Reasonable Adjustment Policy
The Reasonable Adjustment Policy was formulated cognisant of the Standards for Registered Training Organisations (RTOs) 2015, the Disability Discrimination Act 1992 (DDA), and the Disability Standards for Education (Education Standards) 2005.
SCOPE AND APPLICATION
The policy is applicable to all employees of the College, learners and/or prospective learners. It applies to adjustments that the College may make to its training and assessment services to meet the needs of individual learners with a disability.
This policy does not apply to other variations that the College may make to its training and assessment services, such as course extensions and deferrals.
The College’s primary purpose is the provision of quality vocational education and training programs to learners.
To specify the conditions under which the College will apply its Reasonable Adjustment Policy to implement adjustments that enable a learner with a disability to access the College’s training and assessment services on the same basis as every other learner.
The College will apply this policy consistently and fairly across all programs and any learner enrolled into a program at the College.
The Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) makes it unlawful to discriminate against a person on the grounds of disability. Section 22 of the DDA sets out requirements for educational authorities and providers.
The definition of disability under the Act includes:
- physical disabilities
- intellectual disabilities
- psychiatric disabilities
- sensory disabilities
- neurological disabilities
- learning disabilities
- physical disfigurement
- the presence in the body of disease-causing organisms.
The Disability Standards for Education (Education Standards) under section 31 of the DDA outline the College’s legal obligations in relation to meeting the needs of learners with a disability.
The College meets its obligations by providing reasonable adjustments to learners with a disability to ensure they have the same opportunities as other learners to participate in the course and use all relevant services and facilities. The College invites disclosure by learners with a disability if they require adjustments to support their learning and takes measures to prevent harassment or victimisation of all learners by any other person.
The College also applies the Education Standards at course completion by ensuring that all learners with a disability who have met the course requirements through reasonable adjustment receive the same recognition as learners without a disability.
The College applies reasonable adjustments to its assessment system to accommodate the individual needs of learners with a disability, taking into account the Principles of Assessment, specifically Clause 1.8 Principles of assessment – fairness and flexibility.
At all times, the College considers the learner’s needs in the assessment process and makes reasonable adjustments to accommodate the learner (e.g. by providing oral rather than written assessment) without compromising the rigour of the assessment process (e.g. if there is a requirement to complete documentation in a unit of competency, oral assessment is not appropriate).
All adjustments to training and assessment must be approved by the Quality and Compliance Manager and are recorded and tracked through the learner management system to monitor the effectiveness of the adjustment.
The College recognises that reasonable adjustments should be negotiated individually. It ensures that all staff are aware of their responsibilities and that appropriate professional development is provided to help staff feel comfortable in negotiating and implementing adjustments.
Usually, the person with disability is the best person to explain the impact of their disability on their study and identify the adjustments that may help them or they have found useful in the past. The College may ask learners to provide documentation from a medical or other health professional to help guide this process.
Reasonable adjustment activities can involve:
- Modifying or providing equipment
- Changing assessment procedures
- Changing course delivery
- Modifying premises
The determination of ‘reasonableness’ takes into consideration the suitability of the adjustment to the learner with a disability as well as the likely impact on the organisation. Any adjustment must not create unjustifiable hardship, including unreasonable costs, for the College and/or any other parties, including other learners. Similarly, the College must ensure that the integrity of the unit/s of competency is maintained. Where completion of the qualification is specifically related to an ‘occupational’ outcome, any adjustment to the assessment process may only be accommodated if the workplace can be similarly ‘adjusted’ to accommodate the needs of the learner.
Engaging in reasonable adjustment activities, such as assisting learners to identify their learning needs or offering a variety of training and assessment options, exemplifies good practice by the College and its employees.
POSSIBLE REASONABLE ADJUSTMENTS
Various adjustments can be made to meet the needs of learners and will be negotiated on a case by case basis. Examples of adjustments used by the College include:
- Verbal assessment as a direct replacement for written assessment
- Technology options for vision-impaired learners to assist them with reading and interacting with learning resources
- Liaison with work placement organisations to provide additional support for learners during their work placement
- Hard copy resources where there is a learner need
- Additional individual tutorials to work through learning materials with the trainer/assessor.
Advice for trainer/assessors about reasonable adjustments for individual learner’s should be sought from the lead trainer. All adjustments to training and assessment must then be approved by the Quality and Compliance Manager and are recorded and tracked through the learner management system to monitor the effectiveness of the adjustment.