If you're a student with disability, you may be eligible for ongoing support with your studies.
Who is eligible?
The University of Melbourne recognises disability in accordance with the Disability Discrimination Act 1992.
Under this Act, disability is defined as a physical, mental or medical condition or circumstance that requires ongoing support or study adjustments. This includes conditions that currently exist, previously existed or may exist in the future.
Disability, in relation to a person, can mean:
- Total or partial loss of the person's bodily or mental functions
- Total or partial loss of a part of the body
- The presence in the body of organisms causing disease or illness
- The presence in the body of organisms capable of causing disease or illness
- The malfunction, malformation or disfigurement of a part of the person’s body
- A disorder or malfunction that results in the person learning differently from a person without the disorder or malfunction
- A disorder, illness or disease that affects a person’s thought processes, perception of reality, emotions or judgement or that results in disturbed behaviour.
Because every situation is unique, eligibility for ongoing support is determined on a case-by-case basis.
Types of support available
The University may make educational adjustments to your studies to help offset any disadvantage you might face without them.
Educational adjustments (sometimes referred to as equitable adjustments) are changes to how subjects are taught and assessed.
Adjustments are made on a case-by-case basis, and may include:
- Alternative exam arrangements (AEAs)
- Assistance from an academic support worker (ASW)
- Equipment loans
- Assistive technology
- Accessible formatting of course reading materials
- Extensions to assignments
- Flexibility in attendance requirements
- Accessible teaching spaces and ergonomic furniture.
Once you have registered for support, one of our Student Equitable Learning Advisers will work with you to create an Academic Adjustment Plan (AAP) based on your needs.
- A Health Professional Report form (PDF 136.8 KB) is our preferred document for applications made on medical or psychological grounds. It can be completed by a range of healthcare and allied professionals (such as medical doctors and psychologists).
- A medical certificate or supporting letter on official letterhead from a treating health practitioner is also acceptable.
If your supporting documentation is provided by an overseas practitioner and not available in English, you'll need to provide a NAATI-accredited translated copy.
The following forms of documentation will not be accepted:
- Medical test results
- Photos of your medication or injury
- Letters of reference or support from University or College staff (other than Health Service or Counselling and Psychological Services staff).
These University services may also be helpful to students with disability.
- Web accessibility guides
Accessibility guides for University systems, including the student portal, LMS and email.
- Library services
Assistance accessing library resources such as books and journals.
- University of Melbourne Student Union (UMSU) Disabilities Department
The UMSU Disabilities Department organise events each semester aimed at fostering a sense of community for students with disabilities, and educating the broader public about disability and mental health.
- Financial aid
Financial aid opportunities available to students with disability.
- University of Melbourne Disability Action Plan
The University of Melbourne's Disability Action Plan continues our proud history of supporting students experiencing disability to participate equitably in the academic and co-curricular environment.
- Standards for equity services
Information about student equity and disability service standards at the University of Melbourne for students, staff, and the wider University community.
Why we collect your personal information
SEDS is collecting and processing your personal information for one or more of the following:
- To determine eligibility for Special consideration and/or Registration for ongoing supports
- Inform available outcomes available for Special consideration
- Develop and implement Academic Adjustment Plans (AAPs) when registering for ongoing support including alternative exam arrangements and accessibility supports
- Inform reporting and planning activities including for government funding reporting requirements, and to improve student services in relation to Special consideration and Registration for ongoing supports (non-identifying information only).
How we process your personal information
We will process your personal information as necessary for our legitimate interests, in accordance with applicable privacy laws, and only under the following circumstances:
- For the purpose for which it was collected; or
- A related purpose which you might reasonably expect; or
- Where you have consented to the processing; or
- If we are required or permitted to do so by law.
We collect your personal information directly from you. In some cases, we source some information (e.g., your subject enrolment details and results) from the University’s student database, and if required we will validate curriculum and assessment details with the relevant faculty.
We will only share your personal information with the University of Melbourne staff members who are directly involved in the assessment of your application and in determining the appropriate outcomes. The information may also be made available to authorised staff in your Faculty to aid in determining special consideration outcomes, and also with the centrally organised exams team when it involves alternative exam arrangements (AEAs) including accessibility adjustments when registered for ongoing support.
Where relevant, sharing of your Academic Adjustment Plan (AAP) with others such as academic staff will be done with your consent. If you choose not to share your AAP, this may limit what adjustments can be made.
There may be some instances where your personal information may be transferred outside of Victoria or Australia (for example, where providers are located internationally or use a cloud-based system with servers based in international jurisdictions). We take all reasonable steps to ensure that the interstate or overseas transfer of personal information is in accordance with our privacy obligations as outlined in the University’s General Privacy Statement.
If you choose not to provide requested information, it may mean that your application is deemed ineligible and/or cannot be approved and implemented by SEDS, Academic Divisions or other services or programs at the University.
Further privacy information
- Our lawful basis for processing personal information;
- Collection, use and disclosure of personal information;
- Accuracy, security and storage of personal information;
- Retention and disposal of personal information;
- Your individual rights; and
- Applicable privacy laws.
You may request access to, or correction of, your personal information we hold, or exercise your individual rights as applicable under relevant privacy laws, unless this would have an unreasonable impact on the privacy of others or would contravene the University’s other legislative obligations.
If the lawful collection of your personal information is based on your consent, you have the right to withdraw your consent at any time. However, this will not affect the lawfulness of our processing of your information prior to you withdrawing your consent.
For further information you can contact us at Equity and Disability Support firstname.lastname@example.org.
Last updated: Wednesday 16 August 2023
If you still have questions relating to disability services or ongoing support, please contact Stop 1.