Student Access, Progression and Wellbeing

Disability Learning Access Plan (LAP) Procedure

Policy code: SS1966
Policy owner: Dean of Students and Registrar
Approval authority: Academic Board
Approval date: 04 January 2016
Next review date: 03 May 2025

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, postgraduate award and non-award programs offered by Federation University and its Partner Providers. 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
Academic Coordinator (Partner Provider) Partner appointed, senior academic staff member who is the central point of contact at the partner location on all administrative matters affecting the academic content and delivery of all courses offered by the partner.
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

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
  • A full-time carer for a person with a Disability.
Disability discrimination [as defined by the Disability Discrimination Act (1992)] Disability discrimination is when a person with a disability, or a carer of 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) Student
  1. Make an initial appointment with a DLAO (Federation University Campuses) or an Academic Coordinator (Partner Provider locations) 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/Partner Provider
  1. A copy of the DLAU Student Handbook or Partner Disability Resource Kit for students studying at a partner location, 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 or Academic Coordinator if studying at a partner location, 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.
  4. At a partner location the Academic Coordinator would fill out the ‘Partner Provider Disability Adjustment Authorisation Form’ and the ‘Partner Disability Adjustment Reimbursement Form’ and these are then submitted to the Partner Liaison Team and passed on to Disability Services at Federation University.
D. Becoming a client of the DLAU DLAO/Partner Provider
  1. Student information is entered into the DLAU database. If the student is studying at a Partner Provider the student meets with and gives information to the Academic Coordinator as outlined in the Partner Disability Resource Kit.
  2. A follow-up appointment is scheduled to ensure the student submits appropriate evidence of the disability (if not submitted at the initial appointment). Partner Provider students submit their evidence to the Academic Coordinator at the partner location
  3. Coordinator, Disability Services will authorise the ‘Partner Disability Adjustment Authorisation’ with the proposed reasonable adjustments and communicate this back to the Academic Coordinator at the partner location.
E. Negotiating interim adjustments DLAO/Partner Provider
  1. If necessary, interim arrangements may be negotiated with relevant teaching staff prior to development of the LAP.
  2. Any agreed interim arrangements must be communicated to the relevant teaching staff and in the case of an adjustment for a Partner Provider student, to the Partner Liaison Team and then the Coordinator, Disability Services via email.

3. Assessing evidence of the disability

  ACTIVITY RESPONSIBILITY STEPS
A. Providing appropriate evidence Student/DLAO/Partner Provider
  1. Source a valid report or letter from an eligible Health Care Professional which outlines their disability, where possible the impact it has on their study and strategies that could be implemented to reduce this impact
  2. Submit the valid report or letter to the DLAO or Partner Provider. The Partner Provider will submit this evidence with Adjustment Authorisation and proposed reasonable adjustments to the Partner Liaison Team and then the Coordinator, Disability Services.
  3. In instances where updated or additional evidence is required, the DLAO will either:
    • Provide a letter for 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/Partner Provider
  1. Evidence provided is assessed to ensure that:
    • An eligible health care professional has written and endorsed the report or letter
    • The report or letter contains enough information about the disability and the resulting impacts to allow for the appropriate negotiation of reasonable adjustments
    • The report or letter is still valid for the particular disability e.g. old reports for fluctuating disability may no longer be relevant or accurate
  2. If the report or letter 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
  3. In the case of a student at a Partner Provider, the report or letter is assessed when submitted with the ‘Partner Disability Adjustment Authorisation Form’ and the ‘Partner Disability Adjustment Reimbursement Form’ by the Coordinator, Disability Services. Once the evidence and proposed adjustments are endorsed it will be communicated in email back to the partner location and copied to the Partner Liaison Team.

4. Negotiating reasonable adjustments

  ACTIVITY RESPONSIBILITY STEPS
A. Planning for adjustments DLAO/Partner Provider
  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 impacts 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 teaching staff and Federation university 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/Partner Provider
  1. Negotiate adjustments to the course or academic program (in consultation with teaching staff as required), including but not limited to:
    • Provision of adaptive study materials and equipment
    • Alternative learning and assessment tasks
    • Adjustments to the assessment conditions i.e. extensions on assessment dates
  2. Negotiate in-class adjustments (with teaching staff as required), including but not limited to:
    • Lesson content communication support e.g. interpreters, captioning, note-takers
    • Direct learning support e.g. note-takers
    • Environment adjustments e.g. specialised equipment to allow participation
    • In-class test or exam adjustments
  3. Negotiate test or examination adjustments (with teaching staff as required), including but not limited to:
    • Environmental adjustments e.g. alternative exam or test venue
    • Adjustments to the examination or test conditions e.g. additional time
    • The provision of supplementary examinations or tests in specific circumstances
    • The provision of deferred examinations; these will be completed by DLAU staff in FDL using the Special Consideration Procedure - Only applies to HE students.
  4. Negotiate field or clinical placement or off-campus activity adjustments (with teaching or professional staff 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 teaching staff prior to signing off the adjustments.
  6. In the case of a Partner Provider, if the Academic Coordinator is unsure of available reasonable adjustments or needs further advice, this can be obtained by contacting the Coordinator, Disability Services.

5. Completing the LAP

  ACTIVITY RESPONSIBILITY STEPS
A. Providing detail to the LAP template document DLAO/Partner Provider
  1. Ensure the student has been engaged in the process of negotiating reasonable adjustments.
  2. Input all appropriate details into the LAP template or in the case of a Partner Provider the ‘Partner Disability Adjustment Authorisation Form’.
  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/Partner Provider
  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. The LAP can also be signed on behalf of the student by the DLAO or Partner Academic Coordinator, upon written consent via email.
  2. Provide digital copy of the LAP to the student.
  3. Students are advised that it is their responsibility to disseminate the LAP as appropriate.
  4. Arrange for the student to complete the Consent to Share Documentation form if required.

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 or teaching staff

DLAO/Student/

Program Coordinator, Program Manager, Academic or Teacher

  1. The student will provide the LAP to relevant Program Coordinator, Program Manager, Academic or Teacher who will then ensure that the LAP is communicated to any other 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. Make an entry on the University approved database indicating existence of a LAP, with the student's permission.

6. Implementing reasonable adjustments

  ACTIVITY RESPONSIBILITY STEPS
A. Implementing the negotiated reasonable adjustments

DLAO

Academic or teaching staff

Examinations Team Leader

Partner Provider

  1. DLAO or Partner Academic Coordinator to implement reasonable adjustments in the LAP for which they are responsible.
  2. Teaching 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 or teaching 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 a copy of the updated LAP to the student so it can be passed on to relevant Program Coordinator, Program Manager, Academic or Teacher who will then ensure that the LAP is communicated to any other relevant staff and the negotiated reasonable adjustments are implemented.

7. Reviewing the LAP

  ACTIVITY RESPONSIBILITY STEPS
A. Conducting a review DLAO/Partner Provider
  1. Meet with the student on an as-needs basis or annually (LAP automatically expires at the end of each calendar year) 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 copy of the LAP to the student so it can be passed on to relevant Program Coordinator, Program Manager, Academic or Teacher who will then ensure that the LAP is communicated to any other relevant staff and the negotiated reasonable adjustments are implemented.
  5. Partner provider will follow the same steps with the additional step of providing the ‘Partner Disability Adjustment Authorisation Form’ and the ‘Partner Disability Adjustment Reimbursement Form’ to the Partner Liaison Team and the Coordinator, Disability Services, if there are any changes.

Supporting Documents

  • Higher  Education Special Consideration Policy
  • Special Consideration Procedure
  • Special Consideration Application
  • Health Care Professional Certification Form
  • Partner Disability Resource Kit

Responsibility

  • Chair, Academic Board (as the Approval Authority) is responsible for monitoring the implementation, outcomes and scheduled review of this procedure.
  • The Dean of Students and Registrar (as the Policy Sponsor) is responsible for maintaining the content of this procedure as delegated 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
  • School/Institute 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/School/Institute Destroy 7 years after completion, withdrawal or abandonment by student
Consent to share documentation form University approved records management system Manager, Health and Wellbeing /School/Institute Destroy 5 years after action completed
Health Care Professional Report University approved records management system Manager, Health and Wellbeing /School/Intitute Health Care Professional Report – Destroy 7 years after completion, withdrawal or abandonment by student
Other supporting documentation University approved records management system Manager, Health and Wellbeing /School/Institute Destroy 7 years after completion, withdrawal or abandonment by student.