Legislation and policy
Disability Services must take into account several pieces of legislation and policy when providing services and assistance to people with a disability:
- Disability Discrimination Act (1992) (DDA)
- Disability Standards for Education (2005)
- DSE (2005): Reasonable Adjustments
- NSW Anti-Discrimination Act 1977
- Privacy Act & Personal Information Protection Act
- AVCC Guidelines on Students with Disabilities (2006)
- University of Sydney policies
- The University of Sydney’s Disability Action Plan
- The University of Sydney’s Harassment and Discrimination Resolution Procedure
- Staff and Student Equal Opportunity Unit’s disability information
The Disability Standards for Education (2005) clarify the legal obligations of education providers to ensure that students with disabilities are provided with equal access to education.
Providers are required to do this by making ‘reasonable adjustments’. An adjustment is action taken by a provider to assist a student with disability to participate in education on the same basis as other students.
Adjustments may be made to an admission or enrolment, to a course or program, or to facilities or services.
In assessing whether a particular adjustment for a student is reasonable, several factors are taken into account:
- the student’s disability and their views
- the effect of the adjustment on the student, including the effect on their ability to achieve learning outcomes and to participate in courses or programs, and their independence
- the effect of the proposed adjustment on anyone else affected, including the education provider, staff and other students
- the costs and benefits of making the adjustment.
In deciding whether an adjustment to a student’s course is reasonable, the provider is entitled to maintain the academic requirements of the course, and other requirements or components that are inherent in or essential to its nature.
When it comes to deciding whether to make a particular reasonable adjustment for a student, the provider must assess whether there is any other reasonable adjustment that would be less disruptive and intrusive and no less beneficial for the student; and also assess whether the adjustment may need to be changed over the period of a student’s education or training.