Accessibility support

Accessibility support

Access to university is more than being physically able to enter and move about the buildings and grounds. It is about access to education and participation in the whole student experience. The Accessibility service is dedicated to providing students with a disability, health condition and/or carers of people with a disability with appropriate assistance, support and services to access the university.

Disability practitioners and support staff work closely with other key departments within the University to implement reasonable adjustments and to raise awareness and understanding of disability issues with all students and staff.

If you have a disability or an ongoing health condition, and as a result need additional support or accessibility provisions, you can register with Macquarie’s Accessibility Services. To register, you need to complete an application form, provide specific documentation about the impact your health condition has on your studies, and meet with a disability advisor from the Accessibility Service. After you register, we develop an Individual Education Access Plan (IEAP) for you and implement 'reasonable adjustments'. These adjustments are changes to the learning environment/situation, so that you have equitable access to subject content and testing.

If you have any questions or concerns, you can contact the Accessibility Service on 9850 7497 or email at wellbeing@mq.edu.au. You can also view our Accessibility Service Handbook for more information.

Eligibility and Registration

Students from Macquarie University and its associated schools (including Macquarie University International College, Open Universities Australia and Macquarie Graduate School of Management) are all welcome to register with the Accessibility Service, provided they:

  • Have a Macquarie University Student ID
  • Be a currently enrolled student or,
  • Be a prospective student who has accepted their offer and intends to enrol in the next available session.

Any student may register if they satisfy the above criteria, regardless of study mode (on campus/distance) or study load (part time/full time).

Registration

You can register at any time during your studies, but registration should be completed as soon as possible, so that the University has time to implement the required supports.

Supports cannot be implemented retrospectively. We suggest that you register at least two weeks prior to the start of session.

Steps to register:

  1. Have your Health Practitioner complete a Health Practitioners Report (PDF download).
  2. Complete the registration form (login required). You will be contacted by the Accessibility Service to arrange a Disability Assessment and confirm any other details.
  3. Attend a disability assessment.
  4. Follow any directions given by your disability advisor and your IEAP.

Individual Education Access Plan

Once you have met with a Disability Assessment Advisor, you will be given an Individual Education Access Plan, or IEAP. Each IEAP is different, as they are based on the specific circumstances & heath situation of a student. Reasonable adjustments may or may not apply to a particular IEAP, but the following is a list of adjustments that can be provided where appropriate.

Area where support is required

Examples of reasonable adjustments

Exam conditions

Provision of a computer rather than writing by hand

Use of a scribe

Allowance of food and beverages

Extended exam time

Location moved to a quiet room to decrease anxiety

Accessible Equipment

Screen reader

Audio recorder

Adjustable seating

Mobility scooter

Specialist software

In-class conditions

Note takers

Auslan interpreters

Participation support

Other

Information in varied formats (e.g. audio books, online)

Library assistance

More information can be found in the Accessibility Service student handbook.

Policies and legislation

The University complies with relevant disability legislation through its Student Disability Support Policy and Student Disability Support Procedure.

For information regarding how the University handles health information, please see the Privacy Framework.

Student Wellbeing Skillshops

Our Specialised Group Programs promote wellbeing and skill development to assist students to flourish in the university environment.

Students that identify as having Autism Spectrum Disorder, Attention Deficit (Hyperactivity) Disorder, Mental Health challenges or a Specific Learning Disability, are eligible to register for a group program that runs throughout the session.

In 2019, we are offering five different weekly group programs, and one external self-paced online program. Each program covers similar material whilst being tailored to the unique and specific needs of that group.

ASPIRE

The Aspire skillshops support students who identify as having Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) to better reach their academic potential. Students with ASD often experience characteristics or behaviours that disrupt learning. However, with a supportive environment, our students develop skills to adapt to university life and achieve personal and academic goals. The group focuses on orientation to university, its environments and processes. Students will learn how to manage their time, health and study whilst exploring strategies to communicate effectively with lecturers, tutors and peers.

FOCUS

Students with Attention Deficit [Hyperactivity] Disorder (AD[H]D) may identify as being creative, energetic and enthusiastic. Yet despite strong conceptual skills, they can experience great difficulty paying attention, controlling impulsive behaviours and maintaining focus on tasks. The Focus skillshops assists students to develop strong time-management study skills that are conducive to individual learning needs. Addressing a new topic each week, students can elect to attend one of the two skillshops offered. A key feature of the group is the attention to planning, reflection and modification of students’ weekly study timetable to help achieve an effective study/life balance.

INSIGHT

Many university students with Specific Learning Disability (SLD) “go under the radar” as they quietly work out ways to navigate their learning challenges. The emphasis on extended note-taking, heavy reading loads and written assessments can be stressful to manage. However, with appropriate supports in place, students with SLD can flourish at university. The Insight skillshops facilitate students to better understand their individual learning challenges and the related impacts in the academic environment. A key feature of this skillshop is the hands-on trial of a range of assistive technologies that minimise these impacts and enable independent study.

EMPOWERED

The Empowered skillshops brings together students who experience a wide variety of mental health conditions and who may benefit from assistance to navigate the academic semester and its lifecycle.  The skillshop aims to provide students with information on being well, staying and performing well whilst undertaking their tertiary education.

ACHIEVE

Achieve will focus on integrating the resources and strategies introduced across the Aspire, Empowered, Focus and Insight programs. Offered on Fridays, this skillshop will create an opportunity for students to re-calibrate in preparation for the weekend. A key feature will be weekly planning, prioritising and peer troubleshooting.

#BeReady4MQ

#BeReady4MQ caters for students with accessibility challenges who are studying externally or via distance learning. It is designed to support students who experience a range of challenges including those related to ASD, AD[H]D, SLD and Mental Health concerns. This is a self-paced program that facilitates students to:

  • develop clear steps toward balancing study and wellbeing
  • engage with innovative approaches to the impacts of health/accessibility challenges on study
  • be a part of a supportive online environment.

The program includes an optional online discussion forum.

The 2019 Student Wellbeing Skillshops timetable is as follows:

  Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
11:00am - 12:00pm   Autism Spectrum Disorder (Aspire)   Specific Learning Disability (Insight)

General workshop - not disability specific
(Achieve)

1:00pm - 2:00pm Mental Health (Empowered) Attention Deficit (Hyperactivity) Disorder (Focus)    

Students may register at any time during the session by completing this online registration form.

For further enquiries, or if you require help to complete the online registration form, please contact the Accessibility Service on (02) 9850 7497 or email wellbeing@mq.edu.au.

The Neurodiversity Hub

Macquarie university is one of the universities participating in the Neurodiversity Hub initiative.

The Neurodiversity Hub has been established within a number of universities around Australia and in some parts of the USA.

It will serve as a scalable, sustainable solution to improve the employability of neurodivergent individuals and establish a pipeline of work-ready, talented candidates for employers.

Why the Neurodiversity Hub?

The Challenge

There are hundreds of incredibly talented neurodivergent individuals studying in our universities and TAFEs who may never make it into the workforce due to lack of opportunities, differences in communication skills or other factors.

The goal

The aim of the Neurodiversity Hub is to:

Support this untapped talent to shine, through focused training programs, academic accommodations, assistive technologies and flexible study arrangements.

Link neurodivergent students with work experience, internships and employment opportunities.

Improve the employability of neurodivergent university and TAFE students, establishing a pipeline of potential candidates for employers and boosting workforce participation rates.

To find out more about neurodiversity and the opportunities that the Hub will provide, follow the link.

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