Resources and frequently asked questions for students

Find answers to commonly asked questions and links to resources for disability support, disclosing your disability to others, and privacy and confidentiality considerations.

Remember, you are welcome to contact the Disability Resource Centre (DRC) for further information at any time.

Frequently asked questions

My disability is obvious, do I still need to provide supporting documentation?

Even if a disability is obvious you may benefit from providing supporting documentation as the DRC does not make assumptions about what support you may or may not need. You may have other ‘hidden’ disabilities that impact on your studies.

An initial discussion with your Disability Liaison Officer (DLO) will confirm if documentation is needed.

There may be services that can be implemented or recommended without documentation in certain circumstances. This may depend on the degree of disability, whether it is permanent or temporary, the type of adjustment needed, and your ability to identify what might work for you in the university setting.

Do I have to provide new supporting documentation every study period?

At the time your Access Plan is reviewed, the Disability Liaison Officer (DLO) will advise if updated supporting documentation is needed.

Do I have to review my Access Plan if my disability is permanent or ongoing?

As you move through your course, adjustments indicated on an Access Plan might change because of improvements or deterioration of your disability or health condition, or the adjustments may no longer appropriately address your needs. Changes might also be needed as you acquire confidence in using assistive technology or make changes to your course enrolment.

If you or a faculty academic staff member finds that the recommendations in your plan are not adequately allowing you to participate in your studies, then a review may be needed earlier than originally specified.  You can request a review with your DLO at any time.

If you miss the Review date on your Access Plan, your plan is not retired. However, you are encouraged to make an appointment to go through the plan with your DLO at the next convenient opportunity.

Will my status as a student with an Access Plan be visible to everyone around the University, be on my transcript or be visible to other students?

Your status as a student with an Access Plan will not be shared with anyone without your express permission, or with anyone who does not need to know as part of seeking appropriate adjustments and support.

The DRC is a confidential support service so your information will remain private and confidential within the DRC.

If you choose, your diagnosis can be included in your Access Plan, but usually we focus on the impact of your disability on your studies, rather than the disability itself.

Relevant information may need to be shared with appropriate staff to action required adjustments. For example, the exams team would need to receive a copy of your Exam Adjustments, and the Unit Chair for your relevant unit would need to receive your Academic Adjustments in order for those changes to take place.

I will be unable to complete my assignment on time. How do I use my adjustment of extensions with/without medical documentation? Are extensions on assignments automatic if I have an Access Plan?

You need to follow the procedure outlined in your relevant unit guide on CloudDeakin for applying for extensions, as different Faculties have different processes. Please remember, that your extension is an application, a request for more time, and will need to be negotiated with the Unit Chair. Always discuss your extension request with your Unit Chair first. Unit Chairs have discretion about whether your extension is granted and the length of your extension.

If you experience any issues in negotiating an extension with a Unit Chair, please contact the DRC. It’s helpful to be clear about the date you’re requesting and that needs to be approved in writing.

I am unable to attend my exam as a result of an exacerbation of my condition as covered in my Access Plan. What do I do?

If you are unable to attend an exam because of an exacerbation of your condition, you will need to apply for Special Consideration. Visit the Deakin Special Consideration webpage for more information about eligibility requirements.

Please carefully note that:

  • you have up to 3 working days following your exam date to apply for Special Consideration
  • you are required to provide documentary evidence to support your application. Please refer to the Special Consideration webpage for relevant documentation requirements
  • if you opt to sit your exam, do your very best as there are no guarantees that an application for a special exam will be granted. Approval for a Special Exam cannot be given prior to the assessment of an application by the Special Consideration team
  • should you decide to sit the exam, but part way through feel that you are unable to continue, please ensure you advise an exam supervisor that you are unable to continue and the reason why.

I am having difficulty with my assessment and don’t know where to start. Please help me!

There is a wide range of academic support services available to students but start by contacting your Unit Chair or Tutor for help in checking your understanding of the assessment topic, clarifying content of your Unit or answering any questions you may have.  Alternatively, you can make contact with other services within Deakin for support, such as the following.

I am a prospective student and I am interested in hearing about the type of support that I will be able to access as a future Deakin student. Can I speak to a Disability Liaison Officer even though I am not a current student?

You are most welcome to contact the Disability Resource Centre (DRC) and speak to a Disability Liaison Officer (DLO) about your needs, your planned enrolment and what services you feel you may need to access in order to be successful in your studies. Once you have enrolled, feel free to register with the DRC so we can develop an Access Plan for you. Find contact details for the DRC on the Disability Support webpage.

Are there deadlines within the trimester to have an Access Plan put in place?

You can create an Access Plan at any time. There are certain adjustments that are difficult to accommodate if they are not planned well in advance.  For example, exam adjustments can’t be accommodated close to the exam period. We recommend having exam adjustments in place a least one month prior to the exam period starting.

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