Critical review of academic assessment of students with special needs in inclusive settings: The case of reasonable accommodations and adaptations


  • Patrick Sibanda Zimbabwe Open University, Senior Lecturer; Faculty of Applied Social Sciences, Zimbabwe


Academic assessment, Students with special needs, Inclusive settings, Reasonable accommodations, Adaptations


The purpose of this review was to interrogate critical issues that relate to the academic assessment of students with special needs in inclusive settings. It was noted from literature that fair assessment procedures for students with special needs are those that are premised on the principles of inclusion. Since students with special needs are exposed to the same curriculum, accommodations, adaptation and modifications are necessary if the assessment procedures, including grading systems are to be sensitive of the unique and varied needs of students with special needs without compromising quality and standards. From this review, I concluded that assessment of students with special needs at whatever level is complex and varied since it depends on a multiplicity of factors. This review argues that, if reasonable accommodations and adaptations are to be achieved and the needs of the students with special needs are to be met, then governments should be committed to policies that harmonise the instructional and assessment processes to avoid content and culturally invalid assessments. These policies should also come up with alternative pathways to the livelihoods of the students. Ultimately, such change processes would call for governments, particularly in developing countries, to be prepared to increase their funding of inclusion and related expectations.


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How to Cite

Sibanda, P. . (2016). Critical review of academic assessment of students with special needs in inclusive settings: The case of reasonable accommodations and adaptations. Scientific Journal of Pure and Applied Sciences, 5(6), 460-467. Retrieved from



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