TAFE SA is committed to providing opportunities for students with disabilities to maximise their learning experience. Students with a disability or medical condition will have diverse needs and may require different levels of support or modifications to ensure an equal chance of success. The TAFE SA Disability Support Program provides support services and special arrangements to assist students with their study. Student Services counsellors can assist with access arrangements to minimise the effect of a disability without compromising the academic integrity of a student's program of study.
Access Information Kits
Kits are provided to students upon enrolment. Hard copy kits can be obtained from Student Services or Client Services staff. They contain:
Your Access Plan is an important document in your study journey with TAFE SA. It assists you in disclosing disability-related support needs to lecturers so that reasonable adjustments can be negotiated. It also details agreed services which will be provided by Student Services. Having an Access Plan is a choice. Should you require additional services or reasonable adjustments, you can request an Access Plan so that these services and adjustments can be put in place.
The negotiation of an access plan is one way TAFE SA can assist students with disabilities to identify and communicate their learning needs. The plan provides information to teaching and support staff to enable services to be adapted and made more responsive.
Access plans are generated by Student Services officers and a copy is provided only to the staff who are involved with its implementation.
Required Supporting Documentation
Students who wish to access disability supports through Student Services at TAFE SA are required to provide relevant supporting documentation from a medical practitioner, psychologist or other accredited health or educational specialist.
Specialised disability services can be provided to students once appropriate supporting documentation has been provided.
A specialised report is required for the following:
- Spectrum Disorders
- Specific learning Disability
- Hearing Impairments
- Vison Impairments
For other conditions or disabilities it is preferred that the documentation is provided using the Access Plan Medical Practitioner Report on the Disability Support Page In the TAFE SA website.
The documentation will be used to verify disability and provide Student Services with relevant and useful information in assessing appropriate study adjustments or accommodations.
Spectrum disorders are diagnosed using specialist diagnostic assessment. Practitioners who specialise in the assessment of spectrum disorders include:
- speech pathologists
Autistic Spectrum Disorder
A diagnostic clinical assessment report must be provided. The report should have been completed post age 11 (i.e. 12 years or older) and should provide a clear diagnosis.
Specific Learning Disability
A diagnostic clinical assessment report must be provided. Psychometric educational assessment should be undertaken by a qualified clinical psychologist or speech pathologist.
The report should have been completed post age 11. (i.e. 12 years or older).
Hearing assessment (within 2years unless the condition is permanent and unchanging) from an audiologist must be provided.
Vision assessment (within 2years unless the condition is permanent and unchanging) or functional vision assessment from an optometrist must be provided.
Students with no formal diagnosis or older reports can be referred for assessment at the student's expense.
Apprentices/Trainees with a Disability (DAAWS)
The Disabled Australian Apprentice Wage Support (DAAWS) scheme is a Commonwealth-funded initiative which supports apprentices/trainees to help them reach their potential as skilled workers.
For further information regarding the DAAWS program please contact Student Services at your local campus.
Assistive or adaptive technology may include devices such as equipment, furniture, tools, hardware or software, which will assist students with disabilities or medical conditions to perform functions that otherwise, may be difficult. Some examples include screen readers, screen magnifiers, alternative keyboards or input devices, voice recognition software and text only browsers.
Commonwealth legislation requires education providers to provide reasonable adjustments that support the inclusion of people with disabilities. These reasonable adjustments include modification to assessment and provision of additional services; however adjustments are not provided that would undermine the core or inherent learning required.
Support for Student Carers
TAFE SA is committed to removing barriers and providing access to students who are carers for individuals as per the Australian Disability Discrimination Act 1992 and South Australian Carer Recognition Act 2005.
What is the definition of a Carer under the SA Carer Recognition Act 2005?
For the purposes of the Act, a carer is defined as an individual who provides personal care, support and assistance to another individual who needs it because that other individual:
- has a disability (as defined under the Disability Services Act 1993);
- has a medical condition (including a terminal or chronic illness);
- has a mental illness (as defined under the Mental Health Act 1993: or
- is frail and aged.
A person is not a carer if the person provides the care or assistance:
- under a contract for services or a contract of service; or
- in the course of doing community work organised by a community organisation within the meaning of the Volunteers Protection Act 2001.
A person is not a carer for the purposes of this Act only because the person:
- is a spouse, domestic partner, parent or guardian of the person to whom the care or assistance is being provided; or
- provides care to a child who has been placed in the care of that person under the Children's Protection Act 1993 or any other Act.
For more details on this Act visit Carers Recognition Act 2005
What support does TAFE SA provide to students who are carers?
Student carers who are seeking support from TAFE SA will need to make an appointment with Student Services. Contact your local campus to make an appointment
At your appointment you will:
- Discuss the impact on your attendance and learning as a carer while studying at TAFE SA.
- Be asked to provide:
- Medical documentation indicating you are the carer for an individual who has an ongoing disability/medical condition, eg, a letter from the treating professional dealing with the individual.
- Centrelink - Carer’s benefit card
- Upon receiving documented evidence, Student Services will work with you to develop the Carer’s Statement which is used to:
- Enable the student to manage the demands of a carer’s role because non-attendance may impact on your study and ability to meet course deadlines.
- Outline the reasonable adjustments that need to be negotiated and implemented with the Program Area Educational staff e.g. extensions to assignments, flexibility around attendance and alternative assessment times
How is my lecturer going to know that I have a Carer Requirement Statement?
It is your responsibility to provide a copy of the Statement to your lecturer/s to discuss and negotiate the included reasonable adjustments.
It is important to highlight that you do not have an automatic right to extensions. It is your responsibility to ensure you always negotiate any reasonable adjustments for the following with your lecturer/s.
- Attendance: The student may not always be able to attend lectures/tutorials or practicals – the student will need to seek feedback in regard to missed sessions and to be provided with any content that has been missed e.g. any additional resources provided or notes.
- Extensions for assignments: Students are expected to follow normal Program processes when asking for extensions. A student may cite the Carer requirements Statement in their application for a standard extension request.Student must request extensions prior to the due date and negotiate an alternative submission date within the existing course timelines. Extensions of 10-20% are recommended as reasonable. If the student is asking for an extension beyond what would be considered reasonable the Program can contact Student Services for guidance.
- Alternative Arrangements for Assessments: If the student is unable to meet attendance requirements due to the responsibilities related to their caring role, the student and Educational Program Area negotiate any provision of alternative arrangements for assessments ensuring the inherent requirements of the course are being achieved.
Please note: In some courses/topics, particularly those that are practice-based, you may be required to provide a medical certificate to support a request for extension.
When to contact
As early as possible every semester.
Should the academic requirements of a course make it difficult or inappropriate to implement the reasonable adjustment, please ask the lecturer/s to clarify the issue.
Legislation and Policy Documents
TAFE SA Disability Access and Inclusion Plan
The TAFE SA Disability Access and Inclusion Plan, (DAIP), the result of extensive consultation with TAFE SA staff and students, and key stakeholders, has been ratified by Executive and is now ready for implementation. The DAIP is available on the TAFE SA Intranet on the Disability Support page and on the Internet. TAFE SA has a long history of providing support and encouragement for staff and students who have a disability and is committed to creating an environment for both work and study which is welcoming, inclusive and considerate. To this effect, the TAFE SA Disability Access and Inclusion Plan (DAIP) 2015–2020 builds on the substantial work undertaken through the previous Disability Action Plan 2010-2014.
The TAFE SA DAIP recognises that genuine inclusion involves much more than physical accessibility and individual adjustments. It encourages a focus on embracing the concept of Universal Access and Design to enable members of our community to take part in all our activities at every location on the same basis. It is also about maintaining an appropriate culture and reinforcing that culture at every opportunity. Respect and tolerance will help enable people with disability to meet their full potential. The new DAIP has been developed in consultation with staff, students, members of the community and disability organisations and confirms TAFE SA’s commitment to access and inclusion with responsibility for their achievement sitting with all business units and each individual staff member. TAFE SA is in an ideal position to make a significant contribution to the future of people with a disability through providing accessible and inclusive education which recognises ability rather than focussing on disability, enabling participation in the workforce and the wider community.
The Chief Executive has requested that all workgroups report on their progress every three months. This will be coordinated by Student Services and a briefing will be provided to TAFE SA Executive.
+61 8 8463 5082
Contact iCentral at your local campus for all enquiries regarding support for students with a disability or medical condition.
Other resources, such as the Royal Society for the Blind, the Royal South Australian Deaf Society and Access Cabs, can also help students with a disability to access study.