Part 3 - BEST PRACTICE STANDARDS FOR CREATING A FULLY INCLUSIVE ENVIRONMENT
3.2 Policy and Planning
All policies, procedures and planning processes take into account the goal of a fully inclusive educational environment in which students with impairments have equal opportunities for participation and achievement.
Best Practice Standards
- A strategic plan to achieve a fully inclusive educational environment is developed in collaboration with students with impairments, has measurable goals and targets, and is reviewed and reported on annually.
- All policies, procedures and planning processes take into consideration the participation of students with impairments in academic and other areas of campus life.
- Policies and procedures that guide the interaction between staff and students with impairments are in place and are understood by staff.
- Students with different impairments participate in the development and review of relevant policies, procedures, services and facilities.
- Senior management commitment and accountability for achieving the agreed strategic outcomes is clearly defined, owned and resourced.
- Management systems provide accurate information about the participation and progression of people with impairments and the impact of policies, procedures, services and facilities on those with impairments, with a view to continuous improvement.
- Designated, trained contact(s) with effective channels of communication with senior managers exist for students with impairments.
Understanding these Best Practice Standards
- Ideally strategic planning should:
- Include objectives, performance indicators, accountabilities and timeframes, so all involved are clear about what needs to be achieved, who is responsible for achieving it and by what date.
- Be endorsed by Council and driven by senior management in partnership with students with impairments, Maori, staff from different areas of the institution, student association and community representatives (e.g. DPA - the Disabled Persons Assembly).
- Aim to remove barriers to participation, retention and achievement of students with impairments within the institution and meet their individual support needs.
- When planning any major projects staff consider the needs of students with impairments from the start. Planning includes consideration of the accessible journey around and through buildings, the design of buildings, course content, teaching practices, information provision, communication processes and support.
- Consider the requirements of people with impairments when making improvements. This could avoid possible disruption and expense later.
- Be aware that people with impairments may also experience additional barriers arising from membership of other equity or cultural groups. For example Maori, Pacific people, women and international students with impairments.