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Policy: Disability


To promote an inclusive work and study environment for students and staff with a disability at the Australian National University.


The University has an obligation to staff and students under the Disability Discrimination Act 1992 (Cth) and the Discrimination Act 1991 (ACT) not to discriminate on the basis of disability and a positive obligation to make reasonable adjustments to ensure persons with a disability are not disadvantaged or treated less favourably than those without a disability.

The University’s Disability policy sets out the principles for an inclusive work and study environment for students and staff with a disability at the University.


This policy applies across the University.

Policy Statement


  1. The University recognises through its strategic planning the responsibility to value the diversity of backgrounds and perspectives of prospective and existing staff and students to enable all members of the University community to perform at their best. This incorporates the inclusion of people with disabilities in employment and education to enable them to perform at their best in University life. The University also aims to ensure inclusion of persons who are associates of people with a disability, such as partners, relatives or carers.
  2. The University’s ‘ANU Disability Action Plan’ provides further detail on how the University works towards further inclusion of people with disabilities and ensure a University environment that is free from discrimination.


  1. The University strongly supports the continued inclusion of people with disabilities in all aspects of the University community.
  2. To further advance inclusion of people with disabilities the University:
  • complies with the Disability Standards for Education 2005;
  • continues to embed universal design principles into policies and procedures;
  • ensures University employment policies and procedures provide persons with a disability equal employment opportunity, including in recruitment and promotion, employee benefits and conditions and career development;
  • encourages positive, informed and unprejudiced attitudes towards people with a disability through educational and staff development programs;
  • continues to take all reasonable steps to eliminate discrimination and harassment on the basis of disability;
  • provides appropriate access to facilities, resources and support including through special measures and facilitating reasonable adjustments for staff. For more information on reasonable adjustments refer to Reasonable adjustments in the workplace; and
  • continues to implement improved information technology for people with a disability.

Reasonable adjustment

  1. The University is required to provide reasonable adjustments for a person who has disclosed a disability. An adjustment is reasonable unless making the adjustment would cause ‘unjustifiable hardship’ to the whole University.


  1. The University may need to collect personal information in order to assist staff or students with a disability. Any information provided is handled in accordance with the Privacy policy and the Adjustments for students who disclose a disability policy and procedure.


  1. The implementation of this policy is the responsibility of all staff and students of the University.


  1. The University has a Student grievance and complaint resolution policy and procedure and Staff grievance resolution policy and procedure along with a procedure for Prevention of discrimination, harassment and bullying. A suitable staff member will be appointed to manage formal or informal resolution of grievances, including discrimination and harassment of a person with a disability.
  2. Staff and students are encouraged to use the procedures if they consider that they are experiencing discrimination or harassment on the grounds of their disability or their association with a person with a disability.


Printable version (PDF)
Title Disability
Document Type Policy
Document Number ANUP_000405
Purpose To promote an inclusive work and study environment for students and staff with a disability at the Australian National University.
Audience Staff, Students
Category Administrative
Topic/ SubTopic Equity & Diversity - Diversity
Effective Date 8 Sep 2020
Next Review Date 31 Dec 2025
Responsible Officer: Chief People Officer
Approved By: Vice-Chancellor
Contact Area People and Culture Division
Authority: Disability Discrimination Act 1992
Discrimination Act 1991
Disability Standards for Education 2005
The Australian National University Enterprise Agreement 2023-2026
Delegations 58

Information generated and received by ANU staff in the course of conducting business on behalf of ANU is a record and should be captured by an authorised recordkeeping system. To learn more about University records and recordkeeping practice at ANU, see ANU recordkeeping and Policy: Records and archives management.