Sharing Information About your Disability
The transition into tertiary education may be a stressful time as you meet new challenges such as: the physical environment, unfamiliar teaching and learning approaches and unforeseen expectations of you as a student. This can raise questions about whether and how your disability may affect your overall performance as a student, and whether you should share some information about your disability.
We have included in this part of the website resources to help you consider the pros and cons of sharing information about your disability. We have also included some information about your rights and responsibilities as a student.
Disability disclosure is a personal decision to tell another person, agency, company or institution about your disability, detailing in particular what supports might ensure success. .
Knowing your rights and responsibilities
Being informed about your rights and responsibilities as a university student helps you to determine what supports are reasonable to expect from the university.
- Get familiar with the university’s student handbook. This will help you to know the general rights and responsibilities of all students.
- Gain a basic understanding of the Disability Discrimination Act (1992) and how it related to your rights as a student with disability. In general, each university is obliged to take into account your disability and to make adjustments wherever it is necessary, possible and reasonable to do so, to lessen any detrimental impact your disability may have on your success and participation at university.
- The Disability Standards for Education (2005) (opens in a new window) (the standards) clarify the obligations of education and training providers and seek to ensure that students with disability can access and participate in education on the same basis as other students.
Understanding your responsibilities is essential to help you make a smooth entry into university. Many of the requirements of you as a university student will be different compared to those at school, or in the workplace, or other aspects of your life.
- Think about the differences between school and university and how this will change your responsibilities as a student. The guiding principle is that university students are responsible for completing required coursework and for asking for assistance when needed. See What’s the difference fact sheet on differences between school, VET and university (opens in a new window) for further information about this.
- Check out the university’s student handbook to find out what the university expects of students in relation to participation at university and requirements for course completion and graduation.
- Disclosure: Choosing your path – This NDCO website provides substantial information for students with disabilities that can be used in assisting them to make decisions around disclosure.
- My Choice Matters (opens in a new window) – Here are some resources to help you live a good life and gain choice, voice and control.