A UNIVERSITY lecturer is under fire after posting a “jokey” comment on Twitter.

Some students with disabilities or mental health issues are given “reasonable adjustments” to help them cope with university life.

These include being exempt from having to speak in front of people.

Dr Kathleen Stock, a philosopher at University of Sussex, prompted anger online after tweeting that she “ignores” requests from students who ask not be asked questions.

The Argus:

Furious students branded the remark “awful”, “ableist” and against the university’s “reasonable adjustments” policy.

Dr Stock tweeted: “I was shocked when I first read in a student’s notes that they should not be asked questions in seminars by me. Now I’m used to it.”

She added: “I ignore it”.

The Argus:

Responding online, one Twitter user commented: “As a disabled undergrad who has adjustments and support, this behaviour disgusts me.”

Another said: “As someone who has this adjustment in place it just confirms what I fear some of my lecturers are thinking.”

When contacted by The Argus, Dr Stock said: “I’m very happy to confirm I always observe agreed reasonable adjustments for students.

“On Twitter I made a foolish jokey comment about one specific request (that students not be asked

questions in seminars at all) which was not intended as serious.

“I deleted it as soon as I realised it had been misunderstood.”

The University of Sussex said: “We have confirmed with students that it is a priority for us to support students based on their individual needs – and we have shared our policy on reasonable adjustments.

“Our member of staff has said that their comment yesterday was not intended to be serious.

“If any students have concerns they should contact their School directly. “

Students can get reasonable adjustments for teaching and assessments if their disability meets the definition in the Equality Act 2010 and is likely to have an impact on their studies.

Reasonable adjustments include, but are not limited to, getting extra time in exams, help with deadlines, lecture notes in advance of a session and an exemption from having to speak in front of people.

Disability Rights UK states that education and training providers have a duty under the Equality Act 2010 to anticipate the adjustments that disabled students may need.

Under the act, universities have a duty to make reasonable adjustments for disabled people so they are not placed at a substantial disadvantage compared with non-disabled students.

The organisation states that anyone who has problems receiving the

appropriate adjustments or access arrangements should contact their disability adviser.

If this is unsuccessful, students should follow the internal complaints procedure before contacting Disability Rights UK’s Student Information helpline.

In 2018, The Argus reported on Dr Stock calling for transgender women to be excluded from women’s changing rooms and any other places where they undress.