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Students with Disability Procedure

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Section 1 - Governing Policy

(1) This Procedure is governed by the Students with Disability Policy.

(2) The Disability Discrimination Act 1992 (Cth) and the Disability Standards for Education 2005 (Cth) require education providers to implement timely and reasonable adjustments for students with disability to minimise barriers and facilitate their access and participation in education and training on the same basis as those without disability.

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Section 2 - Scope/Application

(3) This Procedure applies to all staff and students of the University.

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Section 3 - Disclosure of a Disability by a Student

(4) Students who have a medical / mental health condition, are neurodivergent or have carer responsibilities, may request that the University provide reasonable adjustments via an Education Inclusion Plan (EIP). To do so, students must register with the Access and Disability Service and provide satisfactory documentation to establish the nature and extent of the medical / mental health condition, disability or carer status.

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Section 4 - Documentation

(5) Students can provide documentation to the Access and Disability Service using the Supporting Documentation Form Template which is available on the University website, or other medical documentation and letters may be sufficient if they meet the criteria below.

(6) Documentation provided by students must identify the nature and impact of their condition(s) or carer responsibilities in reasonable detail, be dated and signed by an appropriate health professional, and be assessed as current, which means:

  1. No more than two weeks old for temporary conditions.
  2. No more than six months old for fluctuating conditions, if appropriate.
  3. Not earlier than the age of 16 years old for a learning disability.
  4. No more than three years old for chronic/permanent conditions unless the condition is self-evident.

(7) The documentation provided should be specific and:

  1. State the mental health or medical condition.
  2. Indicate whether the disabilities are permanent, temporary, or fluctuating.
  3. Outline the impact on the student.
  4. Recommend reasonable accommodations.
  5. Clearly identify the health professional and their credentials.
  6. Be legible, on a letterhead, dated and signed.
  7. In addition, for learning disorders, a complete assessment report is required.

(8) Full guidance on the requirements for medical and professional documentation is available in the Access and Disability Service Supporting Documentation Guidelines.

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Section 5 - Education Inclusion Plans

(9) Following receipt of satisfactory documentation from a student, Access and Disability Service staff will invite the student to meet with them to develop an EIP. EIPs are developed by Access and Disability Service staff in consultation with a student, taking into account the student’s individual situation, their supporting documentation, information and recommendations provided by the treating practitioner, and the inherent requirements of their course. If a student transfers, or otherwise enrols in a different course, they must have their EIP reviewed. The purpose of an EIP is to recommend reasonable adjustments for a student.

(10) An EIP is finalised once it has been signed by the student and the Access and Disability Advisor.

(11) All EIPs are subject to time limits depending on a student’s condition(s):

  1. For students with fluctuating or permanent conditions the EIP will be valid for up to 2 years. This enables the student’s EIP to be periodically reviewed and updated so that reasonable adjustments align with the student’s current condition(s).
  2. For students with carer responsibilities, the EIP will remain valid for up to 2 years. The duration depends on the condition(s) of the person requiring care and the impact of these responsibilities on the student's participation in the educational environment.
  3. For students with temporary conditions the EIP will be valid for up to 1 year depending on their condition(s).

(12) Responsibility for sharing a student’s EIP:

  1. The Access and Disability Service will share the student’s EIP with Student Systems, so that students with EIPs can be identified by academic staff on class lists.
  2. The Access and Disability Service will give Examinations and Results a list of students requiring examination adjustments, so that Examinations and Results can prepare for students’ exams.
  3. The student is responsible for sharing their EIP with any other staff, including academic staff. A student should share their EIP with academic staff within 10 working days of their EIP being finalised, and thereafter at the start of each semester of study that is covered by their EIP. A student is also responsible for discussing their reasonable adjustments with the academic staff. Access and Disability Service staff can assist in these discussions where appropriate.
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Section 6 - Confidentiality

(13) Apart from information included in a student’s EIP, information provided by a student for the purpose of seeking an EIP shall remain confidential and be held securely by the Access and Disability Service in accordance with the Privacy Policy. The University will disclose personal information to a third party only with the consent of the student unless it reasonably believes that such disclosure is necessary to lessen or prevent a serious and imminent threat to the life or health of the individual or any other person or where it is permitted by law.

(14) For the purpose of providing reasonable adjustments to students, Access and Disability Service staff will not disclose a student’s information without signed consent from the student. A student may give full consent, part consent or no consent for disclosure of information to academic staff, other than the information included in their EIP. However, where full disclosure is not provided, this may limit the ability of Access and Disability Service staff to assist in implementing any adjustments required.

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Section 7 - Reasonable Adjustment

(15) An adjustment is reasonable if it successfully balances the interests of all parties affected. The University is not obliged to implement adjustments that are not considered reasonable by Access and Disability Service staff.

(16) As a guide, reasonable adjustments for students are measures taken by the University to enable students with disabilities to have equitable and inclusive access to all educational services on the same basis as students without a disability such as:

  1. Admission and enrolment
  2. Participation in a course or program
  3. Use of facilities and services
  4. Events

(17) Reasonable adjustments:

  1. may take the form of an aid, a facility, or a service that a student requires because of their disability.
  2. will be implemented within a reasonable period after a student communicates their EIP to relevant staff.
  3. must not detract from the integrity of the course or program and its assessment requirements or processes so the graduates of the course or program can present themselves as having the appropriate knowledge, experience or expertise.
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Section 8 - Reasonable Adjustment Implementation and Expenditure

(18) The Access and Disability Service is responsible for recruiting, supervising and funding note takers, interpreters and participation assistants as required.

(19) Libraries are responsible for funding and providing alternative format text requirements as coordinated by the Access and Disability Service.

(20) Where a Faculty develops programs for profit, adjustments are to be provided and funded by the program.

(21) Faculty is responsible for implementing and funding adjustments relating to creating accessible curriculum, teaching, assessment and school-based examinations. This includes captioning, alternative format teaching materials and exam papers, readers, and scribes etc.

(22) All expenditure on reasonable adjustments for students with disabilities will be recorded and reported.

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Section 9 - Examination Adjustments for Students with Disability

(23) The University will make reasonable adjustments to examinations for students with disability or carer responsibilities to provide them with the opportunity to demonstrate their knowledge and competency for assessment purposes, provided that:

  1. Students must first comply with the requirements stated in the Students with Disability Policy and this Procedure, including the requirement to obtain an EIP.
  2. For Semester 1 and Semester 2 study periods, a student seeking examination adjustments via an EIP, must finalise this with the Access and Disability Service before the start of Week 12. If a student is late in seeking examination adjustments, it may not be possible for the University to implement the adjustments for the relevant examination period.

(24) In deciding whether to recommend reasonable adjustments for a student’s examinations Access and Disability Service staff will consider standard practices that redress the impact of the student's disability or carer responsibilities on their performance in examinations. Common adjustments include:

  1. Extensions of time
  2. Use of assistive technology
  3. A smaller capacity venue
  4. Use of reader, scribe or computer where necessary
  5. Use of ergonomic chair
  6. Alternative formatting of exam papers

(25) Examinations and Results will provide reasonable adjustments for central examinations. Schools are responsible for the creation and provision of alternate format exam papers and provision to Examinations and Results within allocated timeframes.

(26) Academic staff are responsible for implementing any reasonable adjustments for school-based assessment.

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Section 10 - Exceptions under the Legislation

(27) The University may not implement a reasonable adjustment where a Faculty or School is satisfied that exceptions under the Disability Discrimination Act 1992 (Cth) and Disability Standards for Education 2005 (Cth) apply.

(28) Staff are required to seek advice from the Access and Disability Service, in conjunction with Associate Deans, Learning and Teaching prior to making a final decision as to whether exceptions apply.

(29) The following are identified under the Disability Discrimination Act 1992 (Cth) as exceptions to the requirement for provision of all necessary measures and reasonable adjustments for students with disability:

  1. Where provision of adjustments or measures would impose unjustifiable hardship on the University;
  2. Where, even with the provision of all appropriate adjustments, the student remains unable to fulfil the inherent requirements of a course of study;
  3. Where the provision of adjustments or measures would undermine the academic integrity of the course of study, assessment or accreditation process; and
  4. Where a student with disabilities has an infectious disease or other condition that requires isolation in order to protect their health and welfare or the health and welfare of others, and where the University is unable to provide reasonable adjustments that will enable the student to receive relevant services and facilities so that they may continue with their studies;
  5. Where, even with the provision of all appropriate adjustments, it is not possible to meet occupational health and safety requirements.

(30) In determining what constitutes unjustifiable hardship, all relevant circumstances of a particular case should be taken into account. As noted in section 11(1) of the Disability Discrimination Act 1992 (Cth), this includes:

  1. the nature of the benefit or detriment likely to accrue or be suffered by persons concerned; and
  2. the effect of the disability of a person concerned; and
  3. the financial circumstances and the estimated amount of expenditure required to be made by the person claiming unjustifiable hardship; and
  4. the availability of financial and other assistance to the person.
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Section 11 - Managing Complaints

(31) A student who is dissatisfied with a decision should discuss their concerns with the Access and Disability Advisor in the first instance. If the student is dissatisfied with the outcome of this discussion and believes a decision is discriminatory in accordance with the Disability Discrimination Act 1992 (Cth), the Student Complaints Policy and Student Complaints Procedure should be followed.

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Section 12 - Where to Resolve Issues of Alleged Disability Discrimination

(32) Students seeking to resolve issues of alleged disability discrimination can seek support and information from an Access and Disability Advisor, the Student Advocacy Service, or they can seek external support.

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Section 13 - Revisions made to this Procedure

Major, Minor or Editorial Revision
Description of Revision(s)
1 October 2020
Amended references to ‘Disability Services’ to ‘Disability Support-, amended provision relating to carer responsibilities, consistent with legislative definition, minor formatting amendments.
16 January 2024
Re-named Procedure, amended references from ‘Disability Support’ and ‘Counselling and Disability Service’ to reflect new unit name ‘Access and Disability Service’ and directorate name ‘Student Experience Directorate’ as well as position name ‘Disability Advisor’ changed to ‘Access and Disability Advisor’. References to related policies and legislation added. Removed elements simply re-stating related policies and references added. More detail added regarding EIP validity and review timelines. Other minor terminological and formatting amendments
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Section 14 - Further Assistance

(33) Students who have a question or concern about a decision, act or omission that affects their access to any activity of the University, events and learning can contact the Access and Disability Service and / or the relevant representative from the School responsible for the decision, act or omission. Refer to the Student Complaints Policy and Student Complaints Procedure.

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Section 15 - Associated Information

(34) For related legislation, policies, procedures and guidelines and any supporting resources, please refer to the Associated Information tab.