UK Disability History Month 16 November – 16 December

This Autumn 2023 UKDHM focuses on the Experience of Disablement amongst children and young people in the past, now and what is needed for the future.

A filmed talk and Powerpoint by Richard Reiser, learning disability advocate, developed for a Hackney special school staff.

Please click this link for school resources: Schools and Colleges – UK Disability History Month (

Oral Language Modifier – JCQ Exam Access Arrangements

The Oral Language Modifier (OLM) is a role created to provide a reasonable adjustment in examinations for candidates who require a level of language support beyond that provided by a reader. This role was originally provided for deaf candidates whose preferred language was English. It has now been extended to provide for other candidates who have a specific reading comprehension or language difficulty.

A Language Modifier is a responsible adult who may clarify the carrier language used in the examination paper when requested to do so by a candidate.

For more information please see page 60 in the JCQ Access Arrangement guidance.

The Joint Council for Qualifications states that:

‘A Language Modifier should be a rare and exceptional arrangement. It must only be considered for those candidates whose disability has a very substantial and long term adverse effect resulting in very persistent and significant difficulties in accessing and processing information.‘A Language Modifier is an adjustment of the last resort. An application should only be made once all other relevant adjustments have been considered and found to be unsuitable or unworkable. There must be a very strong justification as to why a Language Modifier is required.’ The JCQ state that this means that a candidate must have a standardised score of 69 or less (a very substantially below average standardised score) in relation to reading comprehension and/or vocabulary.

Access Arrangements and Reasonable Adjustments, Joint Council for Qualifications, 2022-3

While there may not be many students for whom this will be appropriate, it may be something that schools might wish to investigate. A Language Modifier must have successfully completed accredited training. A JCQ Centre Inspector will ask to see evidence of successfully completed accredited training. There are centres that offer this training online.  For example:

5min PPT: #Signalong (5)

As part of our “5 Minutes for Inclusion” series, here is a short PowerPoint talking about Signalong . You can learn some Christmas signs to use with your students. Signalong is designed to help hearing people with learning or communication difficulties by:

  • using key word signing system based on BSL
  • having one sign for one concept
  • following a clear methodology for forming signs

For more information visit or contact

Click below:

SIgnalong for Christmas