Ask Abe: Adjustments for Disabilites

Dear Abe,

My friend suggested I ask you about how to get adjustments for my disabilities. I am already registered with the Uni, but have had some difficulties in one class where the lecturer doesn’t like wearing the microphone. I’m too embarrassed to say anything, but I’m scared I’m going to miss out on lots of information.

Thanks for your help,
Hearing help needed.

Dear Hearing help needed,

One of the benefits of being registered with Disability Services, is not having to do individual negotiations in situations like what you described. All lecturers are meant to wear their microphone, and use it properly, so that everyone can hear. However as you have found, this is not always the case. If you feel able, talk to your lecturer and explain why it would be beneficial for you if they wore their microphone. Alternatively, explain the situation to Disability Services, or the Associate Dean Student Life, so that they can advocate for you.

The same applies for any disability, not just physical ones. If there is a disability adjustment that you need, but have not yet registered with Disability Services, ask your teachers for a temporary, informal adjustment. They are under no obligation to grant you any adjustments without registering, but it might be worth asking.

Good luck with your studies,
Abe

Ask Abe: Fake Medical Certificates

Dear Abe,

I’m really sick but unable to get to the doctor. I need to apply for special consideration and am thinking of just changing an old medical certificate and using that with the new dates. It’s my real doctor and I’m sure he would vouch for me. Is this okay?

Sincerely,
Stuck in bed

Dear Stuck in Bed,

I strongly advise against using false or altered medical certificates ever. This is considered fraud, and this isn’t just against University rules – it’s also against the law, federal law, and potentially carries the risk of a prison sentence of twelve months, if prosecuted by the police.

The University treats this as Academic Misconduct and conducts an investigation. Faculties routinely check the authenticity of medical documents with medical practices, so what may seem like a harmless way to gain special consideration may find you suspended for a semester or two, or even at risk of being kicked out of Uni.

If you are stressed or struggling to the point you consider obtaining or creating a false medical certificate, your best option is to talk to someone about what’s going on. You could speak to an adviser in your Faculty, a Counsellor at the University’s Counselling and Psychological Services, or an SRC Caseworker. You can help explore other ways you may be able to manage your study load without risking far more serious consequences in the long term.

If you are too sick to move you can get an after hours doctor to visit your home. Check for details on the Internet. Another option if your regular doctor is not available is to look for a medical centre nearby or attend the casualty unit at your local hospital.

Abe