Disability - Information for Staff FAQs
The University of Adelaide supports staff with a disability.
How is disability defined?
The definition of “disability” used in the Disability Discrimination Act is broad.
It includes physical, intellectual, psychiatric, sensory, neurological and learning disabilities. It also includes physical disfigurement and the presence in the body of disease-causing organisms, such as the HIV virus.
The Act covers disabilities that people have now, had in the past, may have in the future or which they are believed to have.
What if I’m not able to do the tasks that make up the job due to my disability?
It is not against the law to refuse someone a job if, because of their disability, they can’t perform the “inherent requirements” of the position. However, the Disability Discrimination Act also requires that employers must consider how the person with a disability could be provided with reasonable adjustments to help them do the job. An adjustment is reasonable if it does not impose “unjustifiable hardship” on the University.
To gain an understanding of your rights please refer to the Australian Human Rights Commission website which provides information and links to a number of resources.
Will the University make reasonable adjustments to support me to manage my disability at work?
The University will provide staff with reasonable workplace adjustments, to ensure that all staff have equal opportunity to participate in all aspects of workplace life, especially in regard to the following:
- Recruitment processes
- Performance of duties
- Employment benefits and conditions
- Professional and career development
- Physical access to buildings and facilitys
- Information access
- A safe working environment.
The University will implement all necessary measures and reasonable adjustments to enable equal access and opportunities for staff with disabilities except in the following instances:
- Where provision of adjustments or measures would impose “unjustifiable hardship” on the University;
- Where, even with the provision of all reasonable adjustments, the staff member remains unable to fulfill the “inherent requirements” of the position;
- Where the staff member with a disability has an infectious disease or other condition that requires isolation in order to protect their health and welfare or the health and welfare of others.
In determining “unjustifiable hardship”, all relevant circumstances of the particular case will be taken into account, as prescribed by the Disability Discrimination Act.
Inherent requirements” can be defined as:
- The ability to perform the tasks or functions which are a necessary part of the job;
- Productivity and quality requirements;
- The ability to work effectively in the team or other type of work organisation concerned;
- The ability to work safely.
What changes to the workplace could be considered reasonable for the University to make to assist me with my disability?
Reasonable workplace changes may be administrative, environmental or procedural, temporary or long-term changes.
Examples of adjustments that may be considered include:
- Modifying work premises;
- Changing job design, work schedules or other work practices;
- Providing or modifying equipment;
- Providing training or other assistance;
- Providing flexible work arrangements.
If I have a temporary disability, does the University provide support and rehabilitation for non-work related injuries or illness?
What should I do if I wish to raise and discuss any issues in relation to my disability?
In the first instance you should discuss your disability and your specific needs with your Supervisor/Manager. Your Manager/Supervisor will take the necessary measures to provide you with support and also consider any requests you may have to facilitate you in carrying out the inherent requirements of your job. An assessment to determine if any workplace adjustments can be accommodated will be made at a local level.
What if my disability is preventing me from working?
If you are unable to work, the following options are available:
- Personal leave
- Annual leave
- Long service leave
- Leave without pay
Please refer to the University of Adelaide Enterprise Agreement for further information.
You may also be eligible for Temporary incapacity. Please refer to the UniSuper website for information and for the contact details for on-campus support.
If my disability impacts on my ability to move around campus, where can I access information?
If your disability or medical condition impacts on your ability to move around campus the University’s Campus Maps may assist you in planning how to get to your destination and navigating the campus. It includes the location of lifts, ramps, accessible paths, accessible toilets and parking spaces.
What do I do if I believe that I have been discriminated or harassed because of my disability?
If you believe that you have been treated less favourably than a person without a disability (i.e. discriminated against or harassed), the University has in place policies and procedures which provide clear direction on how and who staff can access, for support and information (i.e. via their Supervisor/Manager and/or via a trained network of Fair Treatment Contact Officers).
For further information please refer to the:
Does the University have a Disability Action Plan?
The University of Adelaide Disability Action Plan is available on the University’s website. The Plan has been designed in accordance with the provisions of the Commonwealth Disability Discrimination Act (1992) and the Disability Education Standards (2005) and supports the University’s obligations under the relevant State based legislation. Responsibility for implementation of the plan is spread across the University, as all members of the University community have an obligation to the values of equal opportunity for people with a disability.
Where can I obtain additional information and support if I have a disability (temporary or permanent) or I am supporting someone with a disability?
Staff with a disability should discuss your disability and your specific needs with your Supervisor/Manager.
Supervisors/Managers are able to obtain information and support from Human Resources Advisory.
Where can I obtain information and support if I am supporting a student with a disability?
Please contact your local HSW team.