Specification 3 - Literacy Units

In relation to the National Literacy Units at all levels:

(i) exemption from demonstrating any of the four assessed skills of reading, writing, listening or talking will not be a reasonable adjustment and (ii) using human readers and scribes will not be reasonable adjustments where reading and writing abilities are being explicitly assessed.

Literacy is defined as the ability to communicate by reading, writing, listening and talking. Learners are expected to be able to demonstrate these four skills for a range of contexts relevant for learning, life and work. It is explicit within the Unit Specifications that these four skills are of equal importance. To exempt a disabled learner from any of the assessed skills of reading, writing, listening or talking would undermine the fundamental assessment objectives and would not secure that the National Units in Literacy provided a reliable indication of the knowledge and skills of the candidate upon whom they were awarded.

(For listening and talking, it is accepted that candidates may use British Sign Language. The use of Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) may be considered.)

In relation to the assessment of reading and writing skills in the Literacy Units, candidates are explicitly required to demonstrate the ability to read, understand and respond to word-based texts and to demonstrate the ability to write technically accurate texts.

The provision of a human reader and/or a human scribe would undermine the fundamental assessment objectives for reading and writing and would not secure that the National Units in Literacy provided a reliable indication of the knowledge and skills of the candidate upon whom they are conferred. It would not be possible to maintain public confidence in the National Units in Literacy if learners are given  credit for ‘reading’ and ‘writing’ when that process has been carried out by someone else. 

In order to minimise the disadvantage faced by some disabled learners in attaining the National Units in Literacy, the use of word processors and other assistive technologies such as screen readers, spell checkers or speech-recognition software would be acceptable as reasonable adjustments.

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