Status of a student with special needs
Conditions for obtaining special needs status
Students with special needs are students who, because of long-term impairments, disorders, deficits, or illness/difficulties, require assistance and individual adjustments to enable them to integrate effectively during their studies, and to fulfil their study obligations.
- blind and partially sighted students;
- deaf and hard-of-hearing students;
- students with speech and language impairments;
- students with physical disabilities;
- students with long-term illnesses;
- students with deficits in specific areas of learning (difficulties in reading and writing, e.g. dyslexia, dyscalculia, etc.);
- students with autism spectrum disorders;
- students with psychosocial problems.
During their studies, FSS students are able to obtain and exercise the rights conferred by their status as a student with special needs.
Students can apply for special needs status at first, second, or third level. As a general rule, the student submits an application at the time of enrolment in the first or upper year of the study programme (or later, when grounds for obtaining special needs status arise), for the entire duration of studies at the faculty, or at the individual level of study via the online system, in accordance with the FSS Rules on study in first and second cycle programs and Rules on the organisation and implementation of the interdisciplinary doctoral study programme in Humanities and Social Sciences. In the application, the student clearly states what they are claiming and what difficulties they have, and attaches appropriate supporting documents to substantiate their claims, or to demonstrate the particular deficit/obstacle/disorder.
Supporting evidence includes:
- an expert opinion from the Commission for Guidance of Children with Special Needs, or a decision from the National Education Institute of the Republic of Slovenia;
- a decision on the student’s disability status, or an opinion from the Invalidity Committee;
- medical records or other evidence (from hospitals, rehabilitation and counselling centres) of a chronic or long-standing illness, disorder, or deficit.
As a general rule, students submit supporting documents in the Slovenian language. Exceptionally, they may also be submitted in a foreign language, in which case the student will be asked to provide a translation.
In addition to the relevant supporting documents mentioned above, the student must also attach to the application an adjustments form for students with special needs, to be completed by the student’s specialist doctor.
Before submitting an online request for the status of a student with special needs, it is advisable for the student to have a discussion with the person in charge of students with special needs at the FSS, in order to clarify any problems/obstacles encountered during the course of their studies at the Faculty.
The commission for student affairs decides on the granting of special needs status under the authority of the FSS Senate. The student is informed of the decision of the competent authority by means of a decision via the online system in accordance with the FSS Rules on study in first and second cycle programs (1st and 2nd cycle students), and the Rules on the organisation and implementation of the interdisciplinary doctoral study programme in Humanities and Social Sciences (3rd cycle students). Students with special needs may exercise adjustments to lectures, practical classes, seminars, and exams in accordance with the decision issued and with prior individual agreement with the individual lecturer of the study unit.
Obtaining course-specific competences for students with special needs
Depending on the adjustment required, the student shall be allowed to follow all forms of work and to perform the obligations of the course in a way that is acceptable to them. The obtaining of competences in each study unit is exactly the same for students with special needs as for all other students, the only difference being that students with special needs acquire competences through an adapted pathway.
Frequently asked questions regarding special needs status
Can a student with a recognised special needs status apply for exceptional enrolment to a higher year and for an extension of student status for justified reasons?
Even if the student already has a recognised special needs status, they must apply for exceptional enrolment to a higher year or an extension of their student status by submitting a separate application, and must also demonstrate the difficulties and reasons for which they are exercising this right. The competent authority of the faculty shall decide on the granting of the right. The student is informed of the decision by means of a decision on the online system.
When does a student’s status as a student with special needs end?
The status of a student with special needs granted to a student for the entire period of study due to a long-term impairment/disorder/deficit ends two years after the loss of student status. If the student continues their studies after this period (two-year pause) by enrolling in a year of study, they must reapply for the status of a student with special needs, with the appropriate supporting documents and a new request for adjustment by a specialist doctor.
What are the responsibilities of a student with special needs status?
In addition to the rights conferred by the status of student with special needs, students with special needs status also have a responsibility towards the status they have acquired and the rights that flow from it. Students who have the status of a student with special needs during their studies at the Faculty must agree individually with the lecturers of the individual study units on any exemptions from attending lectures, seminars, and practical classes, as well as on the fulfilment of study obligations.
If the student’s problems or impediments change during their period of study at the Faculty, the student is obliged to submit notification of these changes in good time via a new request for adjustments approved by a specialist doctor.
What is the difference between being a candidate with special needs status and being a student with special needs status?
If a student has acquired the status of a candidate with special needs during the application and admission procedure for enrolment, this does not automatically guarantee them the status of a student with special needs at the Faculty. This status must be regained after enrolment in the Faculty by submitting an application via the online system, and providing the relevant supporting documents.
Students with special needs can obtain more detailed information on the status of a student with special needs from the authorised person for students with special needs at the FSS, Mateja Zorko Stopar, DS 32, 01/ 5805 – 129, email@example.com.
Useful information and links for students with special needs: