Support for students with disability
If you’re a student with disability or a chronic medical condition, you can access support through a wide range of programs and services. From early schooling to tertiary education and skills training, there are many people and organisations to help you enrol, study and succeed.
Disability support in education and training
All Australian universities have disability services staff who assist students with accessing reasonable adjustments. They generally called Disability Advisers or Disability Liaison Officers. A complete list of disability services across Australia is available on the ADCET website.
It is a good idea to contact the disability services prior to receiving your offer at university so that your support needs can best be met.
At TAFE students with disability are supported by Disability Teacher Consultants.
Contact the TAFE NSW Disability Teacher Consultants at your local TAFE campus to discuss your needs in the learning environment. You may wish to contact the Disability Teacher Consultant earlier if you require assistance and advice in accessing TAFE.
Students with a disability may be exempt from paying TAFE enrolment fees (one enrolment per year) so contact your local TAFE NSW Disability Teacher Consultant to discuss this.
Registered Training Organisations (RTOs)
There are a number of private registered training organisations throughout Australia which deliver a huge variety of courses that may be of interest to people with disability.
All education providers within Australia are legally obliged to provide support to students with disability. Not all RTOs will have dedicated staff to provide support services, however this does not mean an RTO is exempt from providing support and reasonable adjustments.
ACPET is the Australian Council for Private Education and Training. In 2015 ACPET and NDCOs developed a resource on building the confidence in enrolling students with disability.
Disability Standards for Education
All education providers must adhere to the Disability Discrimination Act (1992). This sets out Disability Standards for Education that ensure students with disability can participate in education on the same basis as other students.
Disability Standards for Education also specify the provision of reasonable adjustments for students with disability. A reasonable adjustment could be a change made to the physical environment, modified communication systems or educational materials being made available in alternative formats.
Learn more about reasonable adjustments in post-school education by going to the following ADCET website: Identifying Student Requirements and Making Reasonable Adjustments.
For many students disclosing a disability or medical condition can be tricky and stressful. It is important to remember that it is your right to choose whether you disclose your disability (unless there is a safety concern for you or other people). However, if you would like reasonable adjustments to be made you will need to disclose.
Learn more about how disclosing your disability will best suit you and your education on the University of Western Sydney resource Disclosure: It’s a personal choice.