At the Disability Resource Centre (DRC), our goal is to support you to get the most out of your study. We can help provide adjustments to reduce the impact of your disability or health condition on your study, and advise you about working with other people around the University to meet your needs.
While we are happy to help, we expect that you will negotiate and advocate for yourself with other areas within the University wherever possible. Self-advocacy is an important life skill and you probably already have a lot of experience in using it.
Tips for getting the most out of your time at university
- Be proactive. Before you start studying, plan for the impacts of your disability and the services and adjustments you will need, and speak to people about getting them.
- Find out how University services work, so you know who to approach directly for particular types of assistance (the DRC can help with this).
- Consider approaching academic staff early in each semester to make them aware of the the ways your study is affected. Developing a good working relationship will help them to understand the effort you are putting in to meet their requirements, and make them more mindful of your needs.
- When you need to talk with a staff member, don't just approach them on the spot (eg just before a class). Make an appointment to see them, so that you will have the time and privacy to discuss your needs. People are more likely to be cooperative if they have a good understanding of the situation and have time to think about and discuss the issues.
- Sometimes getting a good outcome requires negotiation and trying different approaches. Staff may suggest arrangements that don't seem ideal at first, but which might in the end work better for you. The DRC can help you think about what would be a good outcome.
- Think in advance about the issues that may need to be considered in special activities such as examinations, placements, practicums and field trips. These are usually organised well in advance, so plan whether you want to discuss this with staff as early as you can.
- If you feel that you are not being heard, seek advice and support. The DRC can provide advice and referral. DUSA can also assist with advice and advocacy, and support in relation to lodging complaints or dealing with academic progress hearings.