Reasonable Adjustments to Learning, Teaching and Assessment for Students with a Disability Policy


The University of Adelaide is committed to continuing to support a diverse and inclusive community based on the principles of equity and non-discriminatory practice. The University aims to create and maintain a learning experience that is inclusive of the needs of students with a disability and which optimises their participation, retention and success through accessible and equitable learning, teaching and assessment practices. The University's commitment to the provision of reasonable adjustments in teaching and assessment is documented in the University's Disability Action Plan 2014-19.

The University is required to comply with the Disability Discrimination Act 1992 (Cth) and the Disability Standards for Education 2005 (Cth). This policy outlines the rights and responsibilities of staff and students in relation to the provision of reasonable adjustments to learning, teaching and assessment.


Any student of the University of Adelaide may seek reasonable adjustments to learning, teaching and assessment under this policy.


Disability has the same meaning as section 4(1) of the Disability Discrimination Act 1992 (Cth).

Alternative Exam Arrangements means a variation to the location, time or conditions of examinations.

Disability Service means the University of Adelaide's Disability Service

Reasonable Adjustments are measures or actions to assist a student with a Disability to participate in learning, teaching and assessment on an equivalent basis to other students that are determined as reasonable in accordance with clause 1.

Access Plan refers to the formal written statement prepared by the Disability Service which outlines the impact of a student's Disability and the Reasonable Adjustments that will be required by the student to enable equitable access to learning, teaching and assessment.

Inherent Requirements are the capabilities, knowledge and skills that are essential to achieve the core learning outcomes of a program or to satisfy curriculum requirements

Other definitions are as contained in the University Glossary of Terms.

1. Determining Reasonable Adjustments

a) Whether an adjustment is reasonable will be determined in accordance with the Disability Standards for Education. This will involve taking into account all the relevant circumstances and interests, including the student's Disability; the effect of the proposed adjustment on the student and on anyone else affected, including the University, staff and other students.

b) Notwithstanding the above, an adjustment is not reasonable if it would:

i. compromise the integrity of the program or course or assessment requirements and processes; or

ii. remove or bypass any Inherent Requirements.

2. Provision of Reasonable Adjustments

a) Students are eligible for Reasonable Adjustments if they have a Disability or an ongoing medical condition.

b) The University will provide Reasonable Adjustments to eligible students (subject to clause 2c). Reasonable Adjustments can include, but are not limited to the physical environment, teaching delivery and format and utilisation of assistance equipment.

c) The University will not provide Reasonable Adjustments to eligible students if they would impose unjustifiable hardship on the University.

3. Implementing Reasonable Adjustments

a) Prospective and enrolled students should contact the Disability Services at their earliest opportunity in order to ensure that Reasonable Adjustments can be made available within required timeframes.

b) Students must submit a fully completed Verification and Impact Statement to the Disability Service or such other documentation as required by the Disability Service.

c) The University may require students to obtain further documentation or assessments confirming the nature of the student's Disability and the measures or actions that are appropriate for the student.

d) An Access Plan will be prepared by the Disability Service in consultation with the student. The Disability Service may consult with program co-ordinators or other appropriate faculty staff in order to determine whether a proposed adjustment would be reasonable in accordance with clause 1b.

e) In order for Reasonable Adjustments to be negotiated and implemented, students must provide a copy of their Access Plan to any academic staff that may need to negotiate reasonable adjustments as and when required. Reasonable Adjustments will not be provided if the student does not provide a copy of the Access Plan to the relevant academic staff.

f) When Alternative Examination Arrangements are required, the student must make an appointment with the Disability Service prior to the deadline specified by the Disability Service in order that the Alternative Examination Arrangements can be arranged.

4. Confidentiality

a) Information provided to the Disability Service regarding the nature of a student's Disability will not be disclosed outside of the Disability Service unless:

i. the University has reasonable grounds for concern about the health or safety of the student or other persons; or

ii. the student gives express consent; or

iii. disclosure of the information is required by law; or

iv. it is necessary for the University to obtain legal advice.

b) Information regarding the functional impact of a student's Disability may be included in the Access Plan and shared with University staff solely for the purpose of determining what Reasonable Adjustments can be made to assist the student with their learning, teaching and assessment.

5. Grievances

a) A student who wishes to appeal a decision made pursuant to the policy should follow the Students Grievance Resolution Process.

Date uploaded 11 November 2015

Policy Control Information

RMO File No. 2018/8059
Policy custodian Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Vice-President (Academic)
Responsible policy officer Director, Student Life, Division of Academic and Student Engagement
Endorsed by Academic Board
Approved by Vice-Chancellor and President
Related Policies Student Grievance Resolution Policy
University's Disability Action Plan 2014-19
Related legislation Disability Discrimination Act 1992 (Cth)

Disability Standards for Education 2005 (Cth)

Effective from 6 June 2019
Review Date 5 June 2022
Contact for queries about the policy Director, Student Life tel: 8313 0890

Please refer to the Policy Directory for the latest version.