PACE: Reasonable Adjustments

PACE: Reasonable Adjustments

SUMMARY

The PACE: Reasonable Adjustments Procedure establishes the key stakeholders involved and the required steps to be taken that encourage an early disclosure of a disability and/or mental health concern, and the subsequent arrangement of reasonable adjustments in PACE units

The Guideline provides further information on good practice information for students and staff to encourage early disclosure of a disability and/or mental health concern when enrolling or participating in a PACE Unit in order that arrangements for reasonable adjustments can be made.

PROCEDURE

1     PURPOSE

To outline the key stakeholders involved and the required steps to be taken that

  • encourage an early disclosure of a disability and/or mental health concern, and
  • the subsequent arrangement of reasonable adjustments in PACE units.

2     SCOPE

3     DEFINITIONS

Commonly defined terms are located in the University Glossary. Definitions specific to this Procedure are contained in the accompanying Policy.

4     RESPONSIBILITIES AND REQUIRED ACTIONS

PACE STUDENT

Disclose
Contact Campus Wellbeing and Support Services, prior to enrolling in a PACE Unit and/or selecting / nominating your PACE Activity to:

  • disclose any condition which may impact on your ability to meet the inherent requirements of the PACE Unit and PACE Activity, eg access course materials / content or environments, meet the learning outcomes of course unit, and/or meet the assessment requirements
  • provide the disability support staff with documentation that confirms the likely impact of your disability on your studies which needs to:
    • disclose and describe your disability
    • detail the impact of the disability on your capacity to study
    • state whether the disability is temporary, permanent / unchanging, or likely to fluctuate over time.

For conditions that are indicated to be temporary or fluctuate over time, disability support staff may need to request updated disclosures via new supporting documentation from the student’s health professional, prior to completing their assessment and recommending reasonable adjustments to be implemented.

Discuss any further disclosure that may be required to assist you to undertake the PACE Unit.

Discuss any possible reasonable adjustments which need to be arranged to enable you to undertake the requirements of the PACE Unit.

Allow disability support staff to communicate the impact of your disability on your studies to your unit convenors, relevant faculty staff, partner organisations and staff employed to implement their reasonable adjustments.  (You can choose whether you wish your exact disability to be disclosed as well as the impact of your condition.)

Follow the agreed individual education access plan.

Liaise with Campus Wellbeing and Support Services at any stage during your PACE Unit if the adjustments prove ineffective and you need further assistance.

PACE UNIT CONVENOR/FACULTY PACE MANAGER/PACE INTERNATIONAL PROGRAM MANAGER

Provide Information About Disclosure
Encourage PACE student to disclose to Campus Wellbeing and Support Services any condition which may impact on their ability to meet the requirements of the PACE Unit eg via Unit guide, iLearn, handbook, lectures / tutorials.

Negotiate Reasonable Adjustments
Work with Campus Wellbeing and Support Services in order to accommodate any adjustments that need to be put in place in order for the student to undertake the PACE Unit.

Allocate Appropriate Placement
Allocate the student to a PACE Activity which accommodates the required adjustments, in accordance with Campus Wellbeing and Support Services recommendations.

Where necessary, and where permission is given by the student, discuss the reasonable adjustments with the Partner Organisation to negotiate for arrangements to be made with the assistance from Campus Wellbeing and Support Services.

CAMPUS WELLBEING AND SUPPORT SERVICES

Encourage Disclosure
Ask students registering with Campus Wellbeing and Support Services when they will be undertaking their PACE Unit and provide students with information about why disclosure is important in order for the student to successfully undertake their PACE Unit.

Assess Needs
Assess needs of the student and potential reasonable adjustments required for the PACE Unit.

Liaise
Liaise with the relevant Unit Convenor / Faculty PACE Manager / PACE International Program Officer in order to discuss any necessary reasonable adjustments.

Management Plan
Develop an individual education access plan, in conjunction with the student and Unit Convenor / PACE International Program Officer in the case where the student has higher level support needs.

When necessary, assist in discussing reasonable adjustments with Partner Organisation.

Monitor Effectiveness
Liaise with the PACE student / Unit Convenor / PACE Partner Organisation as outlined in the individual education access plan, to monitor effectiveness and discuss any further adjustments.

PACE PARTNER ORGANISATION

Liaise
Work with the Unit Convenor, with the support of Campus Wellbeing and Support Services, to accommodate the reasonable adjustments.

Liaise with the Unit Convenor / Campus Wellbeing and Support Services at any stage during the PACE Unit in order to discuss if the adjustments put in place prove to be insufficient.

5     RELEVANT LEGISLATION

6     KEY RELATED DOCUMENTS

Discrimination and Harassment Prevention Policy
Reasonable Adjustments in PACE Units Guideline
Appendix A_Examples of Disability Types
Appendix B_
Examples of Reasonable Adjustment TypesAppendix C_Examples of Key messages to encourage disclosure
Macquarie University Disability Action Plan
PACE Operational Disability Action Plan
Campus Wellbeing and Support Services

7     NOTES

7.1
Contact Officer
PACE Academic and Programs Director
7.2
Implementation Officer
PACE Academic and Programs Director
7.3
Approval Authority / Authorities
Senate Learning & Teaching Committee
7.4
Date Approved
11 August 2014
7.5
Date of Commencement
11 August 2014
7.6
Date for Review
August 2017
7.7
Documents Superseded by this Procedure
nil
7.8
Amendment History
15 June 2015 – alignment with new Policy Framework

Asset ID = 423389

GUIDELINE

1     PURPOSE

To provide good practice information for students and staff to encourage early disclosure of a disability and/or mental health concern and the subsequent arrangement of reasonable adjustments when enrolling or participating in a PACE Unit.

2     GUIDELINE

BACKGROUND

What is a PACE Unit?
PACE units foster professional and community engagement by enabling students to work with partner organisations in a range of workplace activities as part of their degree. Through an academic framework, students engage with the community, learn through participation, develop their capabilities and build on the skills that employers value, whilst gaining academic credit. This document refers to the PACE unit, which includes workplace PACE Activities.

What is a disability?
The definition of disability under the Commonwealth Disability Discrimination Act 1992 encompasses physical, sensory, mental and intellectual disability.

As per the Act, disability, in relation to a person is defined as:
  • total or partial loss of the person’s bodily or mental functions; or
  • total or partial loss of a part of the body; or
  • the presence in the body of organisms causing disease or illness; or
  • the presence in the body of organisms capable of causing disease or illness; or
  • the malfunction, malformation or disfigurement of a part of the person’s body; or
  • a disorder, illness or disease that affects a person’s thought processes, perception of reality, emotions or judgment or that results in disturbed behaviour
and includes a disability that:
  • presently exists; or
  • previously existed but no longer exists; or
  • may exist in the future (including because of a genetic predisposition to that disability); or
  • is imputed to a person

A disability that is otherwise covered by this definition includes behaviour that is a symptom or manifestation of the disability.

Wellbeing at Macquarie
In the general population, approximately 20% of Australians will experience a disability or mental health concern in any 12 month period.  In 2013, with 38,000 students enrolled at Macquarie University, this would mean that as many 7,600 may have a disability or mental health concern. 

Of Macquarie University domestic students, only 5% have registered with the Disability Service at Campus Wellbeing and Support Services.  There is a vast range of disabilities which can be grouped in the following general categories:
  • Mental Health Condition
  • Mobility impairment
  • Neurological disability
  • Long term or chronic health condition
  • Hearing impairment
  • Learning disability
  • Vision impairment

More than 30% of the registered group have indicated that they have a mental health concern. Based on the known statistics, it is likely that there are large numbers of students with a disability that have not registered with Disability Service. 

As PACE becomes a compulsory part of every undergraduate degree, it is estimated that around 10,000 students will be undertaking a PACE unit each year. This equates to potentially 2,000 of these students with a disability or mental health concern (disclosed or undisclosed).

What is ‘Reasonable Adjustment’?
A reasonable adjustment is a change to a process, practice, procedure or environment that enables a student or employee with a disability to perform their job or task in a way that minimises the impact of their disability.

The term ‘reasonable adjustments’ is used because, under the Disability Discrimination Act (1992), education providers and employers are obligated to make adjustments to accommodate an individual’s disability, unless that adjustment would result in unjustifiable hardship. Reasonable adjustments are also often called ‘workplace’ adjustments.

Reasonable adjustments allow a person to:
  • maximise productivity
  • perform the inherent or essential requirements of their job safely in the workplace
  • have equal opportunity to participate in employment and education
  • experience equitable terms and conditions of employment and education.

A person’s experience of a disability is unique to them. Two people who have the same diagnosis of disability may require different adjustments to achieve the same outcome. For some students, a reasonable adjustment may simply require a change of PACE Activity. For others, a more detailed management plan may be required. In all cases, Campus Wellbeing and Support Services provides advice and a service to Unit Convenors to assess and manage cases of reasonable adjustment.

Please refer to the Appendix A and B for further examples of reasonable adjustments.

PROCESS

There are multiple opportunities for students with a disability to disclose during their degree. For PACE Units, two key pathways have been identified.
  • At/after enrolment or at any stage of their study.
  • When/after enrolling in PACE unit.

If reasonable adjustments are required, both options require registration with Campus Wellbeing and Support Services. This enables the University to consider ways to centrally fund reasonable adjustments, ensure that the student is registered for insurance purposes, mitigate any potential special consideration/disruption incidents and ensure that privacy of medical related information is maintained.

  1. Process of Reasonable Adjustments at/after enrolment Student registers with Campus Wellbeing and Support Services.

    Student is contacted by / has appointment with the Disability Services.

    Disability Services, as a part of their initial assessment, discuss PACE with the student and ask when they plan to undertake PACE unit.

    Disability Services contact the student closer to the PACE Unit taking place, as part of their annual contact procedures.

    Disability Services discuss inherent requirements of the PACE Unit with the student, and any reasonable adjustments that (s)he might require and whether a disclosure to the PACE Unit Convenor / Faculty PACE Manager / PACE International Program Officer / Partner Organisation would be beneficial.

    Disability Services provide Unit convenor / Faculty PACE Manager / PACE International Program Officer with the recommended adjustments (not the nature of the disability) that will need to be put in place for the student with a disability to undertake their PACE Unit.

    The PACE Unit Convenor / Faculty PACE Manager / PACE International Program Officer and Disability Services work in collaboration with student (and Partner Organisation) to make reasonable adjustments to PACE Activity as needed.

    PACE Activity arranged in appropriate organisation / role, which accommodates the student’s needs.

    Disability Services works with Unit convenor / Faculty PACE Manager / PACE International Program Officer to establish Management/Monitoring Plan with student in cases where higher needs for support during the PACE Activity may be required.

    Disability Service and/or Unit Convenor (if disclosure allowed) monitors and checks with the student according to the Management/Monitoring Plan.
  2. Process of Reasonable Adjustments when/after enrolling in PACE Unit
    Disclosure and registration with Disability Services is encouraged by Macquarie University at the beginning of the session by including a paragraph (please refer to Appendix C) in the following sources:
  • Unit Guide
  • PACE Activity Handbook
  • Lecture / Tutorial
  • iLearn
  • any general email communication
  • PACE International Application process.

Student contacts / has appointment with the Disability Services.

Disability Services conducts the assessment and discusses with the student any inherent requirements of their PACE unit and, reasonable adjustments that (s)he might require, and whether a disclosure to the PACE Unit Convenor / Faculty PACE Manager / PACE International Program Officer / Partner Organisation would be beneficial.

Disability Services provide Unit convenor / Faculty PACE Manager/ PACE International Program Officer with recommended adjustments (not the nature of the disability) that will need to be put in place in order for the student with a disability to undertake their PACE Unit. If student agrees to disclose, PACE Unit Convenor / Faculty PACE Manager/ PACE International Program Officer and the Disability Services work in collaboration with student (and Partner Organisation) to make reasonable adjustments to PACE Activity as needed.

PACE Activity arranged in appropriate organisation / role, which accommodates the student’s needs.

Disability Services works with Unit convenor / Faculty PACE Manager / PACE International Officer to establish Management/Monitoring Plan with student in cases where higher needs for support during the PACE Activity may be required.

Disability Services and/or Unit convenor monitors the student according to the Management/Monitoring Plan.

Disability Services and/or Unit Convenor (if disclosure allowed) monitors and checks with the student regularly throughout the duration of the PACE Activity.

IMPORTANT
Students are to be encouraged to liaise with Campus Wellbeing and Support Services to discuss reasonable adjustments prior to selecting their PACE Unit/ applying for PACE International project.

Students should not be requested to disclose their disability and provide evidence to unauthorized/non-medical staff. Student might wish to disclose to those other than Campus Wellbeing staff (eg Unit convenor, Faculty PACE staff) after discussed with Campus Wellbeing and Support Services.

If a student chooses to disclose to a Unit Convenor/Faculty PACE Manager/PACE International representative, the student should be advised to also speak with Campus Wellbeing and Support Services to discuss reasonable adjustments and develop a management plan. Reasonable Adjustments will be funded through Campus Wellbeing and Support Services.

Students with pre-existing disability/medical condition are not eligible for special consideration under the Special Consideration Policy on the grounds of their pre-existing disability/medical condition (note: they are still eligible to apply in case of other eligible circumstances). They are required to register with Disability Services and arrange any reasonable adjustments before starting their PACE Unit. (Please refer to the Special Consideration Policy).

COMMUNICATION

Staff
Information and reference to the relevant documents will be included in the PACE Activity Handbook, Risk assessment handbook for unit convenors, relevant PACE International documents, on PACE for staff website.

If a reasonable adjustment is required at the Partner Organisation, Campus Wellbeing and Support Services will be available to assist Unit Convenors with this discussion.

Partners
Information will be included in the PACE Activity Handbook, relevant PACE International documents and on PACE website.

Moreover, it is recommended that the information is included/covered in the individual faculty/unit Partner seminars/workshops.

3     RELATED DOCUMENTS

PACE Reasonable Adjustments Procedure
Appendix A Examples of Disability Types
Appendix B Examples of Reasonable Adjustment Types
Appendix C Examples of Key messages to encourage disclosure
Special Consideration Policy
PACE for Staff Website
PACE Website
Campus Wellbeing and Support Services

Asset ID = 423389

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