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Procedure: Adjustments for students who disclose a disability


To outline the steps for disclosure to the University of the effects of disabilities, and to clarify rights and responsibilities associated with the disclosure of information regarding a person’s disability.


Disability: in relation to a person, means:

  • 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 or malfunction that results in the person learning differently from a person without the disorder or malfunction; 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.

Education Access Plan: A document that outlines reasonable recommended adjustments that aim to ensure that a student is not disadvantaged by their disability in their studies at ANU.

Health Practitioner Report: An ANU form that needs to be completed by a registered medical professional or health care provider that is used to assist the Access & Inclusion Office to assess, and tailor, the student’s required adjustments and support.

Inherent course requirements: The fundamental parts of a course that must be met by all University students to meet the requirements and learning outcomes of that course.

Reasonable adjustment: A measure or action taken by the University to assist a student with a disability to participate in education on the same basis as students without a disability.



  1. A student with a disability who requires the University to adjust a University process, policy or procedure or requires the provision of a reasonable adjustment discloses the relevant details of their disability by submitting the following appraisal documentation to the office of Access & Inclusion (A&I) via email to or in-person to the Office of A&I:
  • A completed A&I appointment registration form; and
  • Completed Health Practitioner Repor and any supporting documentation; and/or
  • Other relevant medical documentation that is less than two years old that discloses the nature and extent of the disability and how the disability impacts on the student's ability to study.
  1. A&I provide an Education Access Plan (EAP) to the relevant College(s) and student within ten working days of a student submitting complete documentation. The EAP is developed in consultation with the A&I Disability and Equity Advisor (DEA) and takes into consideration:
  • the documentation provided by the student;
  • feedback from the relevant College, School or area; and
  • any medical advice sought by the University.


  1. The University does not disclose information to any person outside of the University without the specific written consent of the student, unless the University considers that disclosure of the information is required to prevent or lessen a serious threat to the life, or health of the student concerned, or of another person or the disclosure is required by law.
  2. As an education provider, the University is required under the law to make mandatory notifications in certain circumstances, and may make voluntary notifications to the Medical Board of Australia in clearly defined circumstances as outlined in the Commonwealth document Guidelines for Mandatory Notifications (s144-145).
  3. A&I, where necessary, advise other members of University staff of the existence and impact of a student’s disability. This occurs where and to the extent that the disclosure is reasonably necessary, to enable those University staff to assist in implementing reasonable adjustments to accommodate the student’s disability.

Inherent Course Requirements

  1. Inherent requirement statements for courses are generally included on the relevant course page on the Programs and Courses website (
  2. Sometimes, the effects of a student’s disability may restrict their capacity to meet the inherent requirements of a course, for example, participating in compulsory external clinical placements or meeting particular health and safety requirements. Where a student discloses their disability to the University, the disclosure is assessed in accordance with this procedure and associated policy. Given that students may not be able to complete their program if their disability prevents them from meeting the inherent requirements of core or compulsory courses, students are encouraged to review the inherent requirements of the courses they intend to enrol in. On this basis, students are encouraged to consider disclosing any affecting conditions to A&I to enable the University to assess the impact of those conditions and any reasonable adjustments that may be necessary, preferably prior to enrolment or at the first opportunity if the disability occurs after enrolment.
  3. The course convener, in consultation with A&I assess whether the student is able to meet the inherent requirements of the course. A student is refused enrolment in a course, or if already enrolled in a course their enrolment is dropped, if, even with reasonable adjustments, it is not possible to meet the inherent requirements of that course. Where requested by the student, A&I assists the student to liaise with the course convener and, where enrolment in the course is not possible, assists the student to obtain program or course advice on alternative options that are available to them.
  4. Courses that require placements in health facilities for successful completion are only undertaken by students meeting the requirements of those health facilities.

Duration of Approval

  1. Reasonable recommendations outlined in the EAP are valid only for the semester in which it is made, unless the assessment is made with regards to a long-term disability and an alternate timeframe is indicated in the EAP.

Review of Decisions

  1. At the time the student is issued with the EAP they are advised in writing of their rights to a review of the recommendations of the EAP.
  2. An application for review of a recommendation is made by email to and addressed to the Manager of A&I. The application for review must be submitted within 20 working days of the date that the original decision was communicated to the student.
  3. The Manager of A&I considers the application for review of a recommendation and makes a fresh recommendation as if they were making the original recommendation, and must provide the new recommendation to the student within ten working days of the new recommendation being made.
  4. If a student is not satisfied with the outcome provided by the Manager of A&I, they submit an appeal by email to the Registrar at, in accordance with the procedure: Student Complaint Resolution.


Printable version (PDF)
Title Adjustments for students who disclose a disability
Document Type Procedure
Document Number ANUP_002604
Purpose To outline the steps for disclosure to the University of the effects of disabilities, and to clarify rights and responsibilities associated with the disclosure of information regarding a person’s disability.
Audience Students, Prospective Students, Staff
Category Academic
Topic/ SubTopic Equity & Diversity - Equity
Effective Date 8 Sep 2020
Next Review Date 8 Sep 2025
Responsible Officer: Registrar, Student Administration
Approved By: Vice-Chancellor
Contact Area Division of Student Administration and Academic Services
Authority: Australian National University Act 1991
Work Health & Safety Act 2011
Disability Discrimination Act 1992
Disability Standards for Education 2005
Privacy Act 1988
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.