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Students with Disabilities Policy

Status


Last reviewed
Fri, 17 May 2019

To describe how MST supports students with disabilities and how the students may access these support mechanisms.

Public
visibility
Approved on: 07 Aug 2020
Amended on: 07 Aug 2020
Review cycle: 3 Years
Owned by

Operations

Approved by

Vice Principal (Community and Operations)

Category: 
Policy Contact: 
Dean of Studies
Definitions: 
MST Melbourne School of Theology
College Melbourne School of Theology
Staff This is the general term used for all people employed by MST, whether full-time, part-time or casual. Volunteers and contracted workers are not covered under this policy.
Faculty Those staff who have been designated and remunerated as teaching members of staff, and for which specific policies apply because of their role in teaching.
Executive Management Team This group comprises the Executive Principal, Vice Principal (Academic), Vice Principal (Community & Operations), Vice Principal (Head of Eastern College Australia)
Background: 

MST is committed to communicate how it supports students with disabilities.

Purpose: 

To describe how MST supports students with disabilities and how the students may access these support mechanisms.

Scope: 

All MST students with a disability that affects their studies.

Statement: 

Abilities, disabilities and support

All students have strengths and weaknesses, some of which may affect their studies. At MST, staff seek to encourage and help all students to develop their gifts and abilities to the fullest possible extent. Students who have disabilities may seek special consideration. Many students with disabilities have studied successfully at the College.

Providing information

While it may not be easy to acknowledge a personal disability, unless disabilities are acknowledged, understood and recorded, they cannot be taken into account in relation to College requirements. Students who have a disability that may affect their studies are asked to indicate this in the appropriate place on the Application form. The College will take disabilities into account if students make their needs known in the appropriate way and at the appropriate time.

Students who wish to have disabilities taken into account in relation to their studies are responsible for discussing this with the Dean of Studies at the earliest possible opportunity. This should be done before the second week of the semester in which the student commences studies.

Prospective students are required to inform the College on the application form of any existing disabilities which may affect their studies and generally is best discussed at the initial interview prior to enrolment or in a separate interview with the Dean of Studies.

Any student who has already commenced study may have any newly diagnosed disability taken into account in relation to their studies are responsible for discussing this with the Dean of Studies at the earliest possible opportunity. This should be done as close to diagnosis as possible.

Normally, an official certificate must be supplied to provide evidence of the nature and significance of a disability. For example, a student who is seeking to have allowances made for dyslexia will need to provide formal evidence of having this disability.

Confidentiality

Personal information about student disabilities will be kept confidential, as far as possible. However, if a disability is to be taken into account in relation to assessments or learning exercises, the College may need to advise the lecturers/assessors concerned.

Special considerations

Having a disability will not exempt students from being required to meet certain standards in their work. The College is obliged to require a certain standard of work in all its accredited courses. All students must demonstrate the required knowledge, understanding and skills to pass in any unit. Students are expected to seek advice, help or assistance before, rather than after, submitting their assignment assessment tasks. Generally, the special considerations that may be made for students with disabilities include:

  • additional time for assessment tasks and examinations; and
  • alternative forms of assessment, e.g. oral examinations or multiple-choice examinations.

Notification

An accepted or enrolled student must advise the College of a learning disability by completing a Student Support Request form so that some additional felxibility regarding assessment requirements may be permitted. The student should either

  • provide evidence of the diagnosis already in the possession of the student, including, if possible, recommended support strategies for effective learning; or
  • at his or her own expense, arrange for a report from an appropriately qualified specialist (e.g. doctor, psychologist, educational psychologist, or psychiatrist) which sets out the nature of the condition, and suggests a recommended learning support strategy, (e.g. additional time for exams, reading or the completion of assessment tasks, additional lighting, special seating, etc.); 

and

  • give written consent (with the agreement of the specialist who provided the report) for a representative of the College to contact the specialist for clarification as needed.

The College will endeavour to implement appropriate intervention strategies in a timely manner. The College will maintain a register of all implemented intervention strategies.

Strategies will be formalised by the preparation of a Special Arrangement in which case an electronic copy of the approved Special Arrangement will be provided to the student by email and relevant faculty.

Facilities

Facilities at the College include accessible toilets and a lift to the upper floors.

Health and Safety

The College will, through the Support Services Manager, provide the student with a Personal Emergency Evacuation Plan (P.E.E.P) and the relevant training in accordance with the College's Workplace Health and Safety Policy.

END