FAQ – Arrangements for courses and/or exams for students with disabilities

Procedure for requesting accommodations

What’s the procedure for applying for accommodation?

The procedure is explained on our dedicated website.

Does my specialist need to provide a report in addition to completing the student form?

If your specialist has correctly completed all sections of the student form, there is no need to provide an additional report. However, all documents (tests, assessments, etc.) that will enable the Examination Committee to reach a decision are useful.

What documents do I need to complete my accommodation request?

As a minimum, you need to complete the form on our website. This form consists of 2 parts, one to be completed by you and the other by your specialist. If you have benefited from accommodation in the past, you must also send us these attestations.

I have a report from my specialist, but it’s more than two years old. What should I do?

Although some illnesses or disabilities change little or not at all over time, students are asked to provide us with a report that is less than 2 years old. As your specialist is aware of your situation, he or she will be able to judge whether or not you need to undergo further tests before writing the report.

Validity period of accommodation

How long is my accommodation valid for?

Your accommodation is valid for the entire duration of your studies at EPFL (Bachelor’s and Master’s) unless an expiry date is mentioned on your accommodation decision. In some cases, accommodations are only valid for 6 months or one year (or even shorter periods for emergency accommodations following a hand fracture, for example).

If, on the other hand, you are starting a doctorate, you need to renew your accommodation.

I know another student who has the same diagnosis as me, yet he’s not being asked to renew his accommodations, is that normal?

Even if you have the same diagnosis, each situation is different. The commission bases its decisions on the specialist’s report as to how long an accommodation is valid.

I’ve received a message asking me to renew my accommodations. What should I do?

You need to send us an updated report on your situation as soon as possible, or let us know if you no longer need your accommodation.

Accommodation communication

Who will the data about my disability be forwarded to?

By signing the application form, you agree that your documents for the application for special arrangements may be disclosed to the relevant internal departments insofar as this is necessary for decision-​making and the implementation of possible measures.

Are my teachers informed of my accommodations?

Your teachers are informed at the beginning of each semester that you have accommodations. They are then responsible for implementing them for all your exams during the semester. They are then informed for each of your semester exams.

We advise you, however, to keep a copy of the confirmation of your accommodations that you received from the academic service when you attend exams.

Who makes decisions regarding accommodations?

An ad hoc committee made up of several EPFL employees and lecturers decides on the various applications. The contact address is always [email protected].

The Accommodation Commission may also ask you to provide additional information if it deems that the various documents in the file are not sufficient to reach a decision.

In case of refusal, there are avenues of appeal which are mentioned in the letter that will be sent to you by the registrar’s office through the student portal.

I’ve got a mid-term coming up and I haven’t received any notification that I’m entitled to my accommodations?

For exams taking place during the January and June sessions, you will receive confirmation of your accommodations for each test.

However, for mid-terms, you will not receive confirmation of your accommodations. The academic service informs the teachers who are responsible for organizing accommodations during the semester.

Accident or sudden illness

I’ve just broken my right hand and I’m right-handed. I’m about to take some tests, what should I do?

You need to quickly fill in the form on our accommodations web page and have your specialist fill in the dedicated section. The commission will make a decision based on these elements.

I broke my left hand and I’m right-handed. Can I claim accommodation?

As far as accidents are concerned, it all depends on the injury and the treatment given. However, as a general rule, if you’re right-handed and you’ve broken your left hand, you can’t claim accommodation.

I can’t write, can I have a tablet?

It is possible to obtain a tablet for exams. However, the procedure for obtaining a tablet for an exam takes a minimum of 7 working days.

First of all, the Accomodation Commission must accept the emergency arrangement. Once accepted, the student must go to the Poséidon IT department to get to grips with the tablet and inform them of the necessary configuration (e.g. QWERTZ or AZERTY keyboard). The teacher must then go to the IT department and load the test in digital format onto the tablet. For this reason, it is not possible to set up such an arrangement within a few days.

What are the lead times for emergency accommodations ?

  • 7 working days minimum if you need a tablet (this measure must be requested by your specialist on the form for it to be accepted).
  • 3 working days minimum if you don’t need a tablet, but only extra time.

For organizational reasons, EPFL cannot guarantee the implementation of these emergency arrangements, even if the above deadlines are met.

I’ve just had an accident/health problem and need an accommodation?

to have the exam cancelled. If you are unfit to take an exam, it is best not to go to the exam and bring a medical certificate to the student desk. This will give you an “M” instead of an “n/a”.

I’ve broken my leg and I can’t move around the campus to attend classes. Is it possible to attend the courses online?

You should contact the relevant teachers directly to discuss the possibilities if you’re having difficulty accessing course materials. Additionally, consider reaching out to your classmates to see if they can share information with you.