Preparing candidates with sensory impairment for National Qualification examinations.
Adapting Course Materials for Deaf and Visually Impaired pupils

Presented in February 2003

Adapting assessment for visually impaired pupils

The following types of question papers are available from SQA.

The adaptations required for each of these are as follows.

Braille question papers

Diagrammatic material has to be assessed for suitability for production in braille.
Diagrams are then simplified or replaced with text descriptions or omitted.
Text has to be edited to take account of any changes to diagrammatic material.
Where the printed paper is in a Question/Answer book format, text has to be edited to take account of this, eg; where a question says “tick the correct box”, the text must be edited to replace the boxes with labels to say, “choose the correct letter” or where questions ask for a table to be completed, or a diagram to be labelled, text must be amended to allow candidates to provide the same information in another way.
Page and line references in the printed paper need to be amended to the braille references and added in by the braille printer.

Large print

The is simply a photo enlargement from the original A4 size to A3 size – 140% enlargement. These papers are produced by SQA’s security printers.
Pages are photocopied on one side only and the pages stapled or tagged at the top left hand corner.

Adapted large print (This is requested where candidates have severe visual disability but are not braille users.)
This paper is assessed in the same way as the braille paper for the suitability of diagrammatic material.
Diagrams are simplifies/replaced with text/omitted in the same way as for braille.
The Question/Answer format of a paper can be retained.
These papers are provided in specified font sizes; in some cases this is the only adaptation required; that is, the actual content of the paper may remain the same.

Coloured copies

A variety of colours of papers are requested each year.
The table and pie chart below show the numbers of different types of question papers provided by SQA for the 2003 examination.

Numbers of SEN Question papers produced for the 2003 examinations

Type of QP Numbers of QPs

Number of subjects

Braille 72 29
Large print 170 77
Adapted large print 440 55
Colour copies 469 67


Number of SEN QPs 2003

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Adapted large print

The greatest change in requests over the past four years has been in the category of Adapted large print. The graph below illustrates the increase in numbers of adapted question papers requested over the period 2000 to 2003.

Number of SEN QPs 2000 – 2003
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Within the 440 papers, 114 papers were not in fact adapted but produced in specific font sizes, eg: N18 size on A4 pages or N24 size on A3 or A4. There follows a list of the individual papers produced for English Standard Grade Writing and for Biology Standard Grade General for 2003. These will give an idea of the numbers of individual requests received by SQA.

English Standard Grade Writing paper – Number of individual QPs provided for 2003

  Type of QP Adaptation required
1 Braille All pictures replaced with description
2 Print copy of braille for Reader or Invigilator A4 size This is simply a print version of the braille paper. If there were page references in the original paper, the braille references would require to be added to this version.
3 Large print A3 size A photo enlargement of the original paper onto A3 size pages. Pages are single sided and stapled at top left hand corner.
4 Adapted large print N18 size on A3 Adapted in the same way as the braille paper and in the case of this paper, the content is exactly as the print copy of braille for Reader.
5 Adapted large print N20 size Courier font on A3 As 2 but different font, font size and page size.
6
Adapted large print N24 size on A3 As 2 but with different font size and page size
7 Large print with specified font sizes N14 This paper required no adaptations to the content of the paper but is reproduced with a specified font size. This requires reformatting with attention to any page references, etc.
8 Large print with specified font sizes N18 on A4 As 6
9 Large print with specified font sizes N24 on A3 As 6
10 Large print with specified font sizes N24 Arial font on A4 As 6
11 Large print with specified font sizes N24 on A4 As 6

Biology Standard Grade General – Number of individual QPs provided for 2003

  Type of QP Adaptation required
1 Braille + separate raised diagrams Diagrams assessed for suitability for production in braille.
Diagrams adapted or replaced with description or omitted.
Text edited to take account of adaptation to diagrams.
Text edited to take account of non-Question/Answer book format.
All page/line references given in braille.
2 Print copy of braille for Reader or Invigilator A4 size This is a print version of the braille paper. All braille page references, etc, require to e given on this paper.
3 Large print A3 size Photo enlargement from original A4 size to A3 size (140%). Pages are single sided and stapled at top left hand corner.
4 Adapted large print N18 size on A4 + shaded diagrams Adaptations are the same as for the braille paper. However it is likely the candidate will use Question/Answer format and therefore less text editing is required.
5 Adapted large print N18 size on A3 with all manuscript and italics replaced with bold type Adaptations as for 4 with all handwriting or italic font replaced with bold type.
6 Adapted large print N24 size on A3 Adaptations as for 4 with N24 font size.
7 Adapted large print N24 size Arial font on A4 Adaptations as for 4 with N24 size Arial font.
8 Large print with specified font sizes N14 size on A4 No adaptation to diagrammatic content of QP. Large font size requiring reformatting of pages and attention to any changes to page references, etc.


Is this number of individual types of question paper reasonable?

Suggested rationalisation by SQA for 2004

Adapted National Assessment Bank (NAB) items for visually impaired candidates

A catalogue of braille version NABs is held at SQA and was first issued in September 2001. This is available on the SQA website. The catalogue covers the higher uptake subjects at all levels and these NABs are available from SQA on request. If a centre requires a braille version of a NAB which is not on the catalogue, SQA can arrange for this to be prepared and issued to the centre. Sufficient time should be allowed for such a request to be processed in advance of a planned assessment date. Any additional assessments produced in this way will be added to the catalogue.

Some centres may be prepared braille version NABs for their own braille assessment with candidates. SQA would be interested to receive details of such materials, with a view to compiling a supplement to the catalogue.

Developments in provision of assessment material in electronic format

Work has been undertaken to investigate the provision of assessment materials in electronic format to allow candidates to undertake examinations using Pcs. Such provision is intended to allow the use of text enlargement and speech technology tools as well as allowing the original Question/Answer format of the examination paper to be retained.

The investigation so far has shown that it is not a straightforward exercise. For example question papers designed for production in print require to have considerable reformatting for use on a screen. Investigations into running such examinations on a larger scale need to be addressed.

The next stage of this work is to trial the use of some past papers with selected schools, establish the advantages and disadvantages in providing assessments in this way, and produce the necessary training and support materials.

SQA Liaison with Teacher Groups

SQA maintains contact with teacher groups in the following ways