Academic study support

Student Responsibilities

If you have a Learning Access Plan you are responsible for:

  • forwarding your Learning Access Plan to each Subject Coordinator and other relevant academic or professional staff at the beginning of each semester of study, or upon initial receipt of the Learning Access Plan
  • informing university staff in a timely manner of any difficulties you are having regarding attendance at classes/practical sessions, participation, and/or completion of assessments
  • contacting academic staff at least two weeks prior to in-class tests/examinations or quizzes to let them know if you need your Alternative Exam Arrangements implemented
  • contacting an AccessAbility Advisor if your condition or enrolment changes, if changes are required to your Learning Access Plan
  • discussing placement arrangements with an AccessAbility Advisor prior to the commencement of semester in which placement occurs.

Disability/Condition Descriptions

Disability in this context does not include short-term disabling health conditions such as a fractured leg, influenza, or corrected physical conditions such as impaired vision mitigated by wearing glasses or lenses.

Hard of Hearing/deaf/Deaf is used to refer to a person who has an acquired mild, moderate or even a severe or profound hearing loss after learning to speak, communicates orally and maximises residual hearing with the assistance of amplification. A person who is deaf has a severe or profound hearing loss from, at, or near birth and mainly relies upon vision to communicate, whether through lip reading, gestures, cued speech, finger spelling and/or sign language.

Physical disability affects the mobility or dexterity of a person and may include a total or partial loss of a part of the body. A physical disability may have existed since birth or may be the result of an accident, illness, or injury suffered later in life; for example, amputation, arthritis, cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy, paraplegia, quadriplegia or post-polio syndrome.

Intellectual disability is used to refer to low general intellectual functioning and difficulties in adaptive behaviour, both of which conditions were manifested before the person reached the age of 18. It may result from infection before or after birth, trauma during birth, or illness.

Specific Learning Disability (SLD) refers to conditions of a neurological origin that cause significant difficulties in perceiving and/or processing auditory, visual or spatial information, or any combination of this information. They include disorders that impair functions such as reading (dyslexia), writing (dysgraphia) and mathematical calculation (dyscalculia).

Mental health condition refers to a cluster of psychological and physiological symptoms that cause a person suffering or distress and which represent a departure from a person’s usual pattern and level of functioning.

Acquired brain injury (ABI) is injury to the brain that results in deterioration in cognitive, physical, emotional or independent functioning. Acquired brain injuries can occur as a result of trauma, hypoxia, infection, tumour, accidents, violence, substance abuse, degenerative neurological diseases or stroke. ABI’s  may be either temporary or permanent and cause partial or total disability or psychosocial difficulties. .

Low vision/Blind is a partial loss of sight causing difficulties in seeing, up to and including blindness. This may be present from birth or acquired as a result of disease, illness or injury.

A medical condition is a temporary or permanent condition that may be hereditary, genetically acquired or of unknown origin. The condition may not be obvious or readily identifiable, yet may be mildly or severely debilitating and result in fluctuating levels of wellness and sickness, and/or periods of hospitalisation; for example, AIDS, cancer, chronic fatigue syndrome, Crohn’s disease, cystic fibrosis, asthma or diabetes.

Neurological condition affects the usual function of the central and peripheral nervous system, including Autism Spectrum Disorder, epilepsy, Alzheimer’s disease, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, brain tumours, ADHD,

Other disability is any disability or long-term condition which is not suitably described by one or several disability types in combination.

Learning Access Plans

After you have completed your registration and discussed your needs with your AccessAbility Advisor, you may be given a Learning Access Plan (LAP). The LAP will document what supports or adjustments you need to manage your study. You should give your LAP to academic staff as soon as you receive it and at the commencement of each semester of study. This way you will be able to request your reasonable adjustments when you need them and negotiate any changes if necessary.

Special consideration

You can apply for special consideration if illness or adverse circumstances affect your performance in assessments or examinations, or you are unable to sit an exam or submit an assessment. Special consideration is specifically intended to support students who experience circumstances that are considered serious, short-term or immediate impact, adverse, and unforeseen. Therefore, to claim special consideration there must be a serious exacerbation of your condition or disability that has not been accomodated for in your Learning Access Plan (LAP) or an unforeseen event. Special consideration also only applies to assessment tasks worth 15% or more of the total assessment for the subject.

See eligibility criteria and access the online application for special consideration. Please note that if reasonable adjustments can be provided to accommodate for a mental health condition, ongoing medical condition, or disability, then special consideration may not apply. Contact an AccessAbility Advisor or your relevant academic staff for advice.

Adaptive equipment and assistive technologies

Courses can now be accessed on phones, tablets, laptops, as well as the personal computer, at home, at work, or even on public transport. Anywhere is now a learning space. Various technologies and applications are available to facilitate your academic study.

AccessAbility can discuss a range of adaptive equipment and assistive technologies for students registered with the AccessAbility Hub. The Assistive Technology Room on the Melbourne Campus and other regional campuses provides access to a scanner, OCR software, magnifiers, screen readers and text-to-speech software.

AccessAbility Hub staff can assist you with advice on apps and software for your needs. Contact us to discuss what solutions may work for you.

Accessible course materials

The AccessAbility Hub also assists students with their subject print requirements by converting learning resources into accessible formats.

The AccessAbility Hub works closely with students and academic staff to ensure learning materials are available when needed.

To discuss what options and formats may work best for you, please register with AccessAbility Hub and an AccessAbility Advisor will work with you to ensure you are able to access your learning materials. This may involve providing you with assistive technology to access materials yourself, or where necessary, providing accessible formats for you. It's important to register early for support where you have complex circumstances.

Library services

Library staff can organise:

  • retrieval of items from shelves
  • extended loan periods
  • accessible computer services
  • alternative formats for library materials.

Make arrangements in advance to take advantage of these additional services. See more information on library services for students with a disability.

Alternative assessment arrangements

Extensions on assignments

Information about due dates, penalties for late submission and how to request an extension is available in your Subject Learning Guides in the LMS. In general, an extension request should be sent to your Subject Coordinator or Instance Leader. Please remember requests for extensions need to be submitted at least 3 days prior to the due date for the assessment task. If you have a Learning Access Plan that recommends extensions when required you can submit your Learning Access Plan to support your extension. However you still must submit in the required timeframe of 3 days prior to the assignment due date.

Extension requests should be made only in extenuating circumstances such as illness, injury or other extenuating circumstance. Poor time management is not usually a reason to approve an extension. If you are unable to meet the due date, were unable to submit an extension request on time and you have extenuating circumstances, you can submit a special consideration request as long as the assessment task is worth more than 15% of the total subject.

If you require regular or longer than normal extensions please contact your AccessAbility Advisor

Changes to assignment methods

If you need to change your assignment methods or exam arrangements to accommodate the impacts of a disability, discuss this with your AccessAbility Advisor, who can help negotiate with academic staff.

Alternative examination arrangements

If you require adjustments to your examinations to accommodate your disability these need to be organised through your Accessability Advisor. You may be entitled to additional time, specialist software, ergonomic furniture or use of a scribe.

Ensure you arrange these well in advance of the examinations.

Adjustments to teaching

Academic staff may be able to make adjustments to their teaching to include a student with a disability. Discuss your needs with your AccessAbility Advisor as soon as possible, so they can be outlined in a Learning Access Plan. Late notification may make it difficult to implement adjustments.

Physical access

Access to lecture theatres

If you have specific access requirements notify our staff as soon as possible to ensure your classes have accessible venues. Check out the location information and mobility maps available for information on accessibility at your campus.

Parking permits

Disability parking is available on all campuses. Display the relevant permit to access this parking. If you are not eligible for such permits and you believe you have special circumstances, please contact Car Parking at your campus.

Other Support Areas

  • Student Learning can also help to improve your study skills and assist with assignments.
  • Peer Learning Advisers (PLAs) who are experienced and successful students trained to assist fellow students with preparing and writing assignments.
  • Career Ready can help to plan for your career and explore the range of options available based on the course of your study.