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Home | Content | Disability support

Disability support

Access | ability

Our commitment to you

Disability Support at North Metropolitan TAFE is committed to ensuring that people with disability have access to our services, programs and facilities so that you can achieve your educational and career goals. Disability Support is available across all North Metropolitan TAFE campuses.

Please contact us to arrange for Disability Support to meet at your campus. It is advisable for students to contact Disability Support early to ensure that the most appropriate support can be put in place in a timely manner.

 Hear from our students and staff about how we are committed to ensuring people with disabilities have access to services, programs and facilities that will allow you to achieve their educational and career goals.

 

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Student support

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What is disability support?

Disability Support Office ensures our students are provided with equal opportunities and access to education and training.

Our staff work in collaboration with the student and learning areas to bridge the gap between the education environment and the student with disability. We can identify barriers in learning, infrastructure access and study environment and advocate for the student in the TAFE environment to increase their opportunities for education growth and employment.

Disability Support Officers work across all ten North Metropolitan TAFE campuses to coordinate and implement support for students with a disability, mental health issue or medical condition whether temporary or permanent.

The service is free, confidential and voluntary.

How can we help you?

Disability Support services include:

  • Alternate methods of assessment and examination
  • Consultation about realistic vocational choices
  • Audio and large print resources
  • Interpreting and note-taking
  • Organising adaptive technology
  • Individual problem solving
  • Adaptive technology
  • Furniture adjustments
  • Assistance with access to buildings and classrooms.

The Disability Support team can also provide general information and referrals to services like People Sense and headspace, or the Jobs and Skills Centre

If you have a diagnosed mental health problem, you can get support through Disability Support, and can also access free counselling services. If you don’t have a diagnosis, you’re still welcome to access our counselling services, just speak with your lecturer or the Disability Support staff.

You can see examples of support we have provided in these case studies .

What is a disability?

The term disability is an umbrella term that includes physical, psychological, sensory, intellectual disabilities and medical conditions.

A disability could affect or limit your movement or senses, your ability to communicate, or your learning abilities. A disability can be visible or invisible, and could be temporary or permanent. Some people are born with a disability, and others may acquire it later in life due to a medical condition or accident. Some people have more than one disability. 

The Australian Government’s Disability Discrimination Act 1992 defines disability as:

  • 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 judgment or that results in disturbed behaviour.

It also includes a disability that:

  • Presently exists
  • Previously existed but no longer exists
  • May exist in the future
  • Is imputed to a person.

Common disabilities and medical conditions we see at TAFE are:

  • Autism spectrum disorder
  • Mental health conditions such as depression, anxiety, and bipolar disorder
  • Learning disabilities such as dyslexia
  • Medical conditions such as epilepsy 
  • Physical disabilities such as people who use wheelchairs or other mobility devices
  • Vision impairments
  • Deaf or hard of hearing.
Do I need to disclose my disability to TAFE?

Disclosure is a very personal choice; there is no formal requirement for you to disclose your disability. 

However, your course may require you to obtain medical clearance from your doctor when you attend field work or practical placements in the workplace. Depending on your disability and the occupational health and safety requirements of the workplace you may be required to disclose your disability.

If you are concerned or unsure about disclosing then we encourage you to seek advice from the Disability Support Office. The benefit of disclosing your disability to the Disability Support Office is that we can then assist you and provide support.

How do I get support?

Contact the Disability Support Office to make an appointment to discuss your needs and requirements.

T  9427 1314
E  student.support@nmtafe.wa.edu.au

Or complete our Registration Form.
Appropriate medical documentation, detailing your diagnosis and the impact of your disability, mental health and/or medical condition may be necessary in order to provide reasonable adjustments on the grounds of your disability

 

Additional information

Do I need to provide medical documentation?

Yes.

Disability Support staff are not qualified health professionals, so unless the impact of your disability is obvious, we need you to provide documentation from an authorised health professional which outlines your diagnosis, the impact of your disability and the functional limitations relating to your TAFE studies.

Documentation must be written on letterhead and signed/dated by a qualified health professional not related to the student.

Alternatively, the North Metropolitan TAFE Health Practitioner Report Form   can be completed by the relevant professional.
Your documentation needs to include: 

  • A clear statement of the condition, including a diagnosis against specific criteria if applicable e.g.: 
    • ADD/ADHD – diagnosis based on the criteria in the DSM-IV/V (APA) 
    • Autism Spectrum Disorder – diagnosis based on the criteria in the DSM-IV/V (APA)
    • Mental Health Conditions – diagnosis based on the criteria in the DSM-IV/V (APA) 
    • Specific Learning Disorders – A diagnostic clinical assessment report with testing results from a relevant professional that includes information on the functional impacts of the specific learning disorder on academic achievement and recommendations o o Description of the severity of the condition as outlined above (e.g. temporary, fluctuating, permanent) 
  • Description of current symptoms 
  • Description of current treatment (if applicable) 
  • Current impacts of the condition on academic performance 
  • Recommended strategies for reasonable adjustments and strategies to support academic performance 
  • Recommended assistive technology specific to the condition.
Who can provide medical documentation?

The table below outlines the suggested health professionals who can provide medical documentation dependent on the health condition or disability.

Condition/ Disability Suggested Health Professional
ADD/ADHD
  • Registered Psychologist
  • Psychiatrist
Autism
  • Paediatrician
  • Registered Psychologist
  • Psychiatrist
Chronic Illness
  • Medical Specialist
Hearing Impairment
  • Audiologist

Learning Disability

e.g.
Dyslexia
Dyspraxia
Dyscalculia
Dysgraphia

  • Registered Educational or Neuro Psychologist with training and experience in testing for a learning disability

Medical Condition

e.g.
Chronic Fatigue
Diabetes
Digestive Disorders
Fibromyalgia
HIV/AIDS

  • Relevant Medical Specialist
  • General Physician with evidence of a clinical history with the student

Mental Health Condition

e.g.
Anxiety
Bipolar Disorder
Depression
Eating Disorder
Gender Dysphoria
Post-Traumatic Stress
Schizophrenia

  • Registered Psychologist
  • Psychiatrist
  • General Physician with evidence of a clinical history with the student

Neurological Conditions

e.g.
Acquired Brain Injury
Cerebral Palsy
Epilepsy
Multiple Sclerosis
Spina Bifida

  • Neurologist
  • Neuro Psychologist
  • Psychologist
  • Psychiatrist
  • General Physician

Physical Disabilities

e.g.
Amputation
Arthritis
Cancer
Cystic Fibrosis
Quadriplegia
Paraplegia
Spinal Cord Injury

  • Medical Specialist
  • General Physician
  • Physiotherapist
  • Occupational Therapist

Temporary Condition or Injury

e.g.
Broken bone/s
Musculoskeletal injury affecting fine and/or gross motor function
Surgery

  • General Practitioner
  • Specialist
  • Relevant Health Professional

Vision Impairment

  • Optometrist
  • Ophthalmologist
  • Specialist Vision Testing Service
What are inherant requirements?

Inherent Requirements refer to the capabilities, knowledge and skills that are essential to achieve the core learning outcomes of a course or to meet curriculum requirements.

An adjustment is not considered reasonable if it would:

  1. Compromise the integrity of the course or assessment requirements and processes: or
  2. Remove or bypass any Inherent Requirements  
Reasonable adjustments

Reasonable Adjustments are strategies or actions that enable a student with a disability to participate in their classes, assessments, practical activities, and campus life, in a way that allows them to have equal opportunity to that of their peers in a reasonable way.

Exploring and determining reasonable adjustments should be done in consultation with the Disability Support office, and take into account all relevant circumstances and interests. This includes consideration of the effect of the proposed adjustment on all students and staff. 

Reasonable adjustments could include things like: 

  • Ensuring a classroom is accessible to students with physical disabilities 
  • Providing a sign language interpreter to deaf or hard of hearing students 
  • Negotiating a reduced study load for students with mental health conditions 
  • Negotiating oral assessments for students with learning disabilities.

Reasonable adjustment will be recommended by the Disability Support Coordinator in consultation with the student and the relevant learning area (where necessary), and communicated to the learning area through the student’s Learning Support Plan. What a reasonable adjustment is will depend on the effects of the disability, the requirements of the particular course or job and the resources available to the student, staff member and the Institute. Reasonable adjustments cannot change course standards or override the student code of conduct. An adjustment is not considered reasonable if it would:

  1. Compromise the integrity of the learning environment, course, or assessment requirements and processes: or
  2. Remove or bypass any Inherent Requirements

Here are some examples of case studies demonstrating reasonable adjustment

What type of support can I get?

Support depends on how your disability impacts on your ability to access and participate at TAFE.
TAFE will make reasonable adjustments to ensure that you are able to participate in courses and use the facilities and services at TAFE on the same basis as students without a disability.

Reasonable adjustments could include things like:

  • Ensuring a classroom is accessible to students with physical disabilities
  • Providing an Auslan interpreter to Deaf or hard of hearing students
  • Negotiating a reduced study load for students with mental health conditions
  • Negotiating oral assessments for students with learning disabilities.

Reasonable adjustment will be recommended by the Disability Support Coordinator in consultation with the student and the relevant learning area (where necessary), and communicated to the learning area through the student’s Learning Support Plan.

What a reasonable adjustment is will depend on the effects of the disability, the requirements of the particular course or job and the resources available to the student, staff member and the College.

Reasonable adjustments cannot change course standards or override the student code of conduct.

What are Learning Support Plans?

Learning Support Plans (LSPs) are developed with you by your Disability Support Coordinator.

With your permission, your LSP will inform your lecturers about your support needs and the reasonable adjustments required to enable you to access and participate in your studies.

The information in your LSP will not be disclosed to your lecturers without your consent. It is very important that you approve your LSP and who you would like it shared with. If you do not approve your LSP your Disability Support Coordinator may not be able to implement your reasonable adjustments and supports.

If you feel that your LSP is not meeting your needs you need to let your lecturer and/or Disability Support Coordinator know. As TAFE is an adult education environment, you are responsible for your own learning and welfare and must inform staff if you are not getting the support that you need or if your LSP is not working for you.

You can see an example of a Learning Support plan here.

I had an education assistant at school, will I have the same at TAFE?

Not necessarily.

TAFE is a vocationally orientated adult learning environment. Our courses prepare students for employment in their career of choice and focus on developing skills to the standards required in the workplace. The integrity of course standards must be maintained and students will need to demonstrate their understanding and competence of the course material. Some classes may have additional classroom support to assist students with their literacy, numeracy and work-readiness skills.

Is support available for apprenticeships?

People with a disability engaging in an apprenticeship may be eligible for support under DAAWS: Disabled Australian Apprentice Wage Support.

DAAWS consists of the following:

  • Wage Support
  • Tutorial Assistance
  • Mentor Assistance
  • Interpreter Assistance

Who can apply?
Anyone who has been assessed as having a disability or obtains a disability whilst in an Australian Apprenticeship.

How to apply?
Contact your Apprenticeship network provider for more information and how to apply.

Assistance animals

As a person with a disability, you may be entitled to be accompanied by an assistance animal in public buildings where animals would normally be excluded. To exclude a person because he or she is accompanied by an assistance animal is unlawful under the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) unless unjustifiable hardship can be shown. 

If you would like to bring an assistance animal to North Metropolitan TAFE, or if you have any concerns, please contact our Disability Support team for further information, or download our information flyer.
 

 

Policies, documents and training

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 All documents are available in alternative formats upon request including electronic format (USB, CD, email), hardcopy (standard and large print) or audio format.

Disability Access and Inclusion Plan

A Disability Access and Inclusion Plan (DAIP) has been developed which outlines the ways in which North Metropolitan TAFE will ensure people with disability have equal access to its facilities and services. Download our DAIP here.

We invite comments from staff, students and members of the community to amend its (DAIP). We welcome feedback on how we can make education and support services accessible to all students. Please contact the Disability Support office to provide feedback.

More information is also available in our Disability support policy.

Disability support policy

 

Interested in working in the disability sector?
NDIS VET pre-planning toolkit

If you're a person with disability entering Vocational Education and Training at North Metropolitan TAFE, the NDIS pre-planning toolkit is designed to be used before you start so you're getting the right support at the right time from the right people.

 

Contact us

T  9427 1314   

E  student.support@nmtafe.wa.edu.au

Page last updated November 11, 2019