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About Us

The Office of Learning Support at Ashoka University was set up in 2016 to support students with  Learning Disabilities. Over the last few years, the Office has supported students with visual impairment, hearing impairment, ASD, ADD/ADHD, Cerebral Palsy along with various specific learning disabilities.

 

We act as a central resource center on specific-needs-related information and services for the University and also promote a collaborative approach to implement inclusion policies.

 

The vision of the Office of Learning Support is to be an enabler of inclusion in the higher education system. We strive to design a sustainable culture amongst faculty, staff and the student body to accept learning differences as a matter of routine.

 

 

Disability Related Considerations

Disclosure/Diagnosis of a disability does not automatically entitle the student to receive disability-related accommodations. Each student needs to request learning support for their specific condition and the office will make its best efforts to extend as much support as possible for each course. There is no financial impact on students for receiving the required learning support. We encourage students to understand factors that can help in managing learning outcomes despite their difficulties and gain self-advocacy skills to support their needs.

 

The office is geared to support learning difficulties due to dyslexia, dyscalculia, dysgraphia, and ADD/ADHD, high functioning autism as well as difficulties related to blindness, deafness, and mobility. The office strives to integrate students with disabilities as holistically as possible into the University experience. Through an interactive process, the office works individually with each student to provide access to University classes, programs, and activities.

Academic Accommodations

The OLS provides a structured framework for students who seek Accommodations (academic adjustments) and Remedial Support for specific learning challenges.

Accommodations are set on a case-by-case basis, individualized to each student and their current needs.

·      Accommodations (academic adjustments) are adaptations to teaching and learning processes that allow a student to manage the learning difficulties faced by him/her due to a specific learning disability or a sensory impairment.

·      Accommodations may include auxiliary aids and services, as well as modifications to academic requirements as necessary to minimize the impact of the disability.

·      Remedial Support is an instructional program to help students achieve expected competencies in core academic skills such as literacy and numeracy. 

Following are some examples of accommodations and modifications:

  1. Curriculum modifications
  2. Attendance Modifications
  3. Extension in Assignment Submission
  4. Priority Registration
  5. Examination-related support
  6. Note-takers and Scribes
  7. Lecture Recording
  8. Preferential Seating
General Academic Services

Besides working with students with disabilities, the OLS offers all Ashoka students a variety of academic support services that are designed to help them maximize their academic success. These support services include:

 

  1. Time Management Skills & Planning

  2. Effective Academic Learning Strategies

  3. General Academic Concerns

  4. Overall Executive Functioning Skills, including self-management and metacognition

 

Other Support Services
  1. Volunteer-based Peer Learning support program
  2. Access to state-of-the-art assistive technology
  3. Social & Emotional guidance
  4. English language help and guidance
  5. Mentoring and Self-Advocacy Skills
  6. Residence Life Support Program
  7. Career Guidance
  8. Assessment services including curriculum needs-based assessment and Screening for any disability

 

NOTE: Students to check with the office for policies related to the above-mentioned accommodations.

General Guidelines Around Accommodations
  • Students need to fill out the Academic Accommodations Request Form (AARF) at the beginning of each semester. This is a mandatory step even if the student does not anticipate any support for that semester.  The AARF will be shared with the student well within time. Students need to email back the filled up form within a week of receiving it.

  • OLS will make every effort to arrange for reasonable accommodations based on a student’s documented disability. 

  • OLS accepts documentation that meets the following criteria:

    • The assessment report is not more than 3 years old.

    • The report should include a summary of diagnostic tests, criteria used to make the diagnosis, evaluation results and standardized test scores (wherever applicable), and recommended accommodations supported by the diagnosis.  In the case of physical disabilities, a disability certificate is required.

    • The report should clearly indicate the credentials of the diagnosing professional, if not clear from the letterhead or other forms. 

  • There is no stipulation as to when a student must identify himself/herself as having a disability; however, adequate notice for the provision of accommodations is necessary. For the accommodations to come into effect, the respective faculty members should receive the information at least two weeks in advance. Thus, students need to plan ahead accordingly.

  • Accommodations will not be granted in retrospect.

  • OLS will convey the accommodations to the respective faculty members, keeping the student informed throughout the process.

  • The student is responsible for contacting the OLS if the accommodations accorded are not implemented in an effective or timely manner.

  • Accommodations accorded do not form part of the student’s academic record. The transcripts do not reflect any support from OLS. 

Accessible Content Request

Students may request their course-related instructional material in an accessible format. Some examples include:

  • Computer files or electronic versions of printed instructional materials
  • Captioned video material
  • Transcriptions of spoken text
  • Audio material along with transcriptions, etc.

Students, after consulting with their professors, will need to fill in the Accessible Content Request Form to put in a request for the same. The office will do its best to process the request within three weeks of receiving the form.

Confidentiality Note

The OLS ensures that all information regarding a student is kept confidential. Any information regarding a disability shall be considered confidential and shall be shared with others within the institution on a need-to-know basis only. No one has immediate access to student files except the OLS team.

How to Avail Services

Students can seek reasonable academic accommodations and remedial support based on the assessment and verification of the necessary reports related to their disability.

Students with Diagnosed Physical/Learning Disability
  1. Write to the office requesting for accommodations with the documents attached
  2. Fill in the Student Support Request Form (SSRF) on LMS
  3.  Fix an appointment with the office to discuss the accommodations and support.
  4. The office reserves all rights to grant and terminate accommodations based on the need and feasibility of the courses.
  5. Besides providing academic accommodations, the OLS members work with the students at an individual level to help them with the required academic skills.
  6. All information shared by the students is treated in confidence, shared with faculty and staff only on an academic need-to-know basis and does not form a part of the student’s academic record at the university.
Students Without any Diagnosed Disability
  1. Write to the office requesting a meeting.
  2. Fill in the Student Support Request Form (SSRF) on LMS
  3. Fix an appointment with the office to discuss the difficulties experienced.
  4. The office makes recommendations based on the discussion and information shared.
  5.  The OLS members work with the students at an individual level to help them with the required academic skills.
Information for Prospective Students

The university ensures that the entire admissions process is accessible and all the students get an opportunity to present their best self despite any learning challenges.

 

  1. The university ensures that the entire admissions process is accessible and all the students get an opportunity to present their best self despite any learning challenges.

  2. The Office provides reasonable accommodations during various stages of the admission process to the candidates with specific learning challenges.

  3. Provide relevant information about the learning needs as well as accommodations expected in the Application Form. There’s a separate section in the form seeking specific information. 

  4. The admission team provides approved accommodations at the time of the test and interview.

  5. Students can discuss their options with the Office of Admissions at any stage of the admissions process. They may also write to the Office of Learning Support for any specific query.

  6. Once the student confirms their admission to the university, they will have to register themselves with OLS to seek support during their study time at Ashoka.

Office of Learning Support (OLS)

Location: 107, 1st Floor, Administration Block, Ashoka University

 

Email - ols@ashoka.edu.in

 

Office Hours: Monday to Friday (9 am - 5 pm)  

Appointments with the Office
  1. Students already registered with the office can choose any of the following options:

    • Book an appointment on the LMS

    • Write to the Office for an appointment

    • Walk-in to the Office on working days

  2. Students not registered or new to the office can choose one of the following options: 

    • Fill the SSRF form on the LMS & then book an appointment slot

    • Write to the office for an appointment

    • Walk-in to the Office on working days

Agreement of Confidentiality

Click Here to download. 

Events

In the interest of awareness and empowerment, the Office of Learning Support invites eminent speakers for guest sessions at Ashoka University. These sessions are aimed at inspiring audiences with their life journeys despite their struggles, instilling hope and convincing them to face challenges with confidence.

Listed below are some of the events hosted by the Office of Learning Support:

 

List of Events

Year

Events

2016

The first guest session with Saptarshi Mandal, Assistant Professor at O.P. Jindal Global University and a researcher in Disability and Mental Health Law on 22nd November 2016. The talk discussed various cases, from the last two decades, of disabled students taking the state and educational institutions to court to assert their right to difference and establish accountability of various stakeholders.

2018

Dr. Samuel N. Mathew visited the campus and spoke to our students and faculty on “Education & Empowerment of the Student with Disability: An Overview of Possibilities”. He serves on other Boards and Committees related to Disabilities and Rehabilitation. He also serves on the Governing Council of Indian Sign Language Research Training Center, New Delhi. Dr. Samuel N. Mathew,  Executive Director of National Institute of Speech & Hearing (NISH), Trivandrum and Executive Director of National Institute of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (NIPMR)

 

Guest talk by Mr. George Abraham, the Founding Chairman of the World Blind Cricket Council (WBCC) and Founder/CEO of Project Eyeway, a single stop knowledge resource on “Life with Blindness.” He spoke about his loss of eyesight at the age of 10 and how it gave him a new vision of life.

 

Reena Gupta, Director of the Office of Learning Support presented a paper on “Creating an Inclusive Environment in Higher Education” at an International Conference on Inclusive Education at Tata Institute of Social Sciences in Mumbai

 

 

The first session on Time Management was conducted on 13th and 17th September 2018. The office invited moderators from the student community across diverse batches. Reena Gupta and Aditya Sen from the Office of Learning Support prepared handouts discussing various strategies and self-evaluation tools that were helpful for the students present during the session.

 

 

Office of Learning Support celebrated the International Day for Persons with Disabilities (IDPD) 2018 at Ashoka University on 03rd December 2018. Organizations like Saksham, Action for Autism and Raised Line foundation were present for the event and set up kiosks to spread awareness amongst the students on disability on assistive technology and autism. 

2019

OLS in collaboration with the Ministry of Community Well- Being at Ashoka University celebrated the Autism Awareness Week. On 8th April 2019, Ms. Merry Barua, Director – Action for Autism delivered a talk for the students at Ashoka University discussing various facets of life an autistic person goes through. 

 

October is Dyslexia Awareness Month and the Office of Learning Support at Ashoka leveraged this opportunity to open a discussion about the learning condition. The team has brought the latest intervention techniques and technological resources to these students while providing a safe environment for discussion and advocacy.

 

On 3 December 2019, the OLS observed the International Day of Persons with Disabilities (IDPD), by organizing a talk by Dr. Alim Chandani, founder of Accio Mango Pvt. Ltd.: Access Mantra, an accessible Resource and Innovation Centre for the Deaf in India. This was followed by an improv comedy session and a movie screening addressing the subject.

 

Message from Reena Gupta, Director

“Studying in a university should be an exciting time for any student, yet for those who face learning challenges it can be an anxious time. The thought of keeping up with the expectations at this level can be very overwhelming for some students, especially if they know that they do need some assistance to be able to work at their potential. We at Office of Learning support understand that and try to provide state-of-the-art support system to ensure that every student with specific needs is able to get full access to and can participate fully in the academic and social aspect of his/her university life. With the right usage of technological advancements, OLS is committed to understand, procure and apply the best practices in its services.”

Student Testimonials

I'm grateful for the support I've received from the OLS. I do not think most institutions have a system that compares to this. Studying at Ashoka is very empowering and with support from the OLS, I hope to make the most of the opportunities available.

                                                                                                                                                 -UG, Class of 2020

 

 

Initially when I joined Ashoka, I was afraid about how I would cope with Ashoka’s academic curriculum and culture, especially because I was required to use English frequently. Although I knew English was an easy language, I feared that I may not be as good as the experienced English speakers. I tried not to lose hope, and made use of every available opportunity to get better at the language. The OLS has continuously encouraged me and helped me in many ways to defeat the fear of language. Many many thanks to the OLS :)

                                                                                                                                                  -UG, Class of 2020

 

 

The Office of Learning Support was instrumental in my daily functioning at Ashoka University, especially in my first semester. Although I did not require explicit help in the class room, due to a learning disability or handicap of some sort, I used to be easily bogged down by the workload. The Office helped me in organizing my workload, by myself, and taught me to balance various responsibilities with academics. Their help made me more confident, both in the quality of work produced, and the relative ease with which I am able to approach professors and communicate with them directly about any problems I might have had. Besides this, the OLS is also a good listener. From time to time, when I just needed to vent, they welcomed me. The best part is the no appointment system, which ensures complete approachability and freedom to speak about anything whenever a student feels the need. I am truly grateful to the OLS for giving me the support during my difficult times here, and I recommend it to those who need support of any kind, not just related to learning disabilities but, even organization, understanding and improving the quality of work.

                                                                                                                                                    -UG, Class of 2020

 

 

I came to the OLS for support in the final months of the YIF program. My longstanding difficulty with keeping my attention focussed on anything (possible manifestation of my OCD) had become too overwhelming and I failed some of my courses as a consequence. 

My engagement with the office, although short, has been a good experience. Ms. Reena always listened to me with empathy and respected my desire to steer clear of medicinal intervention. She carefully evaluated my condition to rule out any kind of reading/writing disability, arranged for me to speak to someone who had had similar experiences, and got me started on managing my life better with a simple planner. Of great help was her speaking to my professors and other teaching staff and helping them understand my situation better- this even got me a second shot at clearing one of my subjects and salvage my grade. 

Perhaps the greatest support came from having someone to talk to and knowing that I was being understood. Beyond concerns about my academic performance, I felt free to discuss my emotional/behavioral problems with Ms.Reena. She was very encouraging of the idea of consulting Dr.Arvinder (from ACWB), going as far as personally getting me an appointment with her when the need arose.  

In the couple of interactions I had with Aditya, he struck me as earnest in offering his support and dedication to making sure my environment was conducive to having a good study session.  

Had there been more time, perhaps the office would’ve helped me successfully devise a better coping strategy for my situation. I wish I had learnt about the OLS sooner. Would definitely recommend them to anyone who’s experiencing bumps in their academic journey, regardless of ability.

I wish Ms. Reena and Aditya luck in their endeavor to make OLS a more visible part of the academic life at the university.

 

                                                                                                                                                    -YIF, Class of 2018

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