A disability is any condition affecting a person’s body or mind. This can include:
In Australia, an estimated 380,000 children aged 5–18 years with a disability go to primary or secondary school. In 2022, 187,000 people aged 15–64 years with a disability were studying for a tertiary level qualification.
In Australia, it is against the law to discriminate against someone based on disability, according to:
International students with a disability have equal rights to live, work and study in Australia.
If you have a disability, it’s against the law for education providers to:
However, there are situations where places of study cannot meet every need. This may include where the cost of making changes is very high, or if a change is hard to make.
If this applies, the education provider must:
Each university or TAFE has a:
If you a future or current student, you can ask an adviser for a private chat. They will be able to tell you about what support services are on offer. They can also tell you what documents you may need to apply for a course.
Often, you don’t need to tell your education provider about your disability. Only, if it is likely to risk your safety or affect your ability to meet course conditions. Do you need changes made on-campus? This is when you will need to make known about your disability.
Many universities, TAFEs and schools will meet your needs by making changes. These can include buildings having ramps added; software that recognises your voice; or note-taking services.
If you think you’ll need changes made on-campus or extra learning support, you should contact the disability adviser at your place of study as soon as possible. You can do this when you apply and before you start studying. You can also ask for help any time during your studies.
Your disability advisor can help you get the help you need on campus, including
You may feel your treatment is unfair. If so, you firstly can try to solve the problem directly with your education provider. If this fails, you can make a formal complaint.
Education providers must have a process for students to place complaints. This is the law. You can also get additional help to solve your complaint quickly.
Do you want action? You must lodge a formal complaint in writing. But, in the first instance, you can make a phone call to have a private chat.
Find out more about how to manage your complaints. Including contact details:
There are many support services available in every state and territory of Australia. Some of them include:
You can search also online for social groups for people with similar disabilities in your area, find out what disability sports are happening near you.
In Australia, students, workers and people of all abilities contribute to society in meaningful ways. We’re looking forward to welcoming you!