Arranging reasonable accommodations

Reasonable accommodations enable you to participate in the academic assessment process on a fair basis, and according to your preferences. Find out how to arrange reasonable accommodations that work for you.


Reasonable accommodations allow you to fully participate in learning, assessment, university facilities and services. When it comes to assessments, for example, a reasonable adjustment could be making a video presentation instead of presenting in person, or having extra time in an exam, or presenting your work to the lecturer in private, rather than in front of a group.

A “reasonable accommodation” (as it is referred to in the Equal Status Act) is an amendment to the student’s course of study which enables her/him to participate fully in their education.  An adjustment is

  • intended to help ensure disabled students are not disadvantaged
  • available to students with specific learning difficulties and other disabilities
  • intended to address a disability related issue not an ability “gap”.

Trinity has introduced a Reasonable Accommodation Policy and the associated Code of Practice (Appendix 1) for the provision of reasonable accommodations for students with disabilities studying in Trinity.  The policy defines standard and non-standard reasonable accommodations available to students with disabilities. The policy explains how reasonable accommodations are decided and how these are communicated to staff in college.

More information on this Reasonable Accommodation policy can be found at the following  web link

More information on how Standard and Non-standard RA are decided can be found at the following link

How does it work?

To be eligible for individual reasonable accommodations you need to have an autism diagnosis and have told your university about your autism. The Disability Service team then meets with you and discusses your needs.  It is important that you are actively involved in this process, and also in making decisions regarding reasonable adjustments that work for you.

How could this affect me?

Disclosure means informing someone or making the information known, in this case to the college, about your autism diagnosis or any additional difficulty. But disclosing can just as easily apply to your friends and classmates.

If you do not know if disclosing your disability is something you want to do, try asking yourself a few questions to find out.

  1.  Why do you want to disclose your disability?
  2.  What are you disclosing and why is it important to do so?
  3.  Who will you be disclosing to?
  4.  When will you disclose?
  5.  How are you going to disclose to them?

After answering these questions you may feel more ready to make a choice. The reasoning behind disclosure varies from person to person. Asking for supports or reasonable accommodations in college are only some possible reasons for disclosing.

Trinity College Dublin recommends disclosing at any level and any stage of your academic journey.

What to do next?

Arrange a meeting with the Disability Service

Practical tips

The Needs Assessment Meeting with your Disability Officer will explore any concerns you may have, and you will have the opportunity to identify reasonable accommodations that you may need here in Trinity. You can discuss confidentiality, disclosure, and the kind of support that will make your college career a positive and enjoyable experience.

Questions to think about

Moving from secondary school to third level education involves many changes, and these changes are even more challenging for a student with Autism. You are moving from the smaller and more familiar  environment of school, to a very large and unfamiliar campus right in the middle of the city, and this can be very daunting. Your transition into university will almost certainly involve adventures and challenges that you have not faced before, and you have to adjust to new activities such as taking the bus on your own, moving away from home, managing your university timetable, making dinner, etc. This is a whole new experience, and thus it can be really useful to start thinking about it while you are still in school so that you can prepare yourself early for this change.

Additional information and links

The Association for Higher Education Access and Disability (AHEAD) has published guidance on reasonable accommodations to assist colleges and universities in Ireland with planning and implementing them.