Universal Design and Disability Inclusion

Approximately 1 in 5 people in Australia live with Disability. 47% of Australians live with one or more chronic conditions. 1 in 9 Australians are carers. In 2023, students with a declared disability comprised 13.9% of student participation. Currently, there is no reliable data available on the percentage of staff living with disability.

Our intention with the Universal Design and Inclusion Action Plan (UDIAP) has been to build a welcoming and informed organisation inclusive of diversity, where universal design, accessibility and inclusion are embedded in our strategy and actions so thatfa outcomes for people with disability are equitable.

The UDIAP was developed in consultation with various stakeholders – most notably the University’s Disability Working Group. It is designed to be a living document that continues to evolve with the organisation.

5 Key Aspirations of the UDIAP


  • Provide ongoing mechanisms to consult with and listen to staff and students with disability.
  • Ensure that students and staff are provided with a safe and inclusive learning and work environment, free from discrimination and with the adjustments they need to succeed.
  • Actively challenge and disrupt all forms of bias and boost the awareness and understanding of disability, ableism and intersectionality among University staff and students.
  • Ensure meetings, events, conferences, forums and gatherings are inclusive and accessible to all people and developed with universal design in mind.
  • Ensure that all the design and planning for La Trobe’s City of the Future and regional campuses is responsive to the needs of people with disability.
  • Ensure that all La Trobe’s digital environments comply with the latest Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) and that internal and external communications are fully accessible or include accessible versions by default.
  • Embed relevant actions and accountabilities identified in this Plan in the business plans of all divisions and departments within the University.


  • Embed Universal Design for Learning principles across all learning and assessment development and content, including multiple means of engagement, representation, action and expression.
  • Ensure our learning management and digital systems used in teaching delivery are fully accessible and meet the needs of all users.
  • Ensure subject guides, Handbook and information sources are accessible.
  • Encourage students with disability to enrol at La Trobe and show them how they will be well supported.
  • Provide a supportive and streamlined process to ensure students receive reasonable adjustments to support their success.
  • Ensure systems and supports are in place to contribute to increased retention and successful completion rates for students with disability.


  • Support students with diverse abilities to seek or create employment of their choosing.
  • Provide tailored career support programs to improve graduate employability outcomes for students with disability.
  • Provide supportive opportunities for students to engage in industry learning experiences.
  • Provide opportunities for students with disability to participate in developmental and leadership opportunities.
  • Celebrate the achievements of our graduates to raise aspirations for current and prospective students with a lived experience of disability.
  • Collaborate with industry partners to provide opportunities for students to develop their understanding of the disability sector.


  • Actively recruit and retain staff with disability and through the provision of necessary support, workplace adjustments, flexible career growth and leadership opportunities.
  • Train people managers in disability confidence and inclusive leadership practices, ensuring that staff with disability and caring responsibilities are appropriately supported.
  • Develop guidelines and training for managers on how to ensure work flexibility and workplace adjustments are provided.
  • Provide confidential tailored and responsive support for staff with disability.
  • Ensure internal schemes, such as awards, career promotions and funding opportunities are inclusive and responsive to the needs of people with disability.
  • Establish mechanisms for benchmarking and reporting on disability employment metrics and experience measures.


  • Ensure that disability research is undertaken and led by people with lived experience of disability, wherever possible.
  • Ensure that any research regarding disability involves people with disability and their partners, family and carers or representatives, reflecting that what we research and how we do it is aligned with ethical research practice.
  • Actively support and encourage all research centres and institutes to include representation of people with disability and their partners, family and carers or representatives in Advisory Committees where they are suitably qualified and experienced candidates.
  • Consult and partner with government, peak bodies and disability leaders when designing research.
  • Disseminate research findings and information about disability inclusion and best practice.


The UDIAP Implementation Group meets quarterly to provide updates to the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic).

Additionally, reports are submitted to the following groups:

  • Senior Executive Group (April and October)
  • Academic Board (November)
  • University Council (December)

The UDIAP spans from 2023-2030 so the implementation has been divided into three horizons:

  • Horizon 1: 2023-2025 – Foundation and short-term actions and goals, evaluation design.
  • Horizon 2: 2026-2028 – Medium term actions and goals, including those that require greater time and/or financial resources.
  • Horizon 3: 2029-2030 – Evaluation and review.

Document coming soon

Support Services

AccessAbility Advisors can assist students to meet course requirements if they identify as Autistic, ADHD, Dyslexic and/or another minority neurotype with Neurodiversity support needs, or live with or have a mental health condition, ongoing medical condition or disability (including physical, neurological, intellectual, sensory, acquired brain injury, or specific learning difficulty).

This may include advice on managing university study, implementing reasonable adjustments, adjusted assessment and exam arrangements, assistance negotiating extensions, placement arrangements etc. and/or information on assistive technology options.

Find out more or register with AccessAbility on the AccessAbility and Inclusion website.

La Trobe has many options for currently enrolled Neurominority staff and students including:

  • Neurodiversity Network
  • Student Placements on the Neurodiversity Project
  • Financial Support: Scholarships for Neurominority Students

Find out more on the Neurodiversity website

Safer Community is a free, confidential support service if you, or someone you know, are experiencing concerning, threatening, inappropriate or uncomfortable behaviour, including sexual harassment and assault.

Safer Community provides expert advice, information, and support to help resolve your concerns to keep you and others safe.

You can contact Safer Community by submitting the referral form found on our Safer Community website, email safercommunity@latrobe.edu.au, or phone 03 9479 8988.

For emergency assistance, please call: 000 or 03 9479 2222