Management Responsibilities Toolkit Preparation
Enrolment, registration and induction processes accommodate the needs of all disabled learners and tauira.
Best practice standards
- Enrolment, registration and induction processes take into account the physical, communication and information access requirements of disabled learners.
- Information about impairments is collected for relevant purposes only, the purpose of collection is clearly stated, measures to ensure confidentiality are followed, and the information collected does not appear on academic records or graduation documentation.
- Disabled learners are advised of the services available to assist them.
- The support needs of disabled learners are identified during the enrolment and induction process and the support confirmed with the learner when in place.
Disclosure helps an organisation to anticipate learning support needs.
“Just getting learners to disclose their disability is something that we still struggle with. Not everyone wants to identify as having a disability as they enrol. And I think sometimes the academic staff don’t quite pick it up readily either, so it can be way into the year before support can commence.”
- Equity co-ordinator, learner services, polytechnic
Ideas and resources to consider
- All information should be available to disabled learners in alternative formats including enrolment, course and other material.
- Ideally, disabled learners should be able to complete enrolment and other relevant forms with the same level of independence and confidentiality as other learners.
- Under the Human Rights Act it is unlawful to record impairment information on academic records and graduation documentation.
- Orientation activities may include introducing to disabled learners to disability and other support staff, workshops on topics such as note taking, assignment writing, introduction to computers, and peer tutoring for specified subjects.
- As a general rule, it is inappropriate to share a learners’ personal disability information unless they have given permission to do so.
Engaging disabled learners
Before any selection, admissions and enrolment processes ask all learners if they have support requirements resulting from an impairment that need to be considered by staff.
As a result, some of these processes may need to be modified.
What you need to know
Refer to the obligations of tertiary providers under the New Zealand Human Rights Act. With all selection, admissions and enrolment it is essential that you can justify any decisions to decline applications on the grounds of impairment.
Useful networks and links
Building Confidence In Enrolling Learners With Disability.
To ensure enrolment and recruitment processes are accessible:
- Refer to the earlier section about the Ministry of Social Development Accessibility Charter programme. The aim is to improve information and communication access for disabled people across the public sector.
- Various public sector departments, DHBs and other sector organisations have already signed up. Tertiary providers could do the same.
- It’s also important that all websites are accessible to disabled people who use screen readers and other assistive technology:
- The Government has developed digital accessibility standards and guidance.
- The Web Accessibility Initiative provides internationally recognised standards for providing accessible information and websites.
- Providing accessibility tools on your website like the tools on the right-hand side of this website can really help.
- Here are some things to consider to make your websites accessible:2
- Make sure all electronic forms are available in accessible formats. For example, can Acrobat PDF forms be read by screen readers? If not, make sure an alternative form is available in Word.
- Make sure any coursework and electronic learning materials are fully accessible to disabled learners using, if necessary, alternative hardware and software.
- Don’t get seduced by technology.
- Organise materials in a simple and logical order.
- Present an overview at beginning.
- Periodically put the current topic into wider context.
- Avoid using image maps.
- Animations or video or audio inclusions can render webpages inaccessible.
- Use alternative text to describe the function of each visual or provide a page link that contains a detailed description.
- Add an audio description or commentary.
- For complex visual animations always give the user an option to access the information provided by the animation in a textual form.
- For videos provide closed captioning - text captions of the soundtrack, including spoken dialogue, other important audio cues and a description of what action is occurring on screen.
- For audio files provide a written transcript or provide the same information provided by the audio in an alternative accessible form.
2. Accessible Curricula - Good Practice For All (2002). Carol Doyle and Karen Robson edited by Simon Ball and David Campy. University of Wales Institute, Cardiff (UWIC). Pg. 56.