Information for Staff (Disability)

SAE aims to enhance inclusive practices for students with disabilities and medical conditions and avoid any negative impact on their studies. The Student Services Adviser is available as a consultant to this end. 

 

Attendance

Students may be absent from or late to lectures or tutorials for a variety of reasons, including but not limited to:

  • Being too unwell to attend classes
  • Having a disability or symptoms that may, at times, affect the student's capacity to be in public spaces or large venues
  • Having a compromised immune system
  • Difficulties moving between venues within the Institute. Students may have mobility issues, which could result in the need to walk more slowly, avoid stairs, use ramps and/or lifts, or rest periodically when walking due to fatigue or pain. Students may also use a wheelchair or a Guide Dog for mobility
  • Attending medical appointments or treatment sessions that cannot be scheduled at any other time (e.g. specialist appointment)
  • Having a medical condition that is contagious
  • Having symptoms which may be worse / unmanageable in the mornings or afternoons, so participation in classes at these times may be difficult
  • Being effected by treatment or changes in medication
  • Being admitted to hospital

Options

At times, students may be unable to attend, or be late to, lectures / tutorials etc. Negotiation regarding occasional absences without penalty may be required, such as:

  • Requesting written work in lieu of tutorial attendance
  • Providing lecture materials
  • Providing the student the opportunity to sit in on another tutorial if they have missed a class
  • Re-weighting of assessment tasks if a student is unable to attend classes for a prolonged period

In relation to attendance, students are informed of the following by Student Services Advisers:

  • Attending tutorials is usually a compulsory and assessed component of each module. Not meeting these attendance requirements may result in failing the course. If you are having difficulties meeting mandatory attendance requirements, or if you have a period of significant illness, you must contact your Student Services Adviser as soon as possible. Please check your module information for attendance requirements
  • Enrolling early will provide you with the best opportunity to schedule your timetable to meet your individual needs
  • Undertaking a study load that is manageable in light of the impact of your disability on your study is important (e.g. studying part time)
  • It is important that you make the most of the more interactive sessions and participate fully in order to broaden your knowledge and experience with the course material
  • If you are unable to attend a tutorial on a particular day or time, please contact your tutor to arrange to attend another session (when available), or to discuss options for obtaining information / completing tasks undertaken in the tutorial in another way

Extensions for Assessable Work (Excluding Exams)

Students may request extensions for assessable work (excluding exams) for a variety of reasons. These may include, but are not limited to:

  • Being unwell prior to or on the due date for submission of an assignment
  • Being hospitalised or undergoing treatment prior to or on the due date of an assignment
  • Being effected by treatment or changes to medication
  • Having a disability or symptoms that may result in a student taking longer to read, process information, or write / type
  • Needing materials to be sourced in alternate formats that may take additional time to review or source (e.g. electronic textbooks)

Options

Options may include:

  • Granting an extension for an assignment, depending on the format of a course (NB this is not always possible for all courses)
  • Granting longer extensions in extenuating circumstances (e.g. hospitalisation) (NB this can be done in consultation with the Student Services Adviser to ensure that academic integrity is maintained and that the adjustment is realistic and reasonable in light of the impact of the student's health condition)
  • Re-weighting of assessments, where appropriate, such as re-weighting the final exam in lieu of an assessment missed during the trimester 

Students are informed of the following by the Student Services Adviser in relation to requesting an extension:

  • A Student Access Plan Disability (SAPD) does not grant automatic rights to an extension
  • Extensions must be applied for in the designated way before the due date for the assignment
  • Extensions must be negotiated within the existing course timeline
  • A Student Access Plan Disability (SAPD) can be used as the supporting documentation verifying there is a reason for an extension provided it is submitted to the Department Coordinator along with the extension application.

Tutorial Participation and Presentations

Students may request adjustments to tutorial participation and presentations in the event their disability, symptoms, the effect of treatment, or changes to medication affect their capacity to:

  • Participate in group discussions (e.g. difficulties with hearing conversations, unable to see other students clearly to be able to follow the nuances of conversation, or high levels of anxiety in social situations)
  • Write on a whiteboard due to difficulties with grammar and spelling
  • Respond to academic requests (e.g. reading aloud if the student has a vision impairment or learning difficulty such as Dyslexia)
  • Speak in a way that can be clearly understood by others (e.g. Cerebral Palsy, Acquired Brain Injury, or Speech Impediment such as a stutter)
  • Recall information without prompts

Options

Students will need to discuss their specific needs with their lecturers/tutors at the commencement of each trimester. Options may include:

  • Presenting to a smaller group
  • Presenting individually to the lecturer/tutor
  • Enabling the student to use cue cards or PowerPoint presentations to prompt recall
  • Pre-recording the presentation on video
  • Allowing the student to play a supporting role rather than having to present information orally
  • Offering the student the option of completing the group assessment individually (NB this should only be a temporary adjustment while a student is developing strategies to manage their symptoms)
  • Ensuring students with a hearing impairment can sit where they can face all other participants and that the lecturer/tutor only allows one person to speak at a time (NB it can also help to repeat questions before answering them)
  • Enabling a student to negotiate ahead of time not to be singled out in class to complete tasks (e.g. reading aloud in class)

 Students are informed by the Student Services Adviser that if the mode of assessment (i.e. presenting in front of the class) is an inherent and assessable component of the class, possible adjustments may be limited.

Alternative Exam Arrangements for In-Department Tests and Exams

Students may require Alternate Exam Arrangements for a variety of reasons. These may include, but are not limited to a disability or symptoms that may affect a student's:

  • Cognition (e.g. reduced processing speed, concentration, memory, or attention)
  • Capacity to write (e.g. upper limb injury)
  • Capacity to sit for prolonged periods (e.g. back injury)
  • Capacity to read exams in standard sized text (e.g. vision impairment)
  • Capacity to complete the exam within the allocated time (NB there may be a need for additional time to manage symptoms such as anxiety or pain during the exam)
  • Capacity to clearly hear instructions from the Invigilator (e.g. hearing impairment)
  • Capacity to remain in the room for the duration of the exam (e.g. student may need to sit close to the door for frequent access to the toilet)

Options

Reasonable Adjustments for in-department exams may be detailed on a student's Access Plan Disability (SAPD).

Examination adjustments may include but are not limited to:

  • Additional time (NB this does not apply to take home exams)
  • Rest / exercise breaks
  • Frequent access to the toilet and additional time to be added on to the end of the exam for extended time spent in the toilet
  • Use of medication or medical equipment during the exam (e.g. testing blood sugar levels, or the use of insulin)
  • Ability to take a drink other than water or a snack into the exam
  • Use of specific equipment (e.g. an extra chair to support their leg)
  • Use of a computer
  • Exam in accessible format (e.g. enlarged text, or blue paper)
  • Re-scheduling of exams (e.g. one exam per day, or morning or afternoon only exam times)
  • If significant extra time is required it may be appropriate to split exams across two days, or to ensure that exams are not held on consecutive days
  • Sitting in a specific position within the room (e.g. sitting at the front of the room if the student has a hearing impairment, or sitting near the door if frequent access to the toilet is required)
  • Providing all exam instructions in writing in addition to verbal instructions
  • Small group setting, or in exceptional circumstances an individual room 
  • Other specific requirements in relation to lighting, noise, wheelchair accessible venue or desk, etc.

 Students are informed of the following by the Student Services Adviser in relation to requesting Alternate Exam Adjustments for in-department exams:

  • If you need adjustments for in-department exams, you must discuss your needs with Department Coordinator and remind them of the adjustments at least 2 weeks before the in-department test or exam
  • You must provide your Department Coordinator with your completed Special Consideration Form, with reference to your Student Access Plan Disability (SAPD).

Practical and Studio Participation

Students may require adjustments to their participation in practical and studio classes for a variety of reasons. These may include, but are not limited to:

  • Having a disability or symptoms which may affect the student’s physical capacity to handle objects (e.g. limitations with using their hands or upper limbs, or to lift or carry items)
  • Having a disability or symptom that impact on a students capacity to sit or stand for prolonged periods
  • Having a disability that affects a student's ability to see necessary objects or read information that is provided
  • Having a disability that affects a student's ability to clearly hear the facilitator.

Options

Options may include:

  • Offering students with a vision impairment an individual orientation of studio equipment or computers in order to minimise the anxiety that may occur in an unfamiliar environment 
  • Providing written materials to supplement practical sessions (e.g. instruction sheets)
  • Ensuring announcements made regarding class times, activities, field work, and industry visits are given in writing, as well as verbally
  • Enabling students with a vision impairment to sit close to the lecturer/tutor
  • Assisting students who lip-read by having them sit in a position where they can see the lecturer/tutor and other students with whom they are working directly
  • Providing students with a chair for tasks requiring prolonged standing, if required
  • Creating extra space for wheelchair access (NB this should be done discretely)

Students are informed by the Student Services Adviser that attendance at practical or studio sessions is compulsory, and that they must inform the lecturer/tutor of any unexpected absences to negotiate alternate arrangements if possible.

Additional Planning for Placements or Off Campus Activities

Academic activities that take place off campus, such as placements, industry visits, or field work, may pose difficulties for some students. This may be due, but not limited, to:

  • Physical access issues for students with mobility difficulties
  • The capacity for students to complete off campus activities safely
  • The capacity for off campus staff or facilities to meet students' specific needs (e.g. students with vision or hearing loss)
  • Health conditions that may require medical follow up off site
  • Health conditions that may require flexible break times (e.g. need for frequent access to toilet, or need for checking blood sugar levels)

Options

Students will need to discuss their specific needs with their Department Coordinator for each individual placement or off campus activity in a timely manner so that they can negotiate appropriate support or alternatives. The Student Services Adviser can be consulted, if required.

Options may include:

  • Obtaining further information about the environment the student may need to negotiate prior to the activity to determine if an alternate activity / assessment is necessary, or if adaptations to off site environments can be made
  • Re-scheduling activities (e.g. during daylight hours for a student with a vision impairment)
  • Building in break times to enable students to manage their health needs

A meeting with the Student Services Adviser, Department Coordinator, and the student can be arranged to assist with forward or contingency planning for extended field trips or placements.

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