AARA are provided to minimise, as much as possible, barriers for a student whose disability, impairment, medical condition or other circumstances may affect their ability to read, respond to or participate in assessment.
These barriers fall into three categories:
- Long-term and chronic conditions
- Short-term conditions and temporary injuries
- Illness and misadventure.
The definition of ‘disability’ used in the DDA is broad. It includes physical, intellectual, psychiatric, sensory, neurological and learning disabilities. It also includes physical disfigurement, and the presence in the body of disease-causing organisms.
The QCAA uses broad disability categories for AARA:
Students may also be eligible for AARA where illness and misadventure (i.e. unforeseen circumstances) or other situations may prevent students from demonstrating their learning, knowledge and skill in internal and/or external summative assessment. The QCAA will also consider applications for certain cultural obligations or personal circumstances (see Section 6.5: Illness and misadventure).
For more information about supporting documentation required for different eligibility categories and possible adjustments see Section 6.5.4: Supporting documentation.
Students are not eligible for AARA on the following grounds:
- unfamiliarity with the English language
- teacher absence or other teacher-related difficulties
- matters that the student could have avoided (e.g. misreading an examination timetable, misreading instructions in examinations)
- timetable clashes
- matters of the student’s or parent’s/carer’s own choosing (e.g. family holidays or sporting events)
- matters that the school could have avoided (e.g. incorrect enrolment in a subject).
Schools manage other situations where students are not eligible for AARA, such as school-approved absences for assessment or student transfers. For information about:
- school-approved absences, see Section 8.2.7: Gathering evidence of student achievement
- transfer students, see Section 8.2.1: Engaging in learning and assessment
- flexible delivery options, including variable progression, see Section 4.2: Delivery approaches to curriculum.