Disability support services

The Disability Resource Centre (DRC) coordinates a range of support and services to assist you to study and maintain your wellbeing. Learn what support may be available to suit your situation.

Types of support available

Assistance communicating your needs to academic staff

The Disability Resource Centre (DRC) can help you communicate your needs to lecturers and other academic staff.

Often the best way to do this is to create an Access Plan with your DLO’s assistance, that is forwarded to your Unit Chairs. Students are encouraged to use their Access Plan to discuss their needs with Unit Chairs at the start of each trimester. The Access Plan could include practical information to assist your lecturers to meet your needs, recommendations for inclusive practices, and study adjustments and services recommended for you.

Provision of study materials in accessible formats

If you are a student with vision impairment, deafness, a learning disability, or if you physically have difficulty holding a book, you may need access to study materials in formats other than print.

Most of Deakin’s course materials are available in electronic and online formats, but if you require materials in another format, the Disability Resource Centre can:

  • assist you to identify a suitable format
  • arrange for the Print Disability Service to produce your unit materials in that format and send them to you.

Remember to contact the Disability Resource Centre about your needs as early as possible and to tell us about any changes to your enrolment as soon they happen so you can get the right unit materials.

Alternative assessment arrangements

You may need adjustments to be made to assessment tasks to ensure you have the same opportunity to demonstrate your learning as other students.

Class-based assessments

The DRC can assist you in negotiating with academic staff for adjustments to class-based assessment tasks such as assignments, group work, oral presentations, in-class or online tests. These adjustments can be identified for you in an Access Plan, and can include:

  • Extensions for assignments
  • additional time to complete lab tasks or practical assessments
  • consideration of an alternative form of assessment (e.g. written work instead of class presentation, oral presentation instead of written).

End of trimester examinations

You can find out about general examination information on the exam page.

Alternative arrangements can also be made for your trimester examinations. The Disability Resource Centre can arrange adjustments which may include:

  • additional writing time
  • rest breaks
  • use of a computer
  • use of a scribe
  • individual venue

Don't forget to plan ahead as alternative assessment arrangements can take up to 10 working days to organise.

Where adjustments cannot be implemented, students may be eligible for Special Consideration. Special consideration is different to alternative assessment arrangements. It is the responsibility of all students to be informed about the eligibility for and application process for Special Consideration.

Access to academic support workers, including note-takers and interpreters

For some students, additional support in unit activities (classes or seminars) may be required. The DRC employs a range of support workers who provide services such as notetaking, AUSLAN interpreting and laboratory assistance.

Longer library loan periods and off-campus library services

The Library can offer specialised services to students with a disability, including a longer loan period and access to specialised equipment (such as adjustable wheelchair accessible study tables and catalogue terminals on low tables). Libraries at each campus have a specific room equipped with assistive technology.

Access to assistive technology to help you study

Deakin University has a range of computer hardware and software for students with specific needs.

Deakin's software library includes accessibility software available to download by students and staff. This includes:

  • text to speech
  • screen magnification and visual enhancement
  • viewing or converting graphics
  • on-screen keyboards
  • assisting with calculation.

You may be required to learn basic skills in the use of assistive technology where relevant.

Staff at the Disability Resource Centre can provide information, advice on training needs and refer you to suppliers and providers.

Support during practical sessions and placements

Your course may require you to participate in off-campus activities such as field trips or practicums. If you feel you may need support to attend or identify a possible alternative to your field trip please contact a Disability Liaison Officer as early as possible.

Students undertaking practicums or placements should begin planning early in the trimester to ensure they are aware of the expectations of placement/practicums and to consider how they might meet these expectations. Where support or adjustments are required, students should begin discussions with the faculty early as some adjustments can take considerable time to plan for. The DRC is able to support these discussions if required.

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