Always a solution

June 7, 2018

It makes sense to provide a “reasonable accommodation” for any student who cannot participate in an activity because of a temporary or permanent condition, such as the chemistry student who chose not to complete her chromatography course because of the risks to her unborn child (“A woman’s place is in the lab – even if she is pregnant”, Opinion, 31 May).

In my time, I have served as an amanuensis for someone who injured their writing hand just before an exam (poor examiners; my handwriting is dire), taken exam papers to students’ homes when broken legs or, indeed, advanced pregnancy made it difficult to get in to sit them, and had students direct someone else (or me) in doing physical work in a computing laboratory when teaching networking – the class had to demonstrate that they could hook up a network physically, and that can be difficult to do if you have limited mobility, for whatever reason.

But that was me, as the relevant tutor. I would always make suitable arrangements and tell the institution how I was handling it. Surely whoever was running the chromatography class in question could have provided a solution – perhaps draft in a graduate student to help, or pair the pregnant woman with another student who could handle chemicals safely.


Send to

Letters should be sent to:
Letters for publication in Times Higher Education should arrive by 9am Monday.
View terms and conditions.

Please login or register to read this article

Register to continue

Get a month's unlimited access to THE content online. Just register and complete your career summary.

Registration is free and only takes a moment. Once registered you can read a total of 3 articles each month, plus:

  • Sign up for the editor's highlights
  • Receive World University Rankings news first
  • Get job alerts, shortlist jobs and save job searches
  • Participate in reader discussions and post comments

Have your say

Log in or register to post comments