Regulation on disability services for study at the University of Iceland, no. 481/2010
with subsequent amendments
CHAPTER I. General points.
Article 1. Purpose.
Students at the University of Iceland with disabilities or specific learning difficulties which may in some way impede their studies are entitled to disability services in accordance with the provisions of this Regulation.
The purpose of this Regulation is to ensure that students at the University with disabilities or specific learning difficulties have the same opportunities as other students, and to enable them to study without experiencing discrimination, such that all students have equal opportunity to fulfil their potential in their studies. Assistance in no way involves a reduction in normal academic requirements, or the arrangement of these requirements such that they apply differently to this group of students.
Article 2. Definitions.
The term disability is used to mean a physical, mental or sensory impairment, or a permanent impairment of perception which has the potential, when coinciding with various obstacles, to prevent full, active and equal participation in society.
The term specific learning difficulties, in the context of this Regulation, is used to refer to specific difficulties and impediments affecting studies, which are caused by accidents, chronic illness or other situations.
The term disability services is used in this Regulation to mean the assistance intended to meet the needs of and create equal opportunities for students in their studies, and to ensure that in course assessment, fair and reasonable consideration is taken of students' disabilities or special needs. Disability services shall have no effect on academic requirements.
Article 3. Scope.
This Regulation shall apply to those who have applied to enrol in studies at the University of Iceland.
For a student to receive disability services, he or she must be registered for studies at the University in accordance with paragraph 1, Article 48 of the Regulation for the UI. This, however, is not a requirement for the processing of cases in accordance with Chapter V of this Regulation.
CHAPTER II. Admission of students.
Article 4. Applications for enrolment.
All applications to enrol in studies at the University of Iceland are evaluated on the basis of previous education and the admission requirements for the selected programme, cf. Article 18 of the Act on Public Higher Education institutions no. 85/2008 and University regulation. Decisions regarding the provision of disability services in accordance with Chapter III are taken independently from discussions on the admission of students.
Students have the right to clear information regarding access to buildings and support services. The University is required to inform students with disabilities or specific learning difficulties of their rights and the services available at all levels of study, and to generally publicise this information within the University community and on the University website.
CHAPTER III. Provision of disability services.
Article 5. Services for students with disabilities or specific learning difficulties.
The University of Iceland Student Counselling and Career Centre shall oversee services for students with disabilities or specific learning difficulties. Services for disabled students shall be provided in close cooperation with the students themselves, and efforts shall be made to ensure that service is tailored to a student's individual needs.
In providing disability services, the Student Counselling and Career Centre shall, with the consent of the student in question where applicable, collaborate with the relevant teaching staff, heads of faculty, heads of department, the director of examinations and other people involved in assisting the student.
Article 6. Confirmed diagnosis of disability or special needs.
A student wishing to be provided with disability services shall contact the University of Iceland Student Counselling and Career Centre. Services are only provided on the basis of a professional evaluation from the Student Counselling and Career Centre, which shall depend on the student's circumstances and experiences in his or her studies, as well as a specialist opinion regarding the disability/impairment of the student in question.
Students suffering trauma in the course of their studies significantly impacting their academic capabilities may be required to submit certification from an appropriate specialist evaluating their ability to participate in higher education. The services provided shall then be evaluated in accordance with this. The same applies to students who fail to meet required standards due to the serious progression of any medical condition they may have.
Article 7. Evaluation of needs and services.
The University of Iceland shall provide disability services for students in accordance with this Regulation, in conformity with the Student Counselling and Career Centre's evaluation of the need for such services.
Should there be a choice of different services which would provide the student with equivalent support, the University may determine which service the student is offered.
Disability services provided by the University on the basis of this Regulation are free of charge for the student. Students pay a registration fee in accordance with the regulation applying to such.
Students who so require may make use of various specialised computer equipment available in the access centre in the Student Counselling and Career Centre computer lab. The University shall not provide grants to students for the purchase of appliances, computers, software or other equipment. Neither shall the University pay for specialised services required outside of the University, nor for any certification or diagnoses that the University may request that the student provide.
Article 8. Agreement on special services and study plan.
The Student Counselling and Career Centre shall make, on behalf of the University, a written agreement with the student outlining the services which the University shall provide and be responsible for, for the duration of the student's studies. The agreement must include an evaluation of the effect of the disability on the student's intended studies. The Student Counselling and Career Centre shall also review the existing agreement, should the student so request or there be other reasons to do so, e.g. if the results aimed for in the original agreement have not been achieved.
Article 9. Deadlines.
An agreement on disability services shall, as a rule, be produced before the commencement of studies and no later than [1 October for the autumn semester and 1 March for the spring semester.]1 Ideally, disabled students shall contact the Student Counselling and Career Centre before their studies commence so that it is possible to take their needs into consideration when organising courses and lectures, e.g. with regard to location.
Generally, contracts regarding disability services shall apply for the duration of a student's studies unless otherwise specified. However, they shall never apply for a period longer than the maximum length of study in accordance with the regulation of the relevant faculty. A counsellor or student may always request that a contract be reviewed, should they consider there to be cause to do so.
1Amended by Article 1 of Regulation no. 248/2020.
Article 10. The role of faculties in the agreement.
Generally, there is no need to seek the approval of the relevant faculty, department or teaching staff concerning services provided in accordance with this Regulation. However, the faculty or department in question shall be consulted regarding services in competitive examinations, changes to examination format, the sound recording of lectures or other circumstances requiring that faculties, departments or teaching staff be directly involved with the implementation of services. Should there be call for other methods in examination or assessment than those normally used, an appropriate examination format shall be determined in consultation with, as applicable, the student, the teaching staff in question, the director of examinations and a career and guidance counsellor in order to enable the student to demonstrate that he or she has met the requirements for continued study.
At the same time, responsible parties within the University (e.g. faculty or school office personnel, teaching and other staff) shall ensure that the organisation of individual courses, including location and special solutions, certain arrangements regarding examinations, e.g. larger typeface, larger examination papers, coloured examination papers and so forth, give students with disabilities or specific learning difficulties the best possible opportunity to fully participate in studies.
The implementation of disability services in examinations which are not held under the auspices of the director of examinations shall be overseen by the relevant teaching staff. The Student Counselling and Career Centre shall advise teaching staff, faculties and schools on the implementation of disability services.
Article 11. Handling of information.
The Student Counselling and Career Centre shall store confidential data concerning students at the University with disabilities or specific learning difficulties. The handling of sensitive personal information must comply with privacy protection laws and with University regulation.
The Student Counselling and Career Centre shall oversee the dissemination of necessary information to those staff members involved in implementing services.
Confidential information shall only be provided in those cases in which the evaluation or implementation of services requires it, and then only with the written consent of the student in question.
CHAPTER IV. Council for the Affairs of Disabled People.
Article 12. Composition.
The rector shall appoint a [six-person]1 Council for the Affairs of Disabled People for a three-year term. The University of Iceland equal opportunities officer shall chair the Council and direct its work. The following shall also have a seat on the Council: one representative nominated by the Division of Operations and Resources, one representative nominated by the Student Counselling and Career Centre and one representative nominated jointly by the Union of University Teachers and the Union of University Professors from among permanent University teaching staff. This final representative must have specialist knowledge in the field of disability studies. [Furthermore, two representatives nominated by the University of Iceland Student Council shall have a seat on the Council; these shall not be of the same sex. At least one of these individuals should belong to that group of students described in paragraph 1, Article 1 of this Regulation.]1 Both women and men shall sit on the Council, and care shall be taken to ensure that representation of either sex is not lower than 40%, cf. Article 15 of the Act on Equal Status and Equal Rights of Women and Men no. 10/2008. To this end, nominating parties shall nominate two representatives, a man and a woman.
The Council shall seek the opinions of other individuals within the University as needed. The Council may also take advice from parties outside of the University.
Each school shall nominate one member of staff within the school to act as its contact with the Council. The Division of Human Resources shall also nominate one contact, and the organisations for student interests shall nominate one each.
1Amended by Article 1 of Regulation no. 55/2020.
Article 13. Role.
The role of the Council for the Affairs of Disabled People is:
- to oversee the affairs of students at the University of Iceland with disabilities or specific learning difficulties, under the authority of the rector and the University Council;
- to organise regular reviews of University policy concerning the affairs of disabled people;
- to prepare and supervise plans for implementing University policy concerning the affairs of disabled people;
- to promote collaboration between the various parties involved in these affairs within the University of Iceland, including the Student Counselling and Career Centre, the Equal Rights Committee, the Division of Operations and Resources, the Division of Academic Affairs, faculties and schools;
- to provide references, cf. Article 14, verdicts, cf. Article 15, and advice at the request of parties within the University;
- to advise concerning the design of new buildings under the auspices of the University of Iceland and propose improvements where necessary. Furthermore, to ensure that access on the University campus conforms with policy concerning the affairs of disabled people;
- to collect statistical information and publish a report on these matters every three years;
- to initiate education and discussion concerning the affairs of disabled people within the University community;
- to monitor innovation and the way in which the affairs of disabled people are managed within the University and within equivalent institutions in Iceland and abroad, and to promote the thinking that the affairs of disabled people are a natural part of the operations of the University.
CHAPTER V. Appeals and verdicts.
Article 14. Appeals.
Should a student be dissatisfied with the services offered by the Student Counselling and Career Centre in accordance with this Regulation, he or she may refer the matter to the head of the Division of Academic Affairs, who shall then seek a reference from the Council for the Affairs of Disabled People, cf. Chapter IV, before ruling on the matter.
Article 50 of the Regulation for the University of Iceland shall apply concerning the appeal of faculty decisions. Students believing their rights have been infringed in the implementation of services in accordance with this Regulation, or that school or faculty decisions have discriminated against them due to their disability, shall seek a reference from the Council for the Affairs of Disabled People before a ruling is issued on the matter. Students shall be instructed of the appeals process when they are informed of the ruling.
Article 15. Verdict of the Council for the Affairs of Disabled People.
The rector, University Council, students, and other parties within the faculty and central administration may request the verdict of the Council for the Affairs of Disabled People on individual issues.
This Regulation, established by the University Council on the basis of the authority of the Act on Public Higher Education Institutions no. 85/2008, shall enter into force immediately. At the same time, Regulation no. 497/2002 on disability services for study at the University of Iceland is repealed.
The provisions of this Regulation shall be reviewed when the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities has been fully legalised in Iceland.
University of Iceland, 18 May 2010