- Supervisors & managers
- Premia - making research education accessible
- Supervising disabled researchers - Premia
- Making the viva accessible
- Making adjustments - case studies
- Case study 2: Parmit
Case study 2: Parmit
Parmit is blind. She uses a text enlarger to read materials
Parmit may need some adjustments to the viva. She could be disadvantaged if none are made because the usual back-up material available to researchers - the thesis - may not be accessible to her.
Parmit should be consulted on what she might find challenging in the viva. It may be that Parmit is used to memorising material, but may find it difficult to manage the viva without having access to her thesis. If at least one practice viva is organised for her by staff, it will be a chance for Parmit to assess whether and what adjustments would help. If an examiner asks her about a particular argument or concept on a specific page, she will need assistive technology to refer to her thesis. Another potential difficulty is that Parmit cannot see the visual clues that say the answer given is sufficient and it is time to move on to the next topic.
Possible adjustments on the day would include:
- preparing the examiners so that they give agreed verbal signals that the answer is complete and that they wish to start the next question;
- Parmit has her assistive technology in the room and is able to refer to her thesis;
- examiners are given some advice by a disability adviser or an external organisation like the RNIB on how to manage the viva with a blind candidate. All - examiners, chair and candidate - will need to feel confident if the viva is to be an opportunity for Parmit to effectively defend her thesis.