"An adjustment is a measure or action taken to assist a student with a disability to participate in education and training on the same basis as other students. An adjustment is reasonable if it achieves this purpose while taking into account the student's learning needs and balancing the interests of all parties affected, including those of the student with the disability, the education provider, staff and other students."
(Disability Standards for Education Guidance Notes 2005)
The DDA through the Disability Standards for Education requires institutions to take reasonable steps to enable the student with a disability to participate in education on the same basis as a student without a disability. An adjustment is reasonable if it balances the interests of all parties affected so in assessing whether a particular adjustment is reasonable consideration should be given to:
- the student’s disability and his/her views
- the effect of the adjustment on the student, including effect on his/her ability to achieve learning outcomes, participate in courses or programs and achieve independence
- the effect of the proposed adjustment on anyone else affected, including the education provider, staff and other students and
- the costs and benefits of making the adjustment.
As a result, what constitutes "reasonable" varies on a case by case basis and the balance is sometimes difficult to strike. However, it is clear that education providers are not required to lower academic standards or disregard the needs staff or other students. In more complex cases discussion with the disability service will be useful. It may be useful to examine previous judgements in relation to the DDA.