Legislation and Standards
A range of federal and state legislation providing equitable treatment for people with disability has implications for education and training organisations.
Two core pieces of legislature that govern disability and disability in education are:
These pieces of legislation reflect Australia's commitment to the United Nations Convention for the Rights of People with Disabilities (UNCRPD).
By clicking on the links above you can find out more detail about each piece of legislation and how it influences your practice.
There are a range of compliance instruments that tertiary education providers must uphold in order to meet their compliance obligations:
- The Higher Education Standards Framework (Threshold Standards) 2021 (HESF) which is overseen by the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency (TEQSA) and governs Higher Education providers. It includes specific reference to equity and diversity (Section 2.2), and provision of mechanisms for student grievances and complaints (Section 2.4). Guidance notes from TEQSA around the HESF Domain 2 covers these areas and can be found on their website.
- The Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA) regulates the Vocational Education and Training (VET) sector and includes Standards for Registered Training Organisations 2015 (Cth) . These Standards form part of the VET Quality Framework, a system which ensures the integrity of nationally recognised qualifications. Under Standard 6 complaints and appeals must be recording, acknowledged, and dealt with fairly, efficiently and effectively
Both TEQSA and ASQA require compliance of tertiary education providers to comply with the Disability Discrimination Act (1992) (DDA) and the Disability Standards for Education 2005 (DSE). These two documents, working together, provide students with disability protection from discrimination based on disability that education providers must meet.
There is also additional information on preventing discrimination in your institution including developing Disability Inclusion Action Plans and implementing complaints processes.
(Updated November 2022)