Students who are living with a disability, long term medical condition and / or mental health condition, or who are carers of individuals with a disability are entitled under the Disability Discrimination Act (1996) to receive adjustments to support their inclusion in University studies.
Over 2,000 students at UNSW are registered and approved to receive these adjustments every term. It is a collective responsibility of the faculties and teaching staff, supported by the central Equitable Learning Service (ELS) team, to ensure that these students receive the appropriate support they need to succeed in their studies.
The ELS provides support to students to access educational adjustments via the development of the Equitable Learning Plan (ELP). The Equitable Learning Facilitators (ELF) are also available to provide support to Academic staff regarding the implementation of educational adjustments.
Educational Adjustments update T1 2023
The Equitable Learning Services (ELS) team has been busy reviewing the Equitable Learning Plans for ELS students and there are some changes.
TAKE HOME EXAM
This adjustment is for exams that are 24 hours or more. Students that have this in their ELS plans are entitled to an extra 25% or 50% extra time and in some rarer cases, a higher percentage than this.
This adjustment was rounded up to the nearest day, but this is no longer the case. Instead, students will receive pro rata extra time, which is expressed in the heading as a percentage. Eg: if a student has 15 mins per hour extra time, they have 25% extra time for take home exams. If a student has 30 mins per hour extra time, they will have 50% extra time for take home exams.
A ‘blackout’ period has been added in the description area. This is to ensure that no student needs to submit an exam at an unreasonable time (ie: in the middle of the night) The description area, now states:
"If calculation of additional time falls between 9.01pm and 8.59am, submission time will be 9am."
CLASS PARTICIPATION (CP)
*PLEASE NOTE: This is not the class presentation adjustment. Whilst there is some crossover, it is a separate adjustment.
The Class Participation adjustment was developed to support students who, due to their registered condition, found it extremely challenging to participate fully in classroom activities.
ELS have reviewed the adjustment based on feedback from UNSW students and academics. The adjustment can be used to support students’ CP, whether it is formally graded or not. It is intended to support a student undertaking any course at UNSW where they may struggle with verbal contributions to the entire class. It is particularly useful for the UNSW Law and Justice Faculty, where CP is an integral component of their courses, and is graded.
How will be the revised Class Participation adjustment help?
- Supported approach - The revised CP adjustment provides a more supported approach for UNSW students to build their confidence in public speaking and discussion contributions over time. It includes six options ranging from lower to higher levels of support, based on the students’ individual needs.
- Visibility for early action - The revised CP adjustment has increased visibility in the Equitable Learning Plan (ELP) so that the relevant teaching staff can immediately identify that CP support may be needed at the start of term, with more nuanced guidance in relation to the students’ capabilities.
Revised wording of the Class Participation adjustment
This is how it will appear on the students’ Equitable Learning Plan from 2023 onwards.
This adjustment is for students who struggle to produce the lab report submission by the end of the lab session and may need an extra 24/48 hours to finalise it.
This adjustment works in a similar way to an assessment extension, but is applied to smaller, weekly assessment tasks. It is given to students who struggle to produce weekly work and need some extra time. Similar to the one/two-week assessment adjustment, the student is required to request to use this, giving their teacher at least 24 hours' notice. It is not an automatic extension.
If a student requests to use their one week extension on these smaller, regular tasks, please feel free to direct them to ELS and we can discuss including these new adjustments in their ELPs.
If you have any further questions regarding adjustments, you can contact us at any time.
How does the Equitable Learning Service work?
An Equitable Learning Facilitator (ELF) meets with a student and develops an individualised learning plan (Equitable Learning Plan) based on the medical / professional information provided by the student. This plan may include:
- adjustments to study and assessment conditions.
- provision of course materials in alternative formats
- provision of enabling assistance staff – notetakers, participation assistants
- provision of captioning and or assistive technology.
The Equitable Learning Plan is provided to the students for distributions to their teaching staff. Teaching staff will also be able to access these via the Symplicity - Access System. Each Term, academic staff will receive an email notifying them of current ELS students and their adjustments. Staff should follow instructions contained within the email to ‘acknowledge’ receipt of adjustment information.
Who is eligible for support?
Any student who is living with a disability, long term medical condition and / or mental health condition or who is a carer of a person with a disability. This includes students with:
- Physical disability
- Sensory impairment – such as vision / hearing
- Learning disability
- Neurological condition
- Mental health condition
- Mobility impairment
- Chronic medical conditions.
How do students register with ELS?
What are my responsibilities?
The plan provides a list of adjustments to be implemented. It is the responsibility of the Academic and / or School to implement educational adjustments that apply to the classroom setting and assessments (with the exception of formal examinations, which are managed by the Examinations team*).
If there are any queries or concerns about how the educational adjustments may be applied in a particular course, please contact the Equitable Learning Service to discuss with one of the advisors.
Provision of enabling staff such as Notetakers, Participation Assistants and Sign Language Interpreters will be undertaken by the ELS.
*There are some exceptions with post-COVID online exams.
Faculty Academic Disability Advisors
Each Faculty has an appointed Academic Disability Advisor to assist with Faculty specific concerns related to the implementation of educational adjustments.
|Medicine & Health||Husna Razee|
|Law & Justice||Mehra San Roque|
|Arts, Architecture & Design||Karen Kriss|
|Arts, Architecture & Design||Jodi Brooks|
|UNSW Canberra||Gavin Mount|
|UNSW Canberra||Tom Arthur|