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Have your say on the Disability Access and Inclusion Plan

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Curtin is now finalising the Disability Access and Inclusion Plan 2012 – 2017, which follows the 2007 – 2011 plan. Through it, we aim to improve on our practices to provide an accessible and inclusive environment for our students, staff and visitors with disabilities.

Download the comments form
[.doc – 35 kB]

We have evolved from a ‘removing barriers’ approach to a proactive model of shared responsibilities and inclusive design. We intend to use the experience of our internationally recognised experts to guide us in best practice trends, to engage in the Disability Services Commission’s Count Me In – Disability Future Directions strategy and to embed the principles of Universal Design more fully in our facilities, academic programs and services.

We need our students, staff and the West Australian public to help us finalise our plan and we encourage you to take this final opportunity to give us your comments and suggestions by using the comments form [.doc – 35 kB] before the deadline of Friday 2 March 2012.

Learn more about the plan here or contact Cheryl Stickels on +61 8 9266 7850 or c.stickels@curtin.edu.au.

UPDATE: The draft plan has been removed as the plan has now been finalised. View the Disability Access and Inclusion Plan 2012 – 2017 [.PDF 1.55MB]

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  1. Naomi Nation says:

    Your response to Curtin University’s draft Disability Access and Inclusion Plan (DAIP) 2012 – 2017
    Having already consulted widely with our students, staff and the West Australian public, we invite you to take this final opportunity to provide a comment on our draft plan. Your contribution will assist us in the final development phase of our DAIP 2012-2017.

    Thank you for taking the time to give us your feedback.

    COMMENTS

    __ Outcome 3: People with disabilities receive information from Curtin in a format that will enable them to access the information as readily as other people are able to access it.
    3.5 Curtin will take action to ensure Curtin websites and content including online learning resources and notices meet World Wide Web Consortium requirements. _

    What does this mean for people with disabilities? Are you asking us to look this up? I have found that I and another student with disabilities missed learning opportunities because we failed to search through Curtin’s Oasis various webpages.

    As a student with a disability learning takes longer as does the production of uni assignments. Being sent a newsletter from disability services makes one download it first to alert us of anything useful.
    When one is already time poor frequent bulk emails with short sentence or point form provides better opportunities, and is a more effective way to communicate to students with disabilities.

    One example of this was when my friend who upon walking out of an exam knew he failed it (he had some personal trauma that interfered with his ability to study). He learned that he had missed an opportunity to do a supplementary exam because he failed to see it on an Oasis web-page.

    He is now repeating the unit again. If he had been sent an email with this important piece of information he would have sat for the exam again-he believes he would have passed the unit.

    People with disabilities need emails-searching through these webpages or having to download newsletter fails to engage us-everyday things are more challenging for us, we are always time-poor due to our disability.
    Please consider to be better than other organisations, equal is not good enough. We are unequal because we are disabled.

    3.6 Curtin will take action to ensure iLectures and other audio-visual materials are of consistent high quality and accessibility.
    _____________________________________________________________
    __As a past external student I am acutely aware of how inadequate ilectures are as there are technical problems and lecturers fail to wear lapel microphones.

    My friend is deaf, he was recommended to become an external student and listen to ilectures. I would highly recommend that deaf students are encouraged to go to ilectures and for deaf students to be provided with a digital voice recorder to give to a tutor or a lecturer to wear. That way he can ask questions of the lecturer and record the answer, furthermore they can always refer to an ilecture if needed.

    Ilectures may be the only option for external students living in another part of the country but they are totally inadequate for students who are able to attend lectures, they hinder the learning experience. _____________________________________________________________
    3.7 Learning resources will be made available in accessible formats in a timely manner._______________________________________________________________
    _This was a problem for me. When one has a disability, especially if the disability is newly acquired, one does not fully understand what resources are available. I believe a case manager should be provided with full knowledge of what is available to them. I, for example, did not know what Curtin could do for me.

    The disability officer knew my disability but failed to tell me that I could get a scribe for tutorial and lecture notes, or get speech recognition software to assist me with typing-I may have hands but they are useless-and cause a great deal of pain.

    I learned about most of the resources I use from other students and a tutor from outside my university. I have struggled for some-time prior to that-but I got access to it during my semester and had no time to train it-nor am I computer literate. Perhaps an IT specialist could be available to students to help with installing and using these packages.

    I think a list of equipment and services should be given to people with a disability and they can read them and make choices rather than a journey of discovery.

    There are also services outside the university that we are unaware of. During a meeting I had with some-one at the uni she suggested an outside service -but I did not remember the name of the person or the service to support me-therefore consistent follow ups to check and see how we went with getting the services to support us.

    Outcome 4: People with disabilities receive the same level and quality of service from Curtin staff as other people receive from Curtin staff.
    4.2 Curtin staff will be informed, through induction and ongoing training, about their responsibilities with regard to students and staff with a disability.______________________________________________________________
    _The same level and quality of service is not possible with people with disabilities. Does Curtin staff include people working in student housing office at Curtin or contracted outside staff?

    My friend is deaf, he lip reads but often makes the wrong assumption too. If a disability interferes with communication, as with deaf people, it is important when there is a meeting that a follow up email is sent, simply because that person is wearing a hearing aid.

    For example, my friend had a meeting with housing people on Campus because he has a room for rent. When I asked him how the meeting went, he said they were unable to be of assistance as he lived too far out. It turns out my friend misheard.

    When we put up posters advertising the room-and walked into the housing office to borrow some scissors – the chap working there noticed our poster and explained that they remove all the posters and that they could put David’s room on their data-base.

    They explained that they discourage the practice of putting up posters because of the problems associated with bond recovery and more. We had no idea that there was a government body that my friend had to lodge the bond with etc.

    My friend had misunderstood them at the meeting and was not even given any literature. My friend wears 2 visable hearing aids-he is deaf and prone to misunderstand people. He could have been fined $5000 for this misunderstanding.

    If some-one has hearing problems it needs to be policy that a follow-up email be sent outlining the important outcomes of a meeting to ensure full communications.
    Being disabled, especially deaf, immediately puts people in a vulnerable position in society, the same level of service and access is not good enough. Yes, the process is resource intensive but fair. _____________________________________________________________
    ________________________________________________________________
    Outcome 6: People with disabilities have the same opportunities as other people to participate in any public consultation by Curtin.
    _6.1 Curtin will continue to provide inclusive opportunities for students, staff and visitors with a disability to participate in Curtin’s public consultations. _______________________________________________________________
    Students need to have emails regarding opportunities to participate in forums, focus groups, and interviews about disability concerns at Curtin. I found the focus group announcement by chance. I was the only person who turned up. I told my friend about it, but too late, yet he said he would have liked to have participated.

    Website announcements are not good enough, we need more support not equal, what is the point of having policies that concern us if they only aim for equal opportunities.___

    Sincerely yours
    Naomi Nation

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