In developing this policy the University had regard to the provisions of section 40B(1)(b) of the Human Rights Act 2004 (ACT).
The University has a responsibility to ensure that people with disabilities are able to work and study on an equitable basis with other members of the University community in an environment that is free from harassment or discrimination.
The University seeks to ensure that staff members and students with disabilities are provided with the opportunity to fully participate in University life and to realise their individual potential.
This document outlines the University’s policy to support staff members and students with a disability and to comply with relevant legislation.
This policy applies to both staff and students of the University.
The University will educate staff to develop informed views, behaviours and attitudes about disability issues.
The University will educate teaching staff members to develop informed teaching practices relevant to teaching students with disabilities.
The University will ensure that reasonable adjustments are made to ensure that people with disabilities have access to and participate in the academic, occupational and/or social activities of the University. In cases, where the adjustment could bring unjustifiable hardship upon the University, it may be deemed that the University is not obligated to provide the requested or recommended adjustment.
In making reasonable academic adjustments, the University will ensure that the academic integrity of courses and programs offered is maintained to the appropriate standards.
The University will promote access to employment and education for people with a disability, maintaining consistency with the merit principle.
Harassment, discrimination or bullying by any member of the University community, including contractors and visitors, against another on the basis of disability is prohibited.
The University will ensure that people with disabilities are provided with opportunity for consultation and participation in decision-making relevant to their role within the University and that matters specific to the needs of people with disabilities are included in relevant University plans.
The University recognises and respects the right to confidentiality of information related to a person's disability. However, the University may seek information about a person's disability:
in order to substantiate eligibility for services;
to make reasonable adjustment for the person to enable them to participate in relevant activities;
for statistical record-keeping for purposes of accountability and monitoring;
to provide information to funding agencies or government bodies; and/or
to monitor or evaluate policies and programs.
The University recognises the sensitivity surrounding the disclosure of an individual’s disability. However, in rare cases where an emergency occurs that threatens the safety of the individual or other members of the University community, the University may disclose information to ensure the safety of the individual or others is maintained.
The implementation of this policy is the responsibility of all staff and students of the University; however, some areas of the University community have specific responsibilities, which are outlined in the University’s Disability Action Plan.
The University’s policies and programs for staff and students with disabilities are informed by relevant guidelines and legislation, including:
The Commonwealth Disability Discrimination Act (1992)
The Commonwealth Disability Standards for Education (2005)
The ACT Discrimination Act (1991)
The ACT Human Rights Act (2004)
The Commonwealth Privacy Act (1988)
AVCC Guidelines relating to Students with a Disability (2006)
AVCC Guidelines on Information Access for Students with Print Disabilities (2004)
A reasonable adjustment is a measure or action taken to ensure equal opportunity for people with a disability.
The Commonwealth Disability Discrimination Act (1992) defines "disability", in relation to a person, as:
total or partial loss of the person’s bodily or mental functions; or
total or partial loss of a part of the body; or
the presence in the body of organisms causing disease or illness; or
the presence in the body of organisms capable of causing disease or illness; or
the malfunction, malformation or disfigurement of a part of the person’s body; or
a disorder or malfunction that results in the person learning differently from a person without the disorder or malfunction; or
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:
presently exists; or
previously existed but no longer exists; or
may exist in the future (including because of a genetic predisposition to that disability); or
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.
A person requiring adjustment should provide reasonable notice of the need for adjustment and necessary documentation to support this request. Staff members who require adjustment should discuss their needs with their supervisor or other senior officer in their organisational unit. Students who require adjustments should discuss their needs for academic adjustment with a University Inclusion Advisor in the first instance. Adjustments will be made in line with legislative guidelines