Fact Sheet
ADCET - Fact Sheet

Rights and Responsibilities of Staff and Students

Through the DDA and the Disability Standards for Education students with disability and post-secondary education staff have clear rights and responsibilities.

Student Rights & Responsibilities

Students with disability have a right to:

  • be consulted about their needs
  • enrol in courses and programs
  • participate in courses and programs (including relevant supplementary programs)
  • use services and facilities provided by the university including student support services on the same basis as those without disabilities. 

They also have the right to:

  • the specialised services without which they would not be able to participate
  • the reasonable adjustments necessary to meet these needs
  • an environment which is free from discrimination, harassment or victimisation.

Along with other students they also have a right to:

  • be treated with dignity and respect
  • contribute in a meaningful way to the development and review of institutional policies, procedures and practices affecting their lives
  • be given the opportunity to develop skills which will enable them to obtain maximum benefit from the educational opportunities available to them.

However, students also have a responsibility to:

  • make early contact with the university and be willing to discuss their specific requirements (with assistance if required) and share responsibility in negotiating adjustments that are required
  • use the services provided in an honest and fair manner
  • be proactive in advising institutions of the difficulties they encounter in accessing aspects of the life of the institution.

Staff Rights & Responsibilities

Staff have a responsibility to:

  • consult with the student (or an associate) to determine what adjustments if any are required and whether any changes are needed during the student’s course
  • assess whether a particular adjustment is reasonable and whether there are less disruptive adjustments that would be equally effective
  • make any required adjustments in a timely manner
  • take reasonable steps to ensure that the student is able to enrol, participate in learning experiences and  use facilities and services on the same basis as any other student
  • take reasonable steps to facilitate the provision of any specialist services that the student requires
  • develop and implement strategies and programs to prevent harassment or victimisation of the student

and have a right to:

  • maintain the academic requirements of the course
  • request information about the student’s disability and requirements if that information is directed towards providing the adjustment or an assessment that is intended to clarify the student’s ability to comply with any non-discriminatory requirements of a course or training program.

Harassment & Discrimination

Staff have a responsibility to ensure that appropriate standards of behaviour are maintained in the areas they manage or supervise.  By law, the university can be held liable for harassment as a result of the action or inaction of supervisors or teachers.  Staff at all levels have a responsibility to:

  • become familiar with your university's policy on harassment and discrimination
  • make sure that the staff and students you supervise understand their rights and responsibilities under legislation and that harassment will not be tolerated
  • ensure that acceptable standards of conduct are observed at all times in the classroom or workplace
  • take early corrective action to deal with behaviour that may be offensive or intimidating, even if a complaint has not been made
  • ensure that all complaints of harassment are dealt with promptly, fairly, sensitively and in accordance with your university's procedures
  • promote a more tolerant culture by actively celebrating the diversity in your classroom/workplace
  • take steps to prevent victimisation and respond quickly to any complaints of victimisation which follow a complaint of harassment.

In your personal behaviour, respect the rights of others and do not become involved in or encourage discrimination or harassment. Be careful of:

  • the words and tone you use
  • sexual or stereotyping jokes, pictures, cartoons, verse, gestures
  • standing too close or any type of touching
  • isolating or segregating others through words or actions
  • initiation rites or "practical jokes" that demean people.
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