Public Defender’s Appeal relating to Obligation of Reasonable Accommodation towards Persons with Disabilities during Unified National Examinations

On December 7, 2020, the Public Defender of Georgia addressed the Ministry of Education, Science, Culture and Sports of Georgia, as well as the National Assessment and Examinations Center relating to proper fulfillment of the obligation of reasonable accommodation in relation to persons with disabilities during the Unified National Examinations. The Public Defender started to study the issue on the basis of G.G.’s application of July 24, 2020. G.G. is a person with disabilities, namely a hearing impaired person. G.G. indicated that he was discriminated against on the grounds of disability during the 2020 Unified National Examinations because conditions were not tailored to him during the English language exam.

The examination of the case revealed that despite the efforts made by the State, the obligation of reasonable accommodation is not properly fulfilled in relation to persons with disabilities during the Unified National Examinations. The appeal states that when determining a reasonable accommodation measure, it is necessary to prescribe a procedure for individual communication with a person with disabilities.

The document focuses on the practices relating to the reasonable accommodation measure. In particular, reasonable accommodation in relation to a hearing impaired person may involve a combination of several components (such as the implementation of activities directly related to the hearing, as well as mobilization of other additional resources). In this regard, it is essential to eliminate normative barriers that unjustifiably limit the forms of reasonable accommodation.

The appeal clarifies that the State should use all the resources at its disposal to ensure reasonable accommodation, as the above may solve significant challenges facing the person concerned. The refusal of reasonable accommodation must in all cases be substantiated and convincing to the party.

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