Bulletin Board - Document Comments

Bulletin Board - Review and Comment

Step 1 of 3: Comment on Document

There are 3 steps in the submission process. You must complete all three steps in one session, otherwise your comments will be lost.

1. Use this Protected Document icon to open a comment box.

2. Type your feedback and then click the"Save Comment" button in the lower-right of the comment box.

3. Do not open more than one comment box at the same time.

4. When you have finished making comments, go to step 2 by clicking on the “Save and Continue” button at the very bottom of this page.

Important Information

During the comment process you are connected to a database. Like internet banking, the session that connects you to the database may time-out due to inactivity or if you close your browser or go to a different tab/window and try to come back.

To ensure that your comments are received:

  1. DO NOT jump between web pages/applications while logging comments.

  2. DO NOT log comments for more than one document at a time.

  3. DO NOT leave your submission unfinished. If you need to take a break, submit your current set of comments now and return later to make a further submission. You will receive a copy of your comments so that you can see what you have already said.

  4. DO NOT exit from the interface until you have completed all three steps of the submission process.  Simply saving a comment in the comment box does not mean it is submitted and if you exit the system, you will not be able to retrieve it later.

When you finalise your submission in step 3 your comments will be emailed to the Document Author with a copy to you, and to policy@mq.edu.au for record keeping purposes.

Student Accessibility Policy

Section 1 - Purpose

(1) This Policy supports Macquarie University’s provision of a virtual or physical, social and learning environment that complements and enhances the University experience for students with a disability on the same basis as other students, in an environment free from harassment and discrimination.

Background

(2) Macquarie University is committed to promoting and implementing the principles of the Disability Discrimination Act 1992, the Disability Standards for Education 2005, Disability Inclusion Act 2014, the Anti-Discrimination Act 1977 and the University's Access and Inclusion Plan 2020-2023.

(3) Macquarie University aims to: 

  1. provide current and future students with a disability the opportunity to realise their potential for physical, social, emotional and intellectual development through full participation in the University; 
  2. respect an individual’s right to privacy and confidentiality when providing support services to current and future students with a disability; 
  3. raise the awareness of the community regarding the requirements and rights of people with  a disability; 
  4. provide a University experience where all students, including students with a disability, are treated with dignity and respect and are provided with equal opportunity to access, participate and enjoy the benefits of University education and University life; and 
  5. ensure that future students with a disability can seek admission to the University on the same basis as future students without disability and without experiencing discrimination due to their disability. 

Scope

(4) This Policy applies to all staff and students of the University.

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Section 2 - Policy

(5)  The University will: 

  1. consult with students with a disability to identify reasonable adjustments that may be required to facilitate their access to and participation in programs and courses on the same basis as students without disability; 
  2. ensure that students with a disability can access support services provided to all students, and that access is realised without experiencing discrimination. The University will provide specialised support services to students with a disability to enable reasonable adjustment negotiation; 
  3. identify and uphold the essential academic requirements of its programs and courses; 
  4. implement, where feasible, universal design principles that plan for maximum access to content, tasks, activities, events and environments without the need to action reasonable adjustments based on individual circumstances or needs; 
  5. consider and respond to the health and safety needs of all individuals during university activities; and 
  6. provide an environment free from harassment and discrimination, and a clear process for redress where a student believes they have been harassed, bullied or discriminated against.  

(6) Information provided to the Accessibility Service about the nature of a student’s disability will not be disclosed outside of the Accessibility Service unless: 

  1. the University has reasonable grounds for concern about the health or safety of the student or other persons; or 
  2. the student gives express consent; or 
  3. the disclosure of the information is required by law; or 
  4. it is necessary for the University to obtain legal advice. 

(7) An Individual Educational Access Plan (IEAP) will set out the specific reasonable adjustments required for the student. Students will provide consent upon registration with the Accessibility Service for the content of an Individual Educational Access Plan to be distributed, in accordance with the University’s privacy compliance framework to those with a legitimate need to know, for its implementation. Refer to the Manual for Developing Individual Educational Access Plans for additional information.

Evidence

(8) To assist with the identification of appropriate reasonable adjustments, the University requires students seeking reasonable adjustments to supply supporting documentation about the nature and impact of their disability in the learning environment. In assessing a particular reasonable adjustment for a student with a disability, current, relevant and appropriate medical or specialist documentation must be provided to substantiate the reasonable adjustment.

(9) The evidence must:

  1. identify and describe the disability; 
  2. explain the severity and impact of the disability;  
  3. clearly describe how the disability may adversely impact on the student’s capacity to undertake educational tasks (including placements); and 
  4. state whether the disability is temporary, permanent/unchanging, or likely to fluctuate over time. 

(10) For conditions that are indicated to be temporary or fluctuate over time, the Accessibility Service may need to request updated disclosures, via new supporting documentation from the student’s treating health professional, prior to completing their assessment and recommending reasonable adjustments to be implemented. 

(11) The University may not be able to assess and/or determine the provision of a reasonable adjustment if supporting evidence is not provided to the Accessibility Service. 

(12) A student who is an associate of a person with a disability may be entitled to reasonable adjustments. Alternatively, such students may be eligible for special consideration. In this case, students should refer to the Special Consideration Policy to determine whether they are eligible. In either case, the student associate of the person with a disability will need to provide evidence of their relationship to the person with a disability and how their responsibilities in that relationship impact on their capacity to undertake university tasks.  

(13) The purpose of disclosure is not to exclude students from opportunities but to enable full participation, and access to a safe environment with appropriate reasonable adjustments. 

Additional Time for Assessment

(14) Included within an Individual Education Access Plan (IEAP), a student may be assessed as requiring additional time to complete tasks due to the impact of their disability. Students provided with additional time to complete tasks including Assessment tasks are not required to submit special consideration to enable the application of this reasonable adjustment. 

(15) If the completion of a final assessment task is significantly impacted due to the impact of a student’s health condition / disability, an incomplete grade may be sought to assist the student to progress in their program.  

Work Health and Safety

(16) Macquarie University recognises its obligations and responsibilities under the Work Health and Safety Act 2011. The University is committed to ensuring a safe work / study environment and to ensure that work health and safety planning and activities also incorporate the requirements of people with a disability. Students with a disability must meet work health and safety requirements when participating in University activities. 

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Section 3 - Procedures

(17) Refer to the Student Accessibility Procedure.

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Section 4 - Guidelines

(18) Nil.

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Section 5 - Definitions

(19) Commonly defined terms are located in the University Glossary. The following definitions apply for the purpose of this Policy:

  1. Adjustment means a measure or action (or a group of measures or actions) taken by the University that has the effect of assisting a student with a disability on the same basis as a student without disability. An adjustment may include an aid, a facility, or a service that the student requires because of their disability. An adjustment can be administrative, environmental or procedural alterations in the learning situation which removes barriers for a student with a disability so they can perform the inherent requirements of the course of study.
  2. Assessment Task means a task that requires students to demonstrate their capabilities against learning outcomes. Common task types include, but are not limited to: essays, presentations, class tests, quizzes, laboratory reports, performances and examinations. A unit may include multiple tasks of the same type (e.g. a unit may include more than one quiz).
  3. Associate means an individual who provides support to a person with a disability who may or may not be a student at the University. An associate may include but is not limited to:
    1. a spouse of the person;
    2. another person who is living with the person on a genuine domestic basis;
    3. a relative of the person;
    4. a carer of the person, or
    5. other groups listed within the Disability Discrimination Act 1992.
  4. Carer: a carer provides ongoing, unpaid support to a family member, neighbour or friend who needs help because of disability, terminal illness, chronic illness, mental illness and/or ageing. Anyone can become a carer, any time. A person is not a carer if they care for a person as a paid employee, a volunteer or as part of education or training.
  5. Disability: disability is very broadly defined under the Disability Discrimination Act 1992 as any physical, sensory, neurological, intellectual, psychiatric, or learning disability in relation to a person and includes:
    1. total or partial loss of the person’s bodily or mental functions; or
    2. total or partial loss of a part of the body; or
    3. the presence in the body of organisms causing disease or illness; or
    4. the presence in the body of organisms capable of causing disease or illness; or
    5. the malfunction, malformation or disfigurement of a part of the person’s body; or
    6. a disorder, illness or disease that affects a person’s thought processes, perception of reality, emotions or judgment or that results in disturbed behaviour;

      And includes a disability that:
    7. presently exists; or
    8. previously existed but no longer exists; or
    9. may exist in the future (including because of a genetic predisposition to that disability); or
    10. is imputed to a person.
    11. A disability that is otherwise covered by this definition includes behaviour that is a symptom or manifestation of the disability.
  6. Access and Inclusion Plan means an organisational plan for the removal, as far as possible, of discrimination against people with a disability. The Access and Inclusion Plan identifies actions that the University does and will take to ensure that education and employment, services, premises and facilities are accessible and non-discriminatory to people with a disability.
  7. Accessibility Service: the University Accessibility Service (see the Accessibility webpage) provides specialised assessment, advice, information, support and recommendations to staff and students regarding reasonable adjustments, resources and services for students with a disability. Academic and professional staff can obtain advice and information on accessibility, inclusive teaching and learning strategies and how various disabilities may affect a student’s study.
  8. Harassment means any type of behaviour, explicit or implicit, verbal or non-verbal that is unwelcome, offensive, abusive, belittling or threatening.
  9. Individual Educational Access Plan (IEAP): a student centred plan that sets out the academic, practicum, examination, assessment task, library, security and information technology requirements the student will need whilst studying at Macquarie University. Where appropriate, a student undertaking a placement activity, field trip, PACE activity or exchange activity or another alternative arrangement may require the development of an additional plan that could include adjustments recommended by an independent workplace risk assessment.
  10. Inherent requirements: the essential activities, capacities and academic requirements that are necessary for a student to successfully achieve the core learning outcomes of a Macquarie University degree or course or unit.  Students must meet the inherent requirements in order to complete their Macquarie University degree, course or unit, and to graduate. Refer to Appendix 1: Inherent Requirements Statement.
  11. On the same basis: a student with a disability has opportunities and choices in courses or programs and the use of the University’s facilities and services comparable to those of other students without disability.
  12. Placement means fieldwork, workplace experiences and/or other practical, clinical and professional training requirements that comprise:
    1. all or part of a subject or course and/or;
    2. a PACE unit and/or,
    3. optional placements or internships offered by the University.
  13. Planned Extensions: an adjustment that allows for the addition of time for written take home assessment tasks. These planned extension requests are processed via the special consideration portal using an IEAP as evidence of the request.
  14. Reasonable Adjustment: an adjustment is reasonable in relation to a student with a disability or an Associate if it balances the interests (including the health and safety) of all parties affected. Consideration needs to be given to:
    1. the effect of the adjustment on the student’s ability to meet the inherent requirements and learning outcomes of the unit or course;
    2. the costs and benefits of making the adjustment; and
    3. the interests of all parties affected, including those of the student with a disability, staff and other students, the University or colleges.
  15. Special Consideration means the provision of one additional opportunity for a student to demonstrate that they have met the learning outcomes of a unit or units. Refer to the Special Consideration Policy.
  16. Staff means all persons appointed as academic or professional staff of Macquarie University, whether they hold full-time, part-time, casual or conjoint appointments.
  17. Student means a person registered for a course at Macquarie University including a person who approaches the University about seeking admission to, or applying for enrolment in, the University.
  18. Support Services: an action or program provided by Macquarie University that assists a student’s ability to participate in the University’s physical, virtual, social and learning environments.
  19. Universal design: is the design of services, devices, products, communication and built environments, to be usable by as many people as possible at little or no extra cost without need for adaptation or specialised design.  A universal design to curricula is student centred, inclusive and enables students with a disability to fully participate and demonstrate equivalence in learning outcomes.
  20. University Activities means the activities of the University, any student organisation or any member of the University community including:
    1. teaching, study and research at the University;
    2. the conduct of any academic exercise;
    3. recreational, commercial, disciplinary, or ceremonial activities of the University or the University community;
    4. any clinical, professional or practical work, research, workshops, camps or field or vocational placements and any other activities arranged, sponsored, controlled or supervised by the University whether or not it is part of a course, or program, or unit of study at the University;
    5. the provision by the University of services to the general community;
    6. the use or enjoyment of any University property by any person authorised by the University; and
    7. the management or administration of the University.
  21. Unjustifiable hardship: under section 10.2 of the Disability Standards for Education 2005, it is not unlawful for the University to fail to comply with a requirement of the Standards if, and to the extent that, compliance would impose unjustifiable hardship on the University.  Unjustifiable hardship has a meaning in accordance with Section 11 of the Disability Discrimination Act. In determining what constitutes unjustifiable hardship, in relation to an adjustment for a student with a disability, all relevant circumstances of the particular case are to be taken into account including:
    1. the nature of the benefit or detriment likely to accrue or be suffered by any persons concerned; and
    2. the effect of disability of a person concerned; and
    3. the financial circumstances and the estimated amount of expenditure required to be made by the person claiming unjustifiable hardship; and
    4. in the case of the provision of services, or the making available of facilities - an action plan given to the Australian Human Rights Commission under section 64 of the Disability Discrimination Act 1992.