AccessAbility Services can provide access to appropriate reasonable adjustments and practical advice about the support and facilities available to you throughout the University. If your studies are affected by a disability, learning disorder, mental health issue, injury or illness, or you are a primary carer for someone with a disability or who is considered frail and aged, you are strongly encouraged to connect with AccessAbility Services as early as possible. Contact us if you are a prospective or current USC student.
Under the Disability Discrimination Act 1992, USC recognises that a disability may be permanent or temporary and may take the following forms:
- psychiatric (mental health)
- a chronic medical condition (eg heart disease, chronic fatigue syndrome), or
- the presence in the body of disease-causing organisms
AccessAbility Services can also assist with support for students who are a primary carer for anyone meeting the above criteria or who is considered frail and aged, as defined in the Carer Recognition Act 2010. Support is available for registered students enrolled at all USC campuses.
Our Ability Advisers can assist with:
- arranging alternative exam conditions, such as extra time, separate venues, equipment etc
- alternative formatting of print materials
- captioning or transcription of audio-visual materials
- access to assistive technologies
- access to notetaking services
- access to Auslan interpreting
- access to Participation Assistants
Supports are individually customised to meet your particular needs based on the verified impacts of your condition or carer role on academic work and functioning, while considering the Inherent Academic Requirements for your program. We do not provide tutoring or personal care.
During your initial contact with AccessAbility Services, you will be asked to:
- provide suitable documentation verifying the nature and impacts of your condition or role as a carer, and
- complete an online consent form (USC login required)
General information about available supports and services may also be provided. It is suggested that you register early to ensure your supports are in place for when they are needed.
When you register with AccessAbility Services, a Learning Access Plan is developed. A Learning Access Plan lists your reasonable academic adjustments and is valid for either a study period or calendar year, depending on when you register and whether your condition is temporary, variable or permanent. You are to provide the Learning Access Plan to academic staff as soon as it is developed and again if you are seeking to use your academic adjustments.
Parents and guardians are welcome to contact us to obtain general information about possible supports and services available that may assist students when studying at USC. USC is an adult learning environment and privacy laws do not permit us to speak with parents, guardians or other family members about a student without the student’s written permission. We encourage you to make a plan with the student about how they can begin or continue to take on increased responsibility for their studies.
Services, facilities and resources
There are a range of disability support services, facilities and resources that are available across USC's campuses.
Have you graduated within the last 12 months or are you expected to graduate within the next 12 months? Employment support is available for USC students and graduates who identify as having a disability. The USEP consultant, Rachel, is available for in person, phone and Zoom appointments. To book an appointment, contact Rachel at firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information visit the USEP Website.
USC provides parking for people with a mobility disability at several designated disabled parking spaces across all USC campuses at no cost. If you require accessible parking at USC, you must obtain a permit from Queensland Department of Transport and Main Roads. For more information refer to parking at USC.
USC welcomes assistance animals on campus. While on campus, an assistance animal must wear an identifiable coat or harness and be accompanied by a certified handler who must carry their identification card.
AccessAbility Services follows the Work Integrated Learning (Placement) Procedures and provides information about how and when to disclose a condition that may impact on your ability to engage in Work Integrated Learning. We are here to assist you with Placement Disclosure Statements and access to reasonable adjustments.
The Accessibility map shows the location of lifts, induction loop, adaptive technologies room and accessible parking, phone and toilets.
There are many resources that are freely available that may assist with your university studies. You do not need to be registered with AccessAbility Services to access these resources.
- Learning Advisers can assist you with developing a wide range of academic skills
- Built in screen readers (text-to-speech) read out the words that are on the screen and are great tools if you have a vision impairment, reading difficulties or simply prefer hearing the written word
- Dictating to your computer (speech-to-text) is particularly useful if you have an injury that impairs your ability to type, you find you lose concentration when typing or you simply find typing uncomfortable
- The wheel for iPad and wheel for Android contain apps that may assist with reading and writing difficulties
- The Microsoft Immersive Reader helps improve reading and writing and it is built into many Microsoft programs including Word, OneNote, Outlook, Microsoft Teams and more
- Grammarly and Ginger are programs that assist with grammar, ensuring mistake-free writing
- Khan Academy is a great resource for building a deep, solid understanding in maths, science and more
- PhotoMath is an app that utilises a phone's camera to recognise mathematical equations and to display the step-by-step solution onscreen
- Ink math assistant in OneNote gives step-by-step tips to solve handwritten maths problems
- Seeing AI is an app that can be useful if you have a vision impairment as it can identify and describe people, objects, documents etc
- Thinkascend has a browser extension that adds accessibility features, such as font adjustment, colour contrast, animation toggle, text-to-speech, and tints and overlays, to every website you visit
Disclosure and confidentiality
USC values your privacy and encourages disclosure by registering with AccessAbility Services for the purposes of seeking reasonable academic adjustments and appropriate study support.
The potential benefits of disclosing and utilising university support services may include an improved academic outcome and higher graduation rate. Non-disclosure or disclosing only limited information may result in an inability to negotiate reasonable academic adjustments.
AccessAbility Services has developed a Disclosure Script Worksheet to help you decide what, when and how to disclose information. Further information on disclosure can be obtained on the Disclosure as a student page on the Western Sydney University's website, developed by NDCO, the National Disability Coordination Office Program. You are encouraged to use these resources to develop skills and confidence in talking about your needs.
Information is kept confidential when registering with AccessAbility Services. No information is released without your written consent, except in certain circumstances which are contained within the AccessAbility Services online consent form (USC login required). Your Academic Record at USC does not contain any disability or health information, nor any indication of registration with AccessAbility Services.
Further information about USC’s use of personal information can be found on the Privacy page.
You have the right to access any information that AccessAbility Services holds about you.
Disability Access and Inclusion: USC's Action Plan 2021-2024
The Disability Access and Inclusion Plan seeks to fulfil its goal to recognise the potential, contribution, and dignity of the USC disability community, and work on eliminating institutional, systemic, and other barriers within the university. We will develop a culture at USC based on inclusion, belonging and equitable engagement that ensures we can thrive and flourish.
Diversity and Inclusion Plan 2021- 2023
AccessAbility Services is contributing to the development of USC’s inaugural Diversity and Inclusion Plan. We encourage you to contribute and follow its progress.
USC's AccessAbility Services provides a professional service to ensure access to reasonable academic adjustments for students with a disability, or with carer support responsibilities. The team enables engagement in academic studies through applying knowledge of self-determination, enabling independence, and occupational justice.