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Disability Policy
Student Handbook > Student-Non-Academic Policies & Procedures
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Purpose

To underpin the institution’s commitment to its obligations outlined in the Commonwealth Disability Discrimination Act 1992 (DDA) and the Disability Standards for Education 2005.

Scope

This policy applies to all students.

Defintions 

Disability: In accordance with the DDA, a disability can be defined as:

a) total or partial loss of the person’s bodily or mental functions; or

b) total or partial loss of a part of the body; or

c) the presence in the body of organisms causing disease or illness; or

d) the presence in the body or organisms capable of causing disease or illness; or

e) the malfunction, malformation or disfigurement of a part of the person’s body; or

f) a disorder or malfunction that results in the person learning differently from a person without the disorder or malfunction; or

g) a disorder, illness or disease that affects a person’s thought processes, perception of reality, emotions or judgment or that results in disturbed behaviour;

and includes a disability that:

h) presently exists; or

i) previously existed but no longer exists; or

j) may exist in the future (including because of a genetic predisposition to that disability); or

k) is imputed to a person

To avoid doubt, a disability that is otherwise covered by this definition includes behaviour that is a symptom or manifestation of the disability.

Inherent requirements: are the skills and knowledge in a course which must be successfully completed by all students regardless of their level of disability because they are essential to the relevant course and its outcomes.

Reasonable adjustments:  are adjustments that allow a student with a disability to participate in education on the same basis as other students in the same course. Adjustments are reasonable if they balance the interests of all parties and do not adversely affect the academic standards or inherent requirements of a subject or course.

 Policy principles

The institution supports the inclusion of people with disabilities in all aspects of the College community and the right to study on an equitable basis in an environment that is free of harassment and discrimination. The institution commits to:

  1. comply with the Disability Standards for Education 2005;
  2. provide an environment in which students with a disability will not be disadvantaged in their participation of College life as a result of a disability, including full participation in both vocational and higher education and be free from discrimination and harassment;
  3. facilitate flexible procedures for reasonable adjustments required by students with a disability, with a particular focus on their access to the teaching and learning environment;
  4. ensure that all information disclosed by the student or outlined on medical or professional documentation will be treated as strictly confidential and only disclosed with the student’s permission;
  5. engage students who have a disability with reasonable and appropriate teaching strategies and methods without compromising the essential content of a course or the requirement to demonstrate essential skills or knowledge;
  6. ensure the physical environment of buildings, facilities and grounds are accessible where reasonably possible;
  7. meet the requirements and spirit of the legislation in the delivery of accessible education to students with a disability.

Disclosure

Disclosure of a disability is voluntary. However, should reasonable adjustments and/or support be required then students are obliged to disclose that they have a disability and its impact on their participation as a student.

Prospective students are invited to identify such requirements upon application, enrolment or via the first trimester learning program questionnaire. Students will be invited to attend an interview with the Student Disability Support Officer to disclose the nature and extent of the disability in order to ascertain if any adjustments or support are required. Providing this information will assist the institution in the consideration of, timely planning and implementation of appropriate support and adjustments. While disclosure is voluntary, failure to disclose a disability may impact on a student’s capacity to complete course requirements.

Reasonable adjustments

Any reasonable adjustments will be designed to reduce or remove disability related barriers and support independent learning as long as implementation does not diminish the academic standards and integrity of any subject or course, or impose unjustifiable hardship on the institution. Disclosure of a disability at admission does not imply automatic provision of disability services.

Requests for reasonable adjustments must be submitted with appropriate medical certificates and/or supporting documentation. Documents must be current (normally dated within the last 12 months), written in English, adequately detailed and validly authorised.

Final approval for any reasonable adjustment will be made by the DVC (Learning and Teaching). Where it is possible to make reasonable adjustments, students will be invited to complete an Individual Academic Access Plan with the Student Disability Support Officer. These modifications may be subject to review every two years.

Management of privacy

The institution may need to collect personal information in order to assist students with a disability. Any information provided will be handled in accordance with the Privacy Policy. However, information may be disclosed if there is a legal requirement to do so or if the College has reasonable grounds for concern about the health or safety of the student or other persons.

Discrimination and harassment

It is unlawful to discriminate against, harass or bully a person because of their disability. Students who consider that they are experiencing discrimination or harassment on the grounds of their disability are encouraged to pursue a resolution in accordance with the Student Grievance Handling Policy and Procedures. Students may also make formal complaints to the Australian Human Rights Commission or the Anti-Discrimination Board of NSW.

Appeals 

A prospective or current student with a disability who is dissatisfied with a reasonable adjustment decision may appeal the decision in accordance with the Student Grievance Handling Policy and Procedures.

Roles and responsibilities 

  • Policy owner: Registrar
  • Executive Management Group (EMG): the EMG has overall responsibility for implementation of the policy in liaison with the policy owner.
  • Other key personnel: Student Disability Support Officer., Campus and Operations Director, academic staff.

 

Approved by Academic Board on 22 September 2017