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Reasonable Adjustments: Mental Health

As per the Disability Standards for Education 2005 reasonable adjustments refer to a "measure or action taken to assist a student with disability to participate in education and training on the same basis as other students”. They are designed to place students with disability on a more equal footing, and not to give them any kind of advantage.

Reasonable adjustments made for a student with disability must maintain the academic integrity of the qualification and not cause a health or safety risk for other student(s) or negatively impact upon the learning experience of another student(s).

Adjustments are negotiated to meet the needs of the individual student; this is predominantly done through a Disability Practitioner within the institution the student attends. They commonly include the following.

To accommodate individual students

Students with mental health conditions may benefit from a range of inclusive teaching and assessment strategies.  Some adjustments that are frequently used for students with mental health conditions include:

  • clarification of attendance expectations and procedures for absence
  • clarification of behavioural norms
  • provision of a peer mentor
  • access to flexible delivery methods such as online learning, blended learning and flipped classroom programs (where available) to provide flexible options that accommodate fluctuations in conditions
  • provision of reading lists that highlight what are the essential texts and what are extension reading
  • individual orientation to laboratories, workshops, studios and computer systems to reduce anxiety
  • feedback on assignments given verbally in private rather than in writing
  • recording of lectures if attention, memory and/or attendance is affected by medication
  • video recording of oral presentation tasks or presentation one-on-one with a lecturer or tutor
  • Where lectures or tutorial sessions are presented more than once in a week, access prioritised for sessions times that are least affected by medication
  • additional time in exams
  • provision of an alternative exam venue that is free of distractions or take home exams
  • modified exam papers that present lengthy questions in bullet points and minimise multiple choice questions
  • modified or alternative assessments for presentations e.g., smaller group presentations, pre-recording presentation
  • postponement of assessments or suspension of enrolment without penalty if a student experiences a severe episode of their mental health condition.