Disability Access & Inclusion
Student Services provides support to assist students living with disabilities, mental health or medical conditions to achieve their learning goals. Our staff are available to confidentially discuss support at any stage during your studies.
What you will find on this page:
When you enrol
When you enrol you can indicate you have a disability or a medical condition on your enrolment form. An information kit will then be sent to you via email. If you don’t indicate your disability at enrolment you can do it any time during your studies or simply contact Student Services to discuss support.
Printed copies of the kits are also available from Student Services or information services staff at any TAFE SA campus.
The information kit includes:
Telling people about your medical condition or disability is your choice. You may feel there is no need for anyone to know about your health while you are studying. If you wish to access support, or plan for adjustments to study effectively, contact Student Services to discuss your requirements.
That is a question you may be asking yourself when you decide to study.
Disclosure (telling people about your disability), is a very personal decision that needs to be considered in each individual situation. There is no obligation for you to disclose information about your disability unless it is likely to have an effect on:
- your ability to meet the core requirements of the course.
- your ability to study safely.
- the safety of others.
However, if you wish to request reasonable adjustments you will need to disclose your disability.
Why would I choose to disclose?
If you’re someone with a disability, whether you should disclose is often a difficult question. You may choose to disclose to:
- assist you in the transition from secondary education to TAFE SA.
- obtain information about available support services at TAFE SA.
- discuss course core requirements to ensure that the course you have chosen is appropriate.
- find out how to access services once you have enrolled.
- discuss your specific needs with Student Services and/ or Lecturer/s to ensure appropriate services are provided.
- receive legal protection from discrimination
- appropriately advocate for yourself
When should I disclose?
The decision to disclose or not is often not a final decision but one that can be re-evaluated over time, based on your circumstances. You may choose to disclose your disability:
- Prior to enrolment
- During the enrolment process
- Whilst you are studying
- Never (You may choose not to disclose your disability if no reasonable adjustments are needed, or if you have decided to manage your support needs personally).
What should I disclose?
Deciding what to disclose is an important step in the disclosure process. Disclosure is most effective when you are clear about the purpose and the desired outcomes of disclosing. This ensures that you disclose to the right person, in a timely and appropriate manner and with a clear goal in mind.
Disclosure is most effective when you are knowledgeable about your disability and can clearly explain your disability-related needs and abilities.
How should I disclose?
So, you have decided to disclose, what next?
There are various ways that you can effectively disclose to the appropriate people whilst you are studying at TAFE SA.
Disclosure can occur, by:
- Making an appointment with Student Services to discuss your support needs and advice on disclosure
- Developing an Access Plan with Student Services to communicate your needs to Lecturing staff
- Talking to your Lecturer/s
Sometimes we all need little bit of help with being able to effectively communicate our needs. TAFE SA has developed a resource ‘Disclosure Planning: Preparing a Disclosure Script,’ to assist those who have decided to disclose their disability during their study and would like assistance in the disclosure process.
You can contact Student Services for the resource and/or assistance regarding disclosure.
Support for students with health conditions and disabilities
Support is available whether your condition is permanent, fluctuating or temporary. For appropriate services and adjustments to be put in place, you will need to provide Student Services with 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.
Disability services can be provided to students once appropriate supporting documentation has been provided.
A report/diagnostic assessment from an appropriate specialist,
(psychologist/speech pathologist/audiologist/psychiatrist) is required for the following:
- Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)
- Specific Learning Disability
- Hearing Impairments
- Vision Impairments
Reports are expected to have been written since you reached 12 years of age for ASD and any specific learning disability.
If you have a Hearing or Visual Impairment, a report no older than two years is acceptable. Older reports are acceptable if your condition is permanent and unchanging.
For other conditions or disabilities, documentation can be provided using the Access Plan Medical Practitioner Report.
The documentation will be used to verify your disability and provide Student Services with relevant and useful information to assess appropriate study adjustments or accommodations.
An Access Plan is one way TAFE SA can assist you to identify and communicate your learning needs.
An Access Plan can assist you to disclose your disability-related support needs to lecturers so that reasonable adjustments can be negotiated. It also details any agreed services which will be provided by Student Services.
Having an Access Plan is a choice.
An Access Plan is written by a Student Services counsellor in collaboration with you, the student. It is your choice as to who you provide with a copy. Student Services will send a copy to the Educational Manager responsible for delivery of the course in which you are enrolled.
Apprentices/Trainees with a Disability (DAAWS)
All TAFE SA students, including apprentices and trainees can receive assistance through Student Services.
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.
The scheme may provide support for the off-the job component of your apprenticeship/traineeship, including mentoring, tutoring and interpreting.
For more information, contact one of our student services officers or your Australian Apprenticeship Network Provider:
Assistive or adaptive technology includes devices such as equipment, furniture, tools, hardware or software, which can assist students with disabilities or medical conditions to perform functions that otherwise, may be difficult. Some examples are screen readers, screen magnifiers, alternative keyboards or input devices, voice recognition software and text only browsers. If you are studying at TAFE SA and assistive technology could be useful to you, contact an Access and Inclusion Advisor.
An assistance animal is a support animal trained to facilitate the participation of a person with disability in accessing various aspects of personal and public life.
The Disability Discrimination Act 1992 (Cth) (DDA) in Section 9, sets out the legal definition of an assistance animal.
If you are considering studying at a TAFE SA campus and you use an assistance animal, contact Student Services to discuss arrangements prior to bringing an animal onto campus.
Support for Student who are Carers
TAFE SA is committed to removing barriers and providing access to students who are carers for people living with disability.
Provisions for students who are carers are determined on a case by case basis.
Students who are carers and who are seeking support from TAFE SA will need to make an appointment with Student Services. Supporting documentation such as eligibility for Carers benefit or medical documentation is required. Appointments can be booked on your campus at the information centre, or by contacting Student Services.
Legislation and Policy
How to contact Student Services
To make an appointment, contact the information centre at your local campus, ring 08 8463 5082 or email Student Services.