Student Access, Progression and Wellbeing

Disability Learning Access Plan (LAP) Procedure

Policy Code: SS1966

Purpose

This procedure mandates operational activities and assigns responsibilities that are required to support the legislative requirements of the Disability Standards for Education (2005) and the implementation of the Higher Education Special Consideration Policy. It navigates the practical actions required to ensure negotiated reasonable adjustments are implemented appropriately in accordance with the legislation.

Scope

This procedure applies to all VET, undergraduate, Honours and postgraduate award programs offered by Federation University. All staff and title holders of the University must comply with the Disability Standards for Education (2005) and Disability Discrimination Act (1992) and this procedure when engaging with students with a disability.

Legislative Context

  • Disability Standards for Education (2005)
  • Disability Discrimination Act (1992)

Definitions

A complete list of definitions relevant to this procedure is contained within the Student Access, Progression and Wellbeing Policy.

A further list of definitions specifically relevant to this procedure is included below:

Term Definition
Appointment

An appointment, in relation to a meeting between health and wellbeing services (disability, counselling) and the student/client may be arranged via:

  • Face-to-face
  • Phone
  • Video-link
Disability [as defined by the Disability Standards for Education (2005)]

In relation to a person, means:

  • Total or partial loss of the person’s bodily or mental functions; or
  • Total or partial loss of a part of the body; or
  • The presence in the body of organisms causing disease or illness; or
  • The presence in the body of organisms capable of causing disease or illness; or
  • The malfunction, malformation or disfigurement of a part of the person’s body; or
  • A disorder or malfunction that results in the person learning differently from a person without the disorder or malfunction; or
  • A disorder, illness or disease that affects a person’s thought processes, perception of reality, emotions or judgement or that results in disturbed behaviour; and includes a disability that:
    • Presently exists; or
    • Previously existed but no longer exists; or
    • May exist in the future; or
    • Is imputed to a person
Disability discrimination [as defined by the Disability Discrimination Act (1992)] Disability discrimination is when a person with a disability is treated less favourably than a person without the disability in the same or similar circumstances
Disability Standards for Education (2005) The Disability Standards for Education 2005 (The Standards) clarify the obligations of education and training providers and seek to ensure that students with a disability can access and participate in education on the same basis as other students
Medical evidence Documentation from an eligible Health Care professional confirming the student’s disability and, if possible recommended adjustments to minimise the impact of the disability on their ability to undertake a program of education

Actions

1. Confidentiality and Privacy

Any Learning Access Plans (LAP) developed must be treated by all parties as strictly confidential – refer Information Privacy Policy.

Information forming part of the LAP shall only be discussed with, or made available to, a person who is:

  • A party to the plan
  • Is or has been legitimately involved in the management of that plan; or
  • Has a formal management role in following up the consequences or implications of the plan

Parties must be aware of the consequences if there is a breach of confidentiality, which may include disciplinary action.

2.Registering a student with Disability Liaison Unit (DLU)

  ACTIVITY RESPONSIBILITY STEPS
A. Initiating an appointment with Disability and Learning Access Officer (DLAO) (DLAO) Student
  1. Make an initial appointment with a DLAO who will schedule an appointment at the earliest available time
  2. Parents will not attend the appointment without the student being present
B. Providing support options available through the DLAU DLAO
  1. A copy of the DLAU Student Handbook is provided to the student, together with an explanation of:
    • DLAU support services
    • The concept of negotiated reasonable adjustments
    • The need for disclosure of the disability and the requirement to provide medical evidence
    • The privacy policy in relation to storage, recording of student information and the limitations of confidentiality in relation to the provision of disability support services
C. Disclosing information Student
  1. Disclose their disability or the impact of the disability on their education to the DLAO and outline where possible the types of adjustments implemented in past education environments
  2. Based on the information provided, the DLAO will outline examples of appropriate reasonable adjustments that may be implemented if the student registers with the DLAU
  3. A decision by the student is then required to become a registered client of the DLAU.
D. Becoming a client of the DLAU DLAO
  1. Student information is entered into the DLAU database
  2. A follow-up appointment is scheduled to ensure the student submits appropriate evidence of the disability (if not submitted at the initial appointment)
E. Negotiating interim adjustments DLAO
  1. If necessary, interim arrangements may be negotiated with relevant academic staff prior to development of the LAP
  2. Any agreed interim arrangements must be communicated to the Program Coordinator via email

3. Assessing evidence of the disability

  ACTIVITY RESPONSIBILITY STEPS
A. Providing appropriate evidence Student
  1. Source a valid report from an eligible Health Care Professional which outlines their disability, the impact it has on their study and strategies that could be implemented to reduce this impact
  2. Submit the valid report to the DLAO
  3. In instances where updated or additional evidence is required, the DLAO will either:
    • Send a letter to the student’s practitioner outlining the information required; or
    • If the student does not have a current health professional, an appropriate referral will be made to a health professional along with a letter outlining the information required
B. Assessing the evidence DLAO
  1. Evidence provided is assessed to ensure that:
    • An eligible health care professional has written and endorsed the report
    • The report contains enough information about the disability and the resulting impacts to allow for the appropriate negotiation of reasonable adjustments
    • The report date is still valid for the particular disability eg old reports for fluctuating disability may no longer be relevant or accurate
  2. If the report is no longer valid, further evidence of the disability will be requested, however, an interim LAP will be developed to ensure adjustments are in place until appropriate evidence is submitted

4. Negotiating reasonable adjustments

  ACTIVITY RESPONSIBILITY STEPS
A. Planning for adjustments DLAO
  1. Undertake an assessment of the course or program the student is enrolled in to determine course demands, environment, assessment and inherent requirements
  2. Discuss the implications of the disability with the student including the effects of the specified disability and the student’s own strategies which they may currently be using to support their own studies
  3. Discuss possible reasonable adjustments with the student and include academic staff as necessary
  4. Organise transition support or other support services as required, which may include:
    • Orientation to campus
    • Accessibility requirements
    • Referral to internal or external support services
    • Disability discrimination and equal opportunity information
B. Negotiating reasonable adjustments DLAO
  1. Negotiate adjustments to the academic program (with academics as required), including but not limited to:
    • Provision of adaptive study materials and equipment
    • Alternative learning and assessment tasks
    • Adjustments to the assessment conditions ie extensions on assessment dates
  2. Negotiate in-class adjustments (with academics as required), including but not limited to:
    • Academic content communication support eg interpreters, captioning, note-takers
    • Direct learning support eg note-takers
    • Environment adjustments eg specialised equipment to allow participation
    • In-class test or exam adjustments
  3. Negotiate test or examination adjustments (with academics as required), including but not limited to:
    • Environmental adjustments eg alternative exam venue
    • Adjustments to the examination conditions eg additional time
    • The provision of supplementary examinations in specific circumstances
    • The provision of deferred examinations; these will be accompanied by the DLAU Deferred Examination Notification form
  4. Negotiate field or clinical placement or off-campus activity adjustments (with academics as required), including but not limited to:
    • Note-takers
    • Special dietary arrangements
    • Environment adjustments
    • The provision of specific equipment
  5. If complex adjustments have been negotiated, discuss the impact of these with relevant academic staff prior to signing off the adjustments

5. Completing the LAP

  ACTIVITY RESPONSIBILITY STEPS
A. Providing detail to the LAP template document DLAO
  1. Ensure the student has been engaged in the process of negotiating reasonable adjustments
  2. Input all appropriate details into the LAP template
  3. Save the LAP document in accordance with the University’s approved records management procedure
  4. Schedule an appointment with the student to read through the LAP and ensure all information regarding the disability, its impact and the negotiated reasonable adjustments are accurate
B. Authorising the final LAP DLAO
  1. Signatures of both the DLAO and student are required to authorise the negotiation process and formalise the LAP as the reasonable adjustment communication tool in accordance with government legislation
  2. Provide both digital and hardcopy of the LAP to the student
  3. Determine, in consultation with the student, the method by which the LAP will be communicated to appropriate academic and general staff. Methods include, but are not limited to:
    • Emailing LAP to relevant academics; or
    • The student distributing the LAP to relevant academics
  4. Arrange for the student to complete the Consent to Share Documentation form

NOTE: the student is in control of the communication method used in accordance with the Disability Standards for Education (2005)

C. Communicating LAP to relevant academic staff

DLAO/Student/

Program Coordinator

  1. Provide LAP to relevant Program Coordinator who will ensure that the LAP is communicated to relevant staff and the negotiated reasonable adjustments are implemented
D. Updating database/s DLAO
  1. Store the LAP on the DLAU database in accordance with the University’s approved records management procedure
  2. Activate the LAP box on the University approved database with the student's permission

6. Implementing reasonable adjustments

  ACTIVITY RESPONSIBILITY STEPS
A. Implementing the negotiated reasonable adjustments

DLAO

Academic staff

Examinations Team Leader

  1. DLAO to implement reasonable adjustments in the LAP for which they are responsible
  2. Academic staff to implement reasonable adjustments in the LAP in the course or program for which they are responsible
  3. Examinations Team Leader to implement reasonable adjustments in the LAP in the course or program for which they are responsible
B. Identifying issues or barriers

DLAO/Academic staff

Student

  1. Identify any issues or barriers to the implementation of specific reasonable adjustments
  2. Communicate any identified issues
  3. Renegotiate reasonable adjustments to resolve issue/barrier as required
  4. Create an updated LAP and arrange for signatures to authorise the re-negotiation process and formalise the LAP as the reasonable adjustment communication tool in accordance with government legislation
  5. Provide re-negotiated LAP to relevant Program Coordinator who will ensure that the LAP is communicated to relevant staff and the negotiated reasonable adjustments are implemented

7. Reviewing the LAP

  ACTIVITY RESPONSIBILITY STEPS
A. Conducting a review DLAO
  1. Meet with the student on an as-needs basis or annually to review the LAP or renegotiate adjustments
  2. Renegotiate the reasonable adjustments with relevant staff as required to meet the specific demands of any new courses
  3. Update LAP as required and obtain signatures to authorise the re-negotiation process and formalise the LAP as the reasonable adjustment communication tool in accordance with government legislation
  4. Provide re-negotiated LAP to relevant Program Coordinator who will ensure that the LAP is communicated to relevant staff and the negotiated reasonable adjustments are implemented

Supporting Documents

  • Higher  Education Special Consideration Policy
  • Special Consideration Procedure
  • Special Consideration Application
  • Health Care Professional Certification Form
Forms

Responsibility

  • Academic Board is responsible for monitoring the implementation, outcomes and scheduled review of this policy and its accompanying procedure
  • Chair, Academic Board is responsible for maintaining the content of this policy as delegated by Academic Board
  • Manager, Health and Wellbeing is responsible for the administration support for the maintenance of this policy as directed by the Chair, Academic Board

Promulgation

The Disability Learning Access Plan (LAP) Procedure will be communicated throughout the University via:

  • An Announcement Notice via FedNews website and on the ‘Recently Approved Documents’ page on the ‘Policies, Procedures and Forms @ the University’ website to alert the University-wide community of the approved Policy.
  • Learning and Teaching Committee
  • Faculty meetings
  • Academic Induction Program
  • Student Health & Wellbeing meetings
  • Student Senate meeting

Implementation

The Disability Learning Access Plan (LAP) Procedure will be implemented throughout the University via:

  • An Announcement Notice via FedNews website and on the ‘Recently Approved Documents’ page on the ‘Policies, Procedures and Forms @ the University’ website to alert the University-wide community of the approved Policy
  • Information sessions
  • Moodle training; and/or
  • Training sessions

Records Management

Title Location Responsible Officer Minimum Retention Period

Learning Access Plan including any re-negotiated LAP Access Plan

University approved records management system Manager, Health and Wellbeing /Faculty Destroy 2 years following completion of service
Consent to share documentation form University approved records management system Manager, Health and Wellbeing /Faculty Destroy 2 years following completion of service
Health Care Professional Report University approved records management system Manager, Health and Wellbeing /Faculty Destroy 2 years following completion of service
Other supporting documentation University approved records management system Manager, Health and Wellbeing /Faculty Destroy 2 years following completion of service