NZ Code of Practice 2021-22
Purpose of this Kia Ōrite Toolkit
To support tertiary education providers to implement a fully inclusive tertiary education environment for disabled learners within New Zealand by assisting them to:
- Understand the status of disabled learners in tertiary education in New Zealand.
- Develop a DAP that includes objectives, performance indicators and timeframes, and allows them to monitor their progress towards creating a fully inclusive environment for disabled learners.
- Identify potential barriers to participation and achievement that disabled learners face.
- Improve tertiary outcomes for disabled learners by providing guidance and resources.
- Be aware of policy and legal obligations relating to disabled learners in tertiary education.
There are some important approaches that underpin the creation of a fully inclusive tertiary education environment for disabled learners.
These require tertiary education providers to ensure that:
- Disabled learners have equitable opportunities to achieve their individual capabilities and participate in all aspects of tertiary education life.
- All interactions with disabled learners are characterised by respect for their rights, dignity, privacy, confidentiality and equality, and building a partnership with these learners to identify their learning support needs and the barriers to participation and achievement they face.
- Policies, procedures, services and facilities, including strategic planning and resource allocation, enable disabled learners to achieve equitable access to tertiary education and the full range of activities that encompass all aspects of their learning environments.
- An equitable learning environment is created by considering the needs of disabled learners in all aspects of the learning process, including course design, curriculum, delivery, placements, assessment and support strategies.
- Staff are trained to meet the requirements of disabled learners and they invite these learners to discuss their requirements and treat requests promptly and seriously.
- They create a safe environment for disabled learners to:
- Make known their requirements in advance, so appropriate services are provided.
- Where possible, share responsibility for negotiating and developing solutions.
- Advise institutions of difficulties they encounter.
10-point plan for creating an inclusive environment for disabled learners
A fully inclusive tertiary education system recognises and values disabled learners.
- People at all levels of a tertiary learning environment take responsibility for practising equity through meeting the best practice standards in this Kia Ōrite Toolkit.
- Create an all-of-institution approach to supporting disabled learners, with senior management endorsing inclusive policies and procedures, so that disability support services can be a resource for supporting other staff to implement these inclusive practices and support disabled learners with more complex needs. Support of disabled learners should not just be the responsibility of disability support services staff.
- Build a partnership with disabled learners with different impairments in planning and design through representative disabled student associations and groups.
- Plan ahead and assume there will be an increasing number of disabled learners, so include their learning support needs in all planning, rather than waiting for them to arrive.
- Use the Principles of Universal Design in Education and Universal Instructional Design in the design of buildings, access routes, course design, curriculum, delivery, assessment, learning support strategies, information and communication processes.
- Arrange flexible learning supports (reasonable accommodations) for classes, lectures, tutorials, field trips, tests, exams and other assessments that consider disabled learners with different impairments and allow them to show their academic potential.
- Publicise institution-wide training and resources on how to provide accessible information, communication and learning support for disabled learners with different impairments. Invite disabled learners to co-design these training programmes and resources focusing on inclusive practices.
- Provide guidance and training on the use of non-discriminatory practices, so staff are aware of their legal obligations under the Human Rights and Privacy Act, HDC Code of Rights and other relevant legislation.
- Remove barriers to learning environment facilities, services and systems. Remember disabled learners are often ‘disabled’ by their environment.
- Review and analyse outcomes for disabled learners in an ongoing review/ reflect/response cycle.
We are therefore keen to get feedback about the toolkit from some specific stakeholders. This includes Māori and Pacific peoples, disabled learners and tertiary providers including wānanga, other cultural groups, NDSA representatives, learners from other equity groups, PTEs and ITOs and so on.