if there is doubt .
So the university arranges an assessment for a diagnosis then…
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petertyerman
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(Original post by Mintkoala)
So the university arranges an assessment for a diagnosis then…
The can or just agree adjustments with out a confirmed diagnosis .i am not saying they will do this just that the equality act say is the duties are on them how each university meets or does not its duties varies.
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