Updaed 8th July 2020

FAQs for Staff June 2020

How can I find out which students on my module need exam supports?

Upon registering with the DLSS, students consent to their information being made available to the relevant academics on their programme. 

This information can be accessed by Module coordinators through IRIS under your Dashboard and your linked classlists (e.g. Module classlist). You will only be able to see information relating to students who are taking modules which you are linked to on CourseBuilder.

Detailed instructions on how to access this information can be found on this ISS information page here. You will need to be connected to Pulse/VPN to access IRIS off-site

If you are having difficulties connecting to IRIS please log a ticket with ISS and they will be able to help.

The information provided:

  • Student Name
  • Student ID 
  • Programme of Study/Year
  • Nature of the Student’s disability/Specific Learning Difficulty
  • Exam Accommodations

The DLSS has provided a list of DLSS Students to Programme Chairs for reference only - please be advised that the most up to date information is available through IRIS for Module Coordinators.

What exam supports will be available to students for the alternative assessments?

When setting an alternative/online exam please consider the following:

  • Open Books/Take-home exam - if students are provided with this option, a student registered with the DLSS may require an extension to the time. See table below.
  • MCQs - These can cause challenges for some students with dyslexia - they require greater concentration; too many options are a challenge for a student with working memory difficulties; answers which are too similar are hard to identify. Any negative marking we would ask is fair & reasonable. A number of students will be using ClaroRead software to read the questions.
  • Synchronised timed exams on loop - some DLSS students will require extra time. See below.
  • Dyslexia Guidelines - while previously only available to students sitting exams, we will be advising that this should now also be available for all alternative/online assessments ( e.g.Take-home Exams). 

Specific Supports which may be required by students:

Exam Support Alternative Online Support          
Extra time 10 mins per hour 

For online timed exams please add the Extra Time stated on the student’s record. DLSS Students who normally receive Extra Time for their exams will receive this plus the Additional time given to all students.

Not all DLSS students are entitled to Extra Time so please check your Classlists on IRIS. In these cases such students will only get the Additional Time, not Extra time. 

The table below provided by the TEU/ISS gives a breakdown of how much time will be added:

Exam DurationAdditional Time for all StudentsAdditional Time for Students with Exam AccommodationsTotal addition of Time for Students with Exam Accommodations
1 Hr 20 mins14 mins34 mins
2 Hr30 mins25 mins55 mins
3 Hr40 mins37 mins77 mins
5 (extended)N/A50 mins50 mins
8 (take away)N/A80 mins80 mins

Lecturers will be able to identify those students requiring extra time as they will appear under CAT10 or CAT20 categories on Loop.

Adding Extra time on
Loop - ISS have created a process where DLSS students requiring Extra time have been pulled into Loop and their Extra time is added automatically.

Rest Breaks 10 mins per hour  Treat the same as Extra Time - see above. A very small number of DLSS Students recieve Extra Time and Rest Breaks these have also been automated on Loop.
Dyslexia Guidelines for Lecturers   

These are normally included in the transcript by the invigilator but are available HERE to download.

ScribeThe DLSS will organise this with the student through Zoom.
ReaderThe DLSS will be recommending that the student uses ClaroRead Software, but if not suitable the DLSS will organise a reader through Zoom.
Exam on USBNo action required - exam online
Scanning Pen / C' Pen No action required - C pens only work on paper students will be advised to use ClaroRead Software
Smaller Hall/Totally Separate Room No action required - exam online
Use of Laptop/PCNo action required - exam online
Text to speech- exam on USBNo action required - exam online and student has access to ClaroRead software 

Has the deadline passed for student wishing to request Exam Supports for August resit exams?

Yes, but please ask the student to email disability.service@dcu.ie so we can discuss it further with them and explore options.

I have been contacted by a student who has developed a temporary disability (broken arm, slipped disc etc.) can you organise the Extra time for this student?

The Disability & Learning Support Service manage supports for students with long-term disabilities/difficulties not temporary disabilities.  Registry manage the supports for students with temporary disabilities, please contact them for further assistance.

Is it possible to speak to staff at the DLSS?

If you require further clarificaiton or have any questions please contact us at disability.service@dcu.ie or directly at :

Useful Links:

Ten Ways to Ensure Online Assessments are Accessible & Inlcusive 

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