The learning requirements of students with disability should be established soon after enrolment to ensure, as far as possible, that the student is able to complete the course. Remember that it is the implications of the disability or health condition in your course/unit that are important rather than the impairment itself.
The DDA Disability Standards for Education allow for detailed assessment that might include an independent expert assessment in order to determine what adjustments are necessary for a student. Students are generally required to demonstrate or supply certification of the functional implications of their disability (rather than the details of the disability itself) to inform the provision of support services and adjustments. This can then inform the development of a Learning Access Plan or similar tool.
The university should implement procedures to ensure that:
- documentation is sought only when needed
- verification processes are equitable
- student privacy is protected
- relevant information is subsequently disseminated (with student permission) to staff who need it, to ensure students are not required to repeat the verification process.
Students should be advised that delay in making their requirements known may result in services not being available on time. Depending on the situation, notification of the lecturer may be sufficient, but it may be necessary to notify the disability adviser or administration. Notification of disability is usually required if students seek reasonable adjustments to their educational program.
Once the implications of the student's disability have been clarified you can discuss any adjustments to the course design or delivery that may be required.