Arranging your supports

You may like or need to get some support when you start college.

You are also entitled to ‘reasonable accommodations’ – these are adjustments that enable you to participate in the academic assessment process on a fair basis.


Reasonable accommodations allow you to fully participate in learning, assessment, college facilities and services.

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”.

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.

To be eligible for reasonable accommodations you need to have had an official autism diagnosis and have told your college about your autism. A member of Disability Support Team then meets with you and discusses your needs in a Needs Assessment. It is important that you are actively involved in this process, and also in making decisions regarding reasonable accommodations that work for you.

TUS has introduced a Student Reasonable Accommodation Policy for the provision of reasonable accommodations for students with disabilities.  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.

How could this affect me?

You may have received support in school and found it helpful – or perhaps you feel you no longer need support. Either way, we recommend that you register with the Disability Support Service . You may not need to use the support offered, but sometimes students realise they need support during stressful times such as exams- and it is far easier and quicker to get support if you are already registered with the service.

Listen to TUS Athlone 360 Podcast on registering with Disability Support Service and accessing support

What to do next?

We strongly advise you register with the Disability and Learning Support Service (even if you don't think you need to) as then support can be put in place quickly if needed.

Practical tips

  • Make sure to really think about what reasonable accommodations would suit you, rather than taking them as they come – what works for you individually?
  • Reply promptly to all communications regarding your support and reasonable accommodations, to ensure support is put in place when it’s needed.
  • Ask questions if you don’t understand something – a member of the team will be happy to explain anything you are unsure of.
  •  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

  1. What kind of supports did I receive in school?
  2. Will these be relevant in the college nvironment, or to my course?
  3. What tools do I need to support me to access my course content, navigate the physical and online environment, and to study?

Additional information and links