AccessAbility Services - University of the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia

Accessibility links

AccessAbility Services

As USC adapts to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, we will continue to offer support across all campuses; however, there may be some changes to the way this support is offered. Visit Advice for students about coronavirus for up-to-date advice and support services available to USC students.

AccessAbility Services ensure equal access to all aspects of university life. 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. AccessAbility Services can provide access to appropriate reasonable adjustments and practical advice about the support and facilities available to you throughout the University.

Who should see us

Under the Disability Discrimination Act 1992, USC recognises that a disability may be permanent or temporary and may take the following forms:

  • physical
  • psychiatric (mental health)
  • sensory
  • learning
  • intellectual
  • neurological
  • 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.

Please note: A carer is defined by the Carer Recognition Act 2010 as “an individual who provides personal care, support and assistance to another individual who needs it because that other individual (a) has a disability; or (b) has a medical condition (including a terminal or chronic illness); or (c) has a mental illness; or (d) is frail and aged… An individual is not a carer merely because he or she (a) is the spouse, de facto partner, parent, child or other relative of an individual, or is the guardian of an individual; or (b) lives with an individual who requires care."

What to expect when registering

At your initial contact with AccessAbility Services, an Ability Adviser will help you determine the necessary documentation to verify your condition and its impacts. General information about available supports and services may also be provided.

If you choose to proceed with registration, you will be asked to provide suitable documentation concerning the nature of your condition or role as a carer. You will then be able to book a face-to-face or phone appointment when:

  • the impact of your condition or carer responsibilities on academic work and functioning will be discussed
  • a Learning Access Plan (a document that lists your reasonable academic adjustments) may be developed for you to provide to academic staff
Contact AccessAbility Services

Current USC students: Book an AccessAbility Services Telephone Call Back online via the Student Hub Learning tab. If you have any difficulty with this, you can phone Student Central on 07 5430 2890 or email AccessAbility@usc.edu.au

Prospective USC students: Email AccessAbility@usc.edu.au

Disclosure and Confidentiality

USC encourages disclosure by registering with AccessAbility Services for the purposes of seeking reasonable academic adjustments and appropriate study support. You can register if you have a disability, learning disorder, mental health issue, injury or illness, or you are a primary carer for someone with a disability or who is frail and aged. Disclosure of information is voluntary. The information you provide is treated as private and confidential. No information is released without your written consent, except where required or authorised by law.

Ability Advisers recommend reasonable academic adjustments by creating a ‘Learning Access Plan’ to be shared (with your consent) with relevant USC staff members who can provide and/or permit these adjustments. Reasonable adjustments can also be recommended for Work Integrated Learning (WIL) and these can be negotiated in advance with your Placement Coordinator. 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. Students are encouraged to use this resource to develop skills and confidence in talking about their needs.

You have the right to access any information that AccessAbility Services holds about you. Your Academic Record at USC does not contain any disability or health information, nor any indication of registration with AccessAbility Services. The University's Information Privacy Policy is on the USC website.

Disclosure of information is a personal decision however non-disclosure or disclosing only limited information may result in an inability to negotiate reasonable academic adjustments. Students will be encouraged to discuss (or allow the AccessAbility Services staff to discuss) the effect of their disability on their learning, with staff who are asked to make reasonable adjustments. AccessAbility Services have developed a Disclosure Script Worksheet (PDF 190KB) to help you decide what, when and how to disclose information.

Braille on sign
Disability Action Plan

The purpose of the Disability Action Plan is to assist the University in providing equal access to quality education for the whole community, improve the teaching and learning environment for students and staff, and to raise awareness of disability issues and responsibilities as a foundation for good practice in equitable service provision.

Services and facilities

There are a range of disability support services and facilities available across USC's campuses. For more information and to access these services, contact AccessAbility Services.

University Specialist Employment Partnerships (USEP)

Have you graduated within the last 12 months or are you expected to graduate within the next 12 months? On campus employment support is available for USC students and graduates who identify as having a disability.

Garry is available for phone and Zoom appointments. To book an appointment, contact Garry at Garry.Scott@cpl.org.au. For more information visit the USEP Website.

Physical access

Every building and level on each USC campus is wheelchair accessible. There are lifts in all buildings and Braille signage.

For vision impaired students, mobility training and assistance with orientation can be accessed through Guide Dogs Australia.

Ground floor access to lecture theatres and after-hours lift access can be arranged for eligible students with mobility issues. Contact AccessAbility Services to discuss mobility solutions.

Better hearing

Adaptive technology is available in learning spaces across all campuses. Talk to an Ability Adviser about options for better hearing on campus.

Parking

USC provides parking for people with a mobility disability at a number of 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.

Restrooms

Wheelchair accessible toilets are available on all campuses and are indicated on campus maps.

Adaptive technologies

Training and support in the use of specialised software, hardware and peripherals can be arranged for eligible students.

Alternative formatting of course materials and exams

Course materials and exams can be made available in alternative formats for students with vision impairment or print disability.

Assessment support

Reasonable academic adjustments can be put in place for students whose condition may impact their ability to complete assessment tasks.

Students whose condition impacts their performance in an exam setting may be eligible for alternative exam arrangements.

Auslan interpreters

Auslan interpreter support can be arranged - with advance notice, for eligible students who have significant hearing impairment.

Note-taking

Note-taking can be arranged for students who experience significant difficulty with accessing lecture material, for example, due to a hearing impairment or impaired manual dexterity.

Note-taking is provided each semester by peer students who agree to share their notes. It may take a couple of weeks to identify a peer, and there will be some variation in the timeliness and style of notes.

Assistance animals

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.

Work Integrated Learning

AccessAbility Services follows the Work and Industry 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.

More information

* For PDF documents you must have the free Adobe Acrobat Reader, which can be downloaded from the Adobe Download page.