Disability Policy
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1. Purpose

The Disability Policy (“policy”) confirms the Institution’s approach and commitment to inclusion and equity for students and staff with disabilities in order to create equivalent opportunities for academic and professional success. This policy should be read in conjunction with the Student Disability Procedures, Diversity and Equity Policy and the Wellness Policy.

2. Scope

This policy applied to all prospective and current students, and staff members.

3. Definitions

Disability * means:

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.

*Definition from the Disability Discrimination Act 1992 (Cth).

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 allow a student with a disability to participate in education on the equal basis as other students in the same course, or staff members to participate in employment on the same basis as other employees in the same role. Adjustments are reasonable if they balance the interests of all parties, do not impose unjustifiable hardship, they do not adversely affect the academic standards or inherent requirements of a subject or course.

Unjustifiable hardship means an adjustment is not required if making of the adjustment would impose 'unjustifiable hardship' on another person. However, the burden of proof falls on the person claiming unjustifiable hardship.

4. Policy statements

4.1 The Institution supports the inclusion of people with disabilities in all aspects of its community and affords individuals the right to study or work on an equitable basis in an environment that is free of harassment and discrimination.

4.2 Students or staff members will not be disadvantaged as result of a disability and reasonable adjustments to allow access to courses, services and facilities on the same basis as others will be made where possible.

4.3 While individuals may disclose a disability and discuss support needs with the Institution at any time, they are encouraged to do so during the admissions, enrolment or recruitment processes to ensure that support and allocation of resources can be made in a timely manner. Disclosure of a disability is entirely voluntary.

4.4 For students, reasonable and appropriate teaching strategies and methods will be implemented without compromising the essential content of a course or the requirement to demonstrate essential skills or knowledge.

4.5 The Institution is not obliged to provide an adjustment that would impose unjustifiable hardship, compromise the inherent requirements or academic standards of a course, or compromise the welfare of the individual or others.

4.6 The physical environment of buildings, facilities and grounds will be accessible where reasonably possible (subject to financial implications).

4.7 Individuals with a disability will have access to support services and resources throughout the duration of their course or employment.

4.8 The Institution will support individuals with a disability to exercise their rights and responsibilities in relation to inclusion and equity. Students who experience discrimination or harassment, or are dissatisfied with the outcome of their application for reasonable adjustment, are encouraged to lodge a formal complaint in accordance with the Complaints and Appeals Policy. Staff members may lodge a grievance in accordance with the provisions in the Employee Handbook.

4.9 Unlawful discrimination, bullying or victimisation of individuals with a disability will not be tolerated and will be considered a breach of the Student Code of Conduct (students) or the staff code of conduct outlined in the Employee Handbook (staff).

4.10 All personal information will be handled confidentially in accordance with the Privacy Policy.

5. Roles and responsibilities

5.1 The Chief Operating Officer is the Responsible Officer of this policy.

5.2 The Student Disability Support Officer is responsible for assessing a student’s disability requirements.

5.3 The DVC (Learning and Teaching) is responsible for approving reasonable adjustments for students.

5.4 The People and Training Manager is responsible for assessing a staff member’s disability requirements and approve any reasonable adjustments that might need to be made.

5.5 The Director, Campus and Operations is responsible for ensuring the physical environment of buildings, facilities and grounds will be accessible as reasonably possible.

5.6 The Executive Management Group is responsible for ensuring the continued cooperation of all students and staff to promote and embed the principles outlined in this policy into their daily behaviour, decision-making and language. It will ensure policies, practices and operations are free from bias and consistent with the intent of this policy.

5.7 Students and staff are responsible for treating fellow community members with respect regardless of disabilities, engaging in a positive, respectful and constructive manner at all times and reporting any incidents of discrimination, harassment or bullying to the Institution.

6. Related documents

Complaints and Appeals Policy

Complaints and Appeals Procedures

Disability Procedures

Diversity and Equity Policy

Employee Handbook

Student Code of Conduct

Student Wellness Policy

Student Wellness Procedures

Approved by Board of Directors 17 August 2019