A person with special educational needs is a person with a disability who needs additional support to obtain higher education (Law of Ukraine ‘On Higher Education’, 2014)
National procedures and conditions to be recognised as a student with special educational needs in higher education and to apply for reasonable adjustments are set out in the Regulation of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine as of July 10, 2019 No. 635 ‘On approval of the Procedure for the organization of inclusive education in higher education institutions’.
The key documents to be recognised as a student with a disability include supporting documentation that confirms a person has special educational needs and an individual rehabilitation programme. Upon presenting these and following a written request of a student with special educational needs of her/his parent(s) (legal representative), the head of the higher education institution issues an order to form an inclusive group. For purposes of providing educational services to a student with a disability a special educational rehabilitation unit or group of psychological and pedagogical support may be established.
Specific support services for students with special educational needs:
- creation of inclusive educational environment;
application of principles of universal design in the educational process;
- bringing the territory of the higher education institution, buildings, structures and other premises in conformity with the requirements of state building codes, standards and rules. Where the existing buildings, structures and premises of higher education institutions cannot be completely adapted for the needs of persons with disabilities, their reasonable accommodation shall be made taking into account the universal design;
- provision of students with special educational needs who study at state and municipal higher education institutions with special means of correction of their psychophysical development (the list of such means is approved by the Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine);
- providing necessary teaching and methodological materials as well as information and communication technologies for the organization of the educational process;
- providing reasonable accommodation (if necessary);
- usage of the most appropriate methods and methods of communication, including Ukrainian sign language, Braille script and involvement of relevant specialists and pedagogical staff;
ensuring the availability of information in various formats (Braille script, enlarged font, electronic format and others);
special educational and rehabilitation unit or group of psychological and pedagogical support;
- individual co-developed with a student with special educational needs curriculum that considers her/his individual disability rehabilitation program (if any) and / or conclusions of a comprehensive psychological and pedagogical assessment of her/his development (if any);
- special training and rehabilitation support:
o educational and organizational support - assistance in the organization of the educational process, writing and monitoring of implementation of the individual curriculum, organization of individual consultations, etc .;
o psychological-pedagogical (psycho-andragogical) support - psychological and pedagogical assistance during the educational process;
o social support - providing information and assistance in hostel placement, obtaining technical means of rehabilitation, organizing volunteer assistance, etc.;
- equipping resource rooms to create the right conditions to provide educational and rehabilitation support; premises for consulting psychologists, recreation, personal hygiene, medical services; halls for training in medical physical education.
Data source: Regulation of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine as of July 10, 2019 No. 635 ‘On approval of the Procedure for the organization of inclusive education in higher education institutions’ (https://zakon.rada.gov.ua/laws/show/635-2019-%D0%BF).
In addition, students with special educational needs have special enrollment conditions:
Persons with disabilities who are unable to attend a higher education institution, yet are recommended to apply for obtaining a HE degree from public health and social security authorities take entrance exams instead of passing the External Independent Testing.
In case, persons with disabilities would like to pass the External Independent Testing, yet special conditions cannot be realized at testing centers, they have the right to submit scores of entrance exams and/or External Independent Testing from previous years. Special conditions to be realized at testing centers for persons with disabilities and diseases that may be an obstacle to passing the External Independent Testing are listed in the joint Decree of the Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine and the Ministry of Health of Ukraine as of 29 August, 2016 No. 1027/900 (https://zakon.rada.gov.ua/laws/main/z1707-16).
Persons with disabilities enjoy preferential treatment during enrollment to HEIs in that, they are admitted within the frame of a special quota, whose amount (number of study places allocated for persons with disabilities) is set by the Government each year.
An international student is entitled to receive all support services as a local student would. The support services are indicated in the Regulation of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine as of July 10, 2019 No. 635 ‘On approval of the Procedure for the organization of inclusive education in higher education institutions’ (https://zakon.rada.gov.ua/laws/show/635-2019-%D0%BF).