Supporting students with a disability

His Hand by Jlhopgood CC BY-ND 2.0

Inclusive teaching practices involve creating a learning environment where students maximise the potential for their own learning, and the learning of others. Such approaches benefit all students but are particularly important for students with a disability to ensure they have the opportunity to learn and be assessed appropriately. Over the last few years, Disability Services have introduced academic plans for students across a number of faculties, with very positive staff and student feedback. This semester, these plans will be rolled out across all faculties ensuring a consistent process for staff and students, including those whose studies take them across multiple faculties.

As outlined recently in Staff News, academic plans outline the adjustments needed for a student, personalized to the requirements of each of their units of study and its assessment structure. For the students, this means that such information is available up front; reducing stress, providing a valuable study management tool and allowing them to focus on their studies. For staff, it means adjustments can be arranged at the start of semester; reducing correspondence with Disability Services and providing more individualised and consistent information on how to assist students.

With unit outlines now becoming available to students one week before the start of semester through the learning management system, academic plans will become available in the first few weeks of semester for students already registered with Disability Services. Plans for commencing students will follow as they register in the coming weeks.

Students with disability are an integral part of the University and of our society. A range of resources are available to staff who are teaching, coordinating or supporting students. These include:

Each edition of Teaching@Sydney this year will be focusing on different aspects of inclusive teaching and learning, whether this is occurring in face-to-face, online or blended environments. If you are interested in contributing an insight from your own teaching or experiences, please contact Dr Amani Bell.

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