Levelling out disadvantages

Disabled persons who are enrolled in upper-secondary level vocational education and training (VET) or tertiary-level professional education should not be at a disadvantage in learning, in VET schools, in branch courses and in qualification procedures because of their disability. They must benefit from individual measures that are adapted to their situation throughout the training and qualification procedures. This levelling out of disadvantages affecting disabled persons is expressly laid down in VPETA.

“Levelling out disadvantages (or inequalities)” means specific arrangements that are intended to offset the disadvantages arising from the disability. These involve adapting the requisite training and qualification procedure to ensure that disabled persons have the same chances of success during VET or professional education. Levelling out disadvantages, which replaces the notion of easier examinations, ensures that people with disabilities enjoy the same legal rights as other people within the Swiss VPET system.

The adaptations are limited to the areas in which the candidate encounters difficulties or is partly disadvantaged due to his/her disability. Competence, i.e. the required or necessary knowledge and skills to perform the various tasks associated with a given occupation or profession, is not restricted as a result. The final examination is therefore not made easier, but rather disadvantages resulting from a given disability are compensated for without changing the content of the competence criteria.

If a person has a disability that limits his?/?her training for a given occupation or profession, the cantonal VET office may make specific arrangements on his?/?her behalf at the request of the host company or learner. Such arrangements may be made at the level of classroom instruction at the vocational school, branch courses or the qualification procedure. The said measure may be taken in the event of a physical disability or learning difficulties (e.?g. dyslexia or dyscalculia) or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). When the request is made, it is important to first make sure that all other support measures have already been taken. The request for specific arrangements for the final examination must be submitted no later than when the learner registers for the qualification procedure and must be accompanied by supporting documents or certificates that have been prepared by specialised teachers, doctors, etc..