Recruitment and Induction
At least one person in five has a disability. Institutions therefore need to ensure that recruitment activities and induction information are accessible, and respond effectively to questions from students with disability. The Disability Standards for Education makes it clear that the legal obligations of institutions are across the whole student lifespan, including application for admission, enrolment and graduation.
All prospective students need information about the institution and its courses, and this material also needs to be accessible for students with disability. Students with disability may also need more detailed information about support services, and the institution’s procedures and expectations. For some students, it may be appropriate to organise an individual visit, so that particular support needs can be discussed at the point of recruitment and induction.
The following questions are a starting point for reviewing the accessibility of your institution’s recruitment and admissions services:
- Have all front-line staff members (including any agents involved in recruiting overseas, and office staff answering telephone enquiries) received disability awareness training, and do they know how to communicate with people with disability?
- Do all front-line staff members know what provision the institution makes for students with disability, and the process for ensuring that additional reasonable adjustments are made?
- Are handouts provided in alternative formats?
- Are sign-language interpreters available on request?
- Are open days accessible to applicants with disability?
- Are additional tours available to meet individual needs?
- Are current students with disability invited to talk to applicants at open days?
- Are students with disability Invited to undertake a role as a mentor at open days and induction week?
- Is the prospectus provided in an alternative format? Is it produced in plain English and in a reasonable font size?
- Do recruitment videos have subtitles?
- Is the website accessible to those using assistive technology?
- Does the prospectus/website make clear that access arrangements are in place for particular courses or services? Does it make it clear that additional adjustments can be made in individual cases?
- Is there additional material for people with disability detailing current access arrangements and explaining how further adjustments may be made?
- Do marketing materials encourage applicants to contact the institution to discuss their needs and how they might be met?
No recruitment procedures can be perfect, but regular review can ensure that they are as inclusive as possible. As a disability practitioner, you can ensure that applicants with disability are asked to give feedback on the recruitment and induction process, and monitor complaints so that problem areas can be identified and addressed.