Inherent requirements are the essential components of a course or unit that demonstrate the capabilities, knowledge and skills to achieve the core learning outcomes of the course or unit, while preserving the academic integrity of the university’s learning, assessment and accreditation processes. These must be met by all students – they are the abilities, knowledge and skills needed to complete the course.1
The Disability Discrimination Act [DDA] 1992, as amended in 2009 (Australian Government Comlaw, 2010) through the Disability Standards for Education [DSE] (Australian Government Comlaw 2005), requires institutions to take reasonable steps that enable a student with a disability to participate in education on the same basis as a student without a disability.
An adjustment is a measure or action taken to assist a student with a disability to participate in education and training on the same basis as other students. Examples of adjustments include: provision of a note taker or Sign Language Interpreter; provision of adaptive equipment / furniture or assistive technology.
An adjustment is reasonable if it balances the interests of all parties affected.2
Making changes to ensure equal opportunity for people with a disability is commonly referred to as a "reasonable adjustment."3
Software or hardware devices by which people with disabilities can access technology
Assistive technology can include devices such as alternate keyboards and mice, voice recognition software, monitor magnification software, multiple switch joysticks, and text-to-speech communication aids.4
Inherent requirements domains
To provide clarity and consistency, the inherent requirement statements have been grouped under several domains. Courses may contain some or all of these domains.
The maintenance of a level of conduct that is deemed acceptable and appropriate, according to societal or situational mores, over a given period of time
This requirement is most pertinent to students with mental health issues, neurological impairments and students on the Autism Spectrum and refers to circumstances where the student can demonstrate consistent, predictable and appropriate conduct.
The act of conveying messages, ideas or feelings through the use of speech.
For the purposes of the Inherent Requirements, speech producing / voice output communication devices are also considered verbal communication.
Non verbal communication Elements of speech and communication behaviour aside from words that transmit meaning including: pitch, speed, tone and volume of voice; gestures and facial expressions; body posture, stance, and proximity to the listener; eye movements and eye contact.
Non-verbal cues can provide significant additional information to a listener/ conversational partner.
Written communication Communication by means of written symbols -this includes typed, printed or handwritten material in addition to the use of electronic devices such as tablets.
The mental action or process of acquiring knowledge and understanding through one’s thought, experience, and senses.
Knowledge and cognitive skills Any of a number of acquired skills that reflect an individual's ability to think. Cognitive skills include: verbal and spatial abilities; concentration; memory; perception; reasoning; planning and organisation; flexible thinking and problem solving.
Literacy (language) For the purpose of the inherent requirements, is defined as the ability to acquire information, understand that information and apply in a scholarly manner.
This includes collecting information from multiple sources, comprehending that information and reporting the findings to demonstrate understanding.
Numeracy The ability to understand and work with numbers.
Basic numeracy skills consist of comprehending fundamental mathematics like addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division.
The mode by which one’s body perceives external stimuli - through sight, smell, hearing, taste, and touch. In the context of the Inherent Requirements, the key sensory modalities are vision, hearing and tactile abilities.
Visual The extent to which a person can see; accuracy of vision.
Auditory The sense of hearing; the ability / inability to hear.
The ability to maintain a level of function over a pre-determined period of time. This could include physical performance – such as standing for a period of time or cognitive (mental) performance – such as concentrating for a particular length of time.