Students with disability require everything that other students need, including clear information about course requirements, guidance regarding their rights and responsibilities, and advice about the learning and support options available to them. In addition, they may require advice about the implications of their disability in the new learning environment and planning to accommodate their needs.
To facilitate this:
- Meet with prospective students early to discuss learning support needs.
- Make students aware of information and resources that may assist them and any timelines for arranging adjustment.
- Liaise with other teaching and support staff to ensure there is co-ordination of services and shared understanding of the student's requirements.
Although students are not generally legally required to disclose a disability, you should provide frequent opportunities for students to discuss both the likely impact of disability on their studies and the appropriate adjustments required. Some students with disability will identify themselves to the university prior to enrolment and necessary support can be quickly arranged; in other cases, a student may be more reluctant to disclose their disability.
If you think a student might have a disability that is impacting their studies, you may wish to ask the student whether there is anything that you can do to ensure they are able to complete your course. You could also offer the assistance of the disability service. Remember that it is the implications of the disability or health condition in your course/unit that are important rather than the impairment itself.
Often a student's disabilities may not be obvious and so you may not realise that the student has a disability. This is where inclusive practices are very useful as individual needs are automatically accommodated and it is often unnecessary for individuals to disclose.