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(Canada) More college students need special accommodations for tests

Feb 2, 2018, Yahoo News Canada: Disabled by anxiety: Accommodations on the rise for students at Manitoba post-secondary schools https://ca.news.yahoo.com/disabled-anxiety-accommodations-rise-students-100000128.html A growing number of students are receiving accommodations for mental health disabilities and learning disabilities during tests and exams, data from the three largest post-secondary institutions in Winnipeg say. Between 2012 and 2017, the University of Winnipeg had a 70 per cent increase in the number of accommodated exams or tests, while Red River College had a 28 per cent increase, says data provided to Radio-Canada. The most recent data available for the University of Manitoba says between 2011 and 2016, 24 per cent more tests and exams required adjustments for a student's disability. More time, a quiet space to work and extra time between exams or tests are some of the common accommodations. Patrick Noël, an assistant professor of history at Université de Saint-Boniface, said since he started teaching in 2012 he's seen a jump every year in the number of students who need special arrangements to write exams. Data from Université de Saint-Boniface say the number of students with disabilities at the school doubled between 2012 and 2017. The most common disability among Noël's students is anxiety, he said. Typically those students need more time to finish exams and tests or private spaces to write, he said. "I was quite astonished by the number of students who got special accommodation or requirements for their exams," said Noël. "In my student days, we'd seldom see a case." … "If I give more time for a student for an exam, what will happen to that student once he's in the job market?" he asked. "Aren't we kind of betraying what we're supposed to do?" … Mental illnesses most common disability At the University of Manitoba, University of Winnipeg and Red River College, the most common disabilities among students are mental health disorders. Data from Red River and the University of Manitoba say learning disabilities are the second most common. … When it comes to the growing number of accommodations for students with mental disorders, Bridgeman chalks it up to greater awareness and less stigma. He questions why so many standardized tests are needed to begin with. He is also part of a growing movement calling for universal design in the classroom that aspires to make all aspects of learning inclusive for everyone, regardless of ability. "Standardized tests with one-size-fits-all models are not going to give you the best result from every student because every student thinks differently and every student does things differently," he said. … … However, when student enrolment was down slightly, such as in 2013 at the University of Manitoba and in 2016 at the University of Winnipeg, the number of accommodated exams still rose. …