Disability & accessibility

If you have a disability or medical condition that impacts your studies, Accessibility Services can support you.

We can assist you to study independently through our range of:

  • support services and resources
  • adjustments for study and assessment.

In 'Disability & accessibility':

Accessibility services we provide

Student Amy Marks has benefited from VU's accessibility support services.

We can recommend adjustments to the way your course is taught and assessed.

Adjustments are made on a case-by-case basis, and may include:

  • alternative exam arrangements
  • academic support worker assistance
  • equipment loans
  • assistive technology
  • accessible formatting
  • extensions to assignments
  • flexibility in attendance requirements
  • accessible teaching spaces and ergonomic furniture.

Accessibility Liaison Officer support

Our Accessibility Liaison Officers can help to minimise impacts of a disability or a health condition on your study and enable you to participate in all aspects of university life.

We will meet with you to:

  • identify options to reduce the impact of your illness or disability on your current study program
  • provide information on a range of supports and access to relevant VU services and study adjustments
  • create an Access Plan to summarise recommended teaching adjustments, assessment and examination adjustments and other factors needed to support independent learning
  • communicate and assist relevant VU staff and external agencies to arrange specific services outlined in your (learning) Access Plan.

Teaching adjustment recommendations

We can recommend a range of inclusive teaching practices, including:

  • flexible assessment options, eg. an essay or an oral presentation on a particular topic
  • providing copies of notes and presentations early in the semester and well before class
  • audio recording classes (where appropriate)
  • alternative assessment arrangements (more time) for in-class tests
  • recommendations to help you meet placement requirements.

Course materials – alternative formats

Accessible course materials can be provided. We have alternative formats available such as:

  • enlarged print
  • Braille
  • electronic files.

Academic support workers

We can arrange for academic support workers to assist you in class, such as:

  • Auslan interpreters
  • note-takers
  • participation assistants
  • lab assistants.

You must register for accessibility support to receive assistance from an academic support worker.

Exam & assessment adjustments

We can arrange exam assistance such as:

  • special seating arrangements
  • extra writing time
  • adjusted or alternative assessments tasks
  • Auslan interpreters or scribes in exams
  • rest breaks
  • specialised equipment.

Technology & equipment

VU has a range of library support services for students with health conditions or a disability. Use the adaptive technology labs at our Footscray Park and St Albans campuses to access:

  • screen reading and magnifying software
  • Dragon speech recognition and word prediction
  • closed circuit TV to magnify reading material
  • PCs with large screen monitors
  • accessible work stations.

Campus maps

If you are using a screen reader, screen magnifier or prefer an alternative version of a map, text alternative maps for all our campuses are available.

Access and mobility maps are also available, showing accessible exits, entrances and lifts for the buildings on each of our campuses.

Eligibility for accessibility support

To be eligible for accessibility support, you must:

  • be currently enrolled
  • have a disability or health condition that impacts your studies
  • provide a Health Practitioner Report from a qualified professional.

Your health practitioner report should include:

  • the nature of the specific impairment or condition
  • the duration of the disability as permanent, ongoing or temporary
  • details of the impact the condition is likely to have on your learning
  • recommended support services and/or reasonable adjustments to minimise impact on your study
  • medical professional's title, credentials and stamp
  • legible hand-writing, dated and signed by your practitioner.

Documents need to contain the most recent information of your condition and need to be dated within the last:

  • two weeks for temporary conditions
  • six months for fluctuating conditions
  • three years for learning disabilities
  • no specific date required for permanent disabilities.

Registration process

Please register for accessibility support. You will also need to:

  1. Download the Health Practitioner Report.
  2. Arrange for your Health Practitioner to complete it.
  3. Contact us for an appointment.
  4. Bring the Health Practitioner Report and meet an Accessibility Liaison Officer. They will assess the support services best suited to you.
  5. Negotiate a learning Access Plan with your Accessibility Liaison Officer.
  6. Keep in touch with us and give us feedback.

Contact us

VU Accessibility Services
Phone: +61 3 9919 5400
Email: accessibility@vu.edu.au