D.D.A. guide: Getting an education
D.D.A. guide: Getting
person with a disability has a right to study at any educational institution
in the same way as any other student.
DDA makes it against the law for an educational authority to discriminate
against someone because that person has a disability.
includes all public and private educational institutions, primary and
secondary schools, and tertiary institutions such as TAFE, private colleges
should educators do?
must offer a person with a disability the same educational opportunities
as everyone else. This means that if a person with a disability meets
the necessary entry requirements of a school or college he or she should
have just as much chance to study there as anyone else.
must base their decisions on a person's ability to meet the essential
requirements of the course. They should not make assumptions about what
a person can or cannot do because of a disability.
DDA protects people with a disability against discrimination in education
in the following areas:
or failure to accept an application for admission from a person with
a person with a disability as a student on less favourable terms or
conditions than others. For example, asking a person with a disability
to pay higher fees.
- Denying or limiting
access to people with a disability. For example, not allowing a person
to attend excursions or join in school sports, delivering lectures in
an inaccessible format, inaccessible student common rooms.
a person because of a disability, or
a person with a disability to any other detriment.
comments or actions about a person's disability, such as insults, or
comments or actions which create a hostile environment.
about course changes?
a person with a disability meets the essential entry requirements, then
educators must make changes or "reasonable adjustments" if that
person needs them to perform essential course-work.
example, a student may not be able to perform dissections in a biology
course because the bench is too high. The ability to reach a certain height
is not an essential part of dissection. The student would be perfectly
capable of performing the tasks of the lab session if provided with a
most situations the person with a disability will be able to tell educators
what he or she needs to be able to study. If necessary, educators should
also seek advice from government agencies or organisations which represent
or provide services to people with a disability.
educational premises. For example, making ramps, modifying toilets and
ensuring that classes are in rooms accessible to the person with a disability.
or providing equipment. For example, lowering lab benches, enlarging
computer screens, providing specific computer software or an audio loop
assessment procedures. For example, allowing for alternative examination
methods such as oral exams, or allowing additional time for someone
else to write an exam for a person with a disability.
course delivery. For example, providing study notes or research materials
in different formats or providing a sign language interpreter for a
if changes are too difficult for educators?
The D.D.A. does not require changes to be made if this will cause major
difficulties or unreasonable costs to a person or organisation. This is
called "unjustifiable hardship". Before considering to claim adjustments
are unjustified, educators need to:
consider how an adjustment might be made
this directly with the person involved, and
relevant sources of advice.
adjustments cause hardship it is up to the education authority to show
that they are unjustified.
information is also available on the Commission website