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The Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission estimates that around one in five Victorians has a disability.
Numbers of enrolled undergraduate students disclosing a disability at Deakin University have increased from 2.4 per cent in 2006 to 5.2 per cent in 2011.
In the 2011 Staff Equity and Diversity Survey, 12.4 per cent of respondents indicated that they had a disability, an increase of around 2 per cent from 2009. Health conditions (e.g. diabetes and asthma) were most common, followed by mental health conditions, physical impairment, mobility issues, neurological conditions and vision impairment.
Recognising the need to comprehensively review Deakin's 2000 Disability Discrimination Act Action Plan led to an audit of existing policies and procedures relating to people with disability and an extensive consultation process.
To guide the review and consultation process, a Working Group was formed in 2010 comprising representatives from across the University and a project team from the Equity and Diversity Unit. The Working Group met regularly throughout 2010 and 2011.
The Equity and Diversity Unit project team obtained information from a range of sources, including:
Data and feedback were summarised by the project team and discussed with the Working Group and the Equity and Diversity Advisory Committee.
The consultation process revealed the following strengths:
The consultation process also highlighted key challenges:
The project team met with the Vice-Chancellor to discuss feedback from the consultation process, a draft Disability Action Plan and implementation and monitoring processes.
A final round of consultations with all members of the Executive was conducted prior to commencing the University's formal approval process. Relevant feedback was shared with members of the Executive and they were invited to comment on the feedback, proposed actions for their area, and the Disability Action Plan as a whole. This consultation process was valuable in developing the final version of the Plan.