Scottish autistic student wins right to listen to iPod while taking exams|
EDINBURGH, Scotland A young autistic student in Scotland has won the right to listen to her iPod while taking exams after threatening legal action against her school.The girl who attends the Mary Erskeine School for girls – a private boarding school in Edinburgh - said that listening to music aided in her concentration during exams.
The school at first refused her request and her parents took their daughter's case to the Scottish Qualifications Authority. The SQA supported the school's decision but later they and the $27,000-a-year school reversed their decision after being threatened with a lawsuit backed by the Equalities Act.
Officials decided that the girl, who has both autism and attention-deficit disorder, could take her exams separately because the music coming from the earphones could disturb other students. Teachers will load the girl's favourite tracks on to a new iPod to ensure that it does not contain study notes.
Nick Seaton, of the Campaign for Real Education, said: "This is ridiculous. Exams lose their integrity if some children are treated differently from the others."
An SQA spokesman said this latest decision did not set precedents but rather that all requests for special arrangements were decided upon their individual merits.
(Source: AHN, May 25, 2011)