If you are a student with a diagnosed health condition, disability, mental health condition, or have significant carer responsibilities that may impact your studies, we can give you the support you need.
Our disability support team can help you access a range of learning support services, including educational adjustments, such as exam arrangements, assistive technology and course materials in alternate formats. We’ll also help you make physical access arrangements.
Here, when you need us
When you accept your offer and enrol at ACU, you’ll have the opportunity to disclose whether you have a health condition or disability on your enrolment form. If you answer ‘yes’, someone from the disability support team will contact you via your university email account to invite you to register with the service.
If you don’t indicate a health condition or disability at enrolment, don’t worry. You can register for disability support at any time after starting your studies.
Am I eligible?
The definition of ‘disability’ from the Disability Discrimination Act 1992 is broad. Among other details:
- It includes physical, intellectual, psychiatric, sensory, neurological and learning disabilities.
- Disability can be permanent or temporary.
- It includes some health conditions not usually thought of as disabilities.
- Carers of people with disability may also be able to access some of our services. See the Carer Recognition Act 2010 for how a carer is defined.
You are eligible to register for disability support if you have a disability, medical/health condition, or significant carer responsibilities that may affect your studies. Conditions may include:
- mental health conditions, such as depression or anxiety
- temporary injuries that impact your studies
- permanent disabilities, such as mobility issues, hearing or vision impairments
- learning disabilities.
If you are caring for a ‘frail and aged’ person or a person with a disability or medical/health condition you may also be eligible.
What is an Education Inclusion Plan?
An EIP is a document to help organise and optimise your participation in your course. It can help you communicate your learning needs with the relevant staff.
The EIP will not disclose your condition. The focus of the document is to outline any ‘reasonable adjustments’ that will enable you to participate in the learning environment on the same basis as other students.
How do I register?
To register for an EIP, you will need to provide evidence of the impacts of your condition and recommendations for adjustments from your treating practitioner.
If you have a learning disorder, please note that you must provide a psychometric assessment report which diagnoses a learning disorder. It must have been completed in the past three years (or conducted as an adult) by one of the appropriate professionals named in the guidelines.
For all other conditions, your health professional can complete the Supporting Documentation Form (DOCX, 40KB).
If you are a carer, you’ll need to submit documentation to confirm your responsibilities and the impact these have on your learning environment. The health professional treating the person receiving care should complete the Carer Supporting Documentation Form (DOCX, 124KB).
When should I register?
Once you have your documentation, you’re ready to book an appointment with a Disability Advisor and complete our online registration and authority forms. Here, you can upload your documents, provide your details, and on submission book an appointment. Please note: You will need a student login to fill in this form.
We recommend that you contact Disability Support as soon as possible after enrolling, so that adjustments can be made in time for assessments. Whilst you can register at any time during the year, we cannot guarantee adjustments for assessments and exams which follow closely to your EIP registration, as there may not be enough time to organise and implement adjustments.
Course inherent requirements
Inherent requirements are the essential components of a course or unit that demonstrate the capabilities, knowledge and skills you’ll need in order to achieve the core learning outcomes of the course or unit. In some cases, adjustments may be put into place to allow students to meet inherent requirements.
To find out about inherent requirements for particular courses, please follow the link below.
Getting around campus
There are a limited number of disability parking bays on each campus and they are available to those who hold a valid permit. Disability Advisors do not manage disabled/accessible parking needs on campus; this is managed by Campus Concierge. As you will have already gone through a government process to obtain a disabled parking permit, you will need to present only this and your student ID to Campus Concierge.
Getting to, from and around campus
Our campus locations pages detail some of the transport options for getting to and from campus, including the shuttle buses at Brisbane and Strathfield campuses which connect students from public transport to the University.
You can also download campus maps, which show the location of wheelchair-accessible bathrooms, parking and buildings on our campuses.
Information for parents
Our university is an adult learning environment. If your child is 18 years or older, registering for disability support at ACU is confidential and seen as both the student’s choice and responsibility. Privacy laws do not permit us to speak with parents or other family members about the student without express permission from the student.
For students with chronic conditions, we understand that the transition to university is a time when they’re learning to take over responsibility for their health care and history, as well as gaining autonomy in other aspects of their lives.
We encourage you to speak to your student directly about this issue, and make a plan for how the student can begin or continue to take on increasingly more responsibility for their own health care and health history.
Disability Standards for Education 2005
Our work is guided by the Disability Discrimination Act 1992 (DDA) and Disability Standards for Education 2005.
The Disability Standards for Education are subordinate legislation to the DDA and education providers must comply with them. They aim to clarify the legal obligations in relation to education. If an education provider acts in accordance with the standards, they’re deemed to have complied with the Act.
However, the measures may not cover all eventualities and compliance with them may not be sufficient to prevent discrimination. Compliance with the measures is not required if legal obligation can be met in other ways.
Autism at ACU
At ACU we understand that university studies can be challenging. You’re asked to manage your enrolment, orientation, lectures, tutorials, assignments, exams and navigate your campus, as well as make new friends. We also know that for students on the autism spectrum these challenges can become barriers to accessing higher education. That’s why we’ve collaborated with autistic students and staff from ACU and other universities to develop initiatives that support all our autistic students, and help ease their transition into the higher education environment.
The disability support team provides a confidential service. If you would like further information, please email your nearest Disability Advisor:
- North Sydney
- Online: Either the closest convenient campus, or Disability.
Service may be part-time on some campuses, and hours vary between 8.30am and 5pm. During the busy times of semester, there may be delays in response time – but we will respond as soon as we are able.