Accessibility of studying
Accessibility of studying means implementation of a physical, mental and social learning environment which guarantees that every student has equal rights of action.
Satakunta University of Applied Sciences has committed itself to offering every student an equal and accessible university environment. Obstacles hindering studying are paid special attention to and students in need of special support are supported by special arrangements.
If you feel the need of special support for your studies, here you find information on the arrangements and services available at SAMK.
There are learning difficulties at all educational stages. University students can also have difficulties which obstruct learning and hinder making progress in studies. The difficulties may be various and of multi-level. Motivation, support by the environment and finding suitable study methods do have an effect on how well the student succeeds in his/her studies. We talk about special difficulties of learning when the problems are significant in relation to the student’s talents and educational level. Special learning difficulties are e.g. dyslexia, mathematical difficulties and perceptual problems.
The most common of learning difficulties is the special difficulty of reading. Reading and writing difficulty, dyslexia, has been defined in various ways. According to most recent studies, it is originally a neurobiological, developmental and hereditary disorder. The reading and writing difficulty can change over time. It is characterized by problems with accurate and fluent reading in addition to problems with comprehending the read text. (ICD-11; WHO, 2018.)
The appearance of dyslexia is individual. There can be problems with technical reading, percepting sound correlation, writing and understanding text. Youngsters’ and adults’ reading is often slow. Most difficulties arise especially with foreign languages. Dyslexia makes study performances needing reading difficult, as well as everyday life. It is not a consequence of a deficiency of sight or hearing nor of a neurological illness. (NMI, 2020.)
Special arrangements for studying and Learning support voucher at SAMK
SAMK supports students with special needs with a Learning support voucher. You have to submit an application and prove your need for support with an expert assessment (a doctor’s statement or dyslexia testimony). A copy of the expert testimony or certificate must be enclosed to the application, and the form with its enclosures is returned to the campus office.
The Learning support voucher entitles the student to special arrangements, which are meant to improve progress in studies. The special arrangements can include e.g. extra instructions, extra time in exams, use of assistive devices and individual performances. You can have a maximum of 20 hours of support per year. The student can decide him/herself what kind of support is needed, and which teacher is the best one for this assistance. When the Learning support voucher is granted, the student prints it and signs it, and delivers it to the teacher concerned.
Dyslexia testing and expert assessments
Dyslexia is a typical reason to grant the right for the Learning support voucher. For the voucher you need a valid dyslexia assessment from the time after comprehensive school.
Pia Lahdenmaa arranges dyslexia tests at SAMK. If you want to have a dyslexia test, please contact Pia Lahdenmaa by email and agree on the time of the test. The dyslexia test is standardized only to those having Finnish as their mother tongue.
With difficulties in learning languages you will get help from the language tutor teachers and your own language teachers. Before taking the dyslexia test, discuss with them and consider the need for supporting activities.
In addition to learning difficulties, also other reasons may affect the need for special arrangements. These are e.g. neurological disorders, such as ADD/ADHD, Asperger’s disorder or Tourette’s disorder, mental problems or various sensory disabilities. A doctor, neurologist or other expert assesses the need for special support. If you need the statement, please contact the nurse, who will direct you to the appropriate expert.
Application and forms for Learning support voucher
The procedural instructions for ensuring accessibility to studying are in the Quality manual, in ARC. The instructions include besides the procedural instructions also the application and forms for the Learning support voucher. If you need advice on the accessibility process, please contact the student counsellor or tutor teacher.
ME1211 Accessibility of studies
ME1211_OP16 Form OP16 Application for the right to learning support voucher
ME1211_OP17 Form OP17 Learning support voucher