Part 3 - BEST PRACTICE STANDARDS FOR CREATING A FULLY INCLUSIVE ENVIRONMENT
3.4 Access to General and Specialist Services
Students with impairments have equal educational opportunity through access to appropriate support and services.
Best Practice Standards
- Students with impairments have access to the full range of support services available to their peers. Where existing services are not accessible, alternative services and/or arrangements are made.
- Services to all students are regularly reviewed, ensuring that they meet the emerging requirements of students with varying impairments.
- All support services for people with impairments are culturally appropriate to Māori and to other ethnic groups, including international students.
- General and specialist support staff have the skills, experience and support to provide effective advice and support to people with different impairments, their whanau/ families and other staff.
- Prospective students with impairments, especially those with complex academic and/or daily living needs, are contacted early enough to arrange appropriate and effective support.
- Students have frequent opportunities to discuss the likely impact of impairment on their studies and the appropriate support required.
- Support services assist students with impairments to become independent members of the academic and student community.
- Support services have effective networks and cooperate with other institutions and relevant statutory/voluntary agencies to enhance services and gain access to specialist advice when required.
- General and specialist support staff meet their obligations related to the Health and Disability Commissioner Act, 1994 and other relevant legislation.
Understanding these Best Practice Standards
- Specialist support services comprise specific facilities, equipment, programmes, personnel, or arrangements to assist students with impairments. Specialist staff includes disability support staff, sign language interpreters, note-takers, readers, writers and specialist tutors.
- General support services can include all health services, student learning services, student associations and those services providing academic, administrative and general support.
- By developing and promoting a wider range of general services that encompass people with impairments, institutions can reduce the costs of specialist services.
- Accessible support services have:
- A location that is easily identified, physically accessible to those with sensory and mobility impairments and safe for people concerned about confidentiality.
- Appropriate communication access (e.g. faxes, access to interpreters, email, private rooms, alternative contact points that are advertised).
- Service information in accessible formats.
- Specialist support and services for students with impairments can be enhanced by:
- Establishing a network across all areas to coordinate support services for students with impairments.
- Specialist staff being a resource to assist other staff to meet the needs of students with impairments.
- Ensuring support staff (e.g. note-takers, specialist tutors, reader-writers) have the appropriate skills, a professional attitude and receive adequate training and appropriate remuneration.
- Providing free training for senior students who have passed subjects, to become paid note-takers.
- Linking into a 'transcription service' where audiotapes are converted to electronic or hard copy and having 'alternative format' information available through the printery.
- Developing a 'survival guide' for students with impairments and a specific individual orientation for students with different impairments (e.g. learning difficulties, mental illness, intellectual disability).
- Having peer mentoring where senior students with impairments contact new students.
- Creating specific career and transition services (e.g. specific employment package and initiatives).
- Ensuring students can use effective independent advocacy for support (e.g. personal networks, whanau, external advocacy services, consumer groups, advocates within student associations, class representatives).
- Those involved with the spiritual, cultural, sporting and social areas of campus life considering the needs of students with impairments in planning, and developing specific strategies to involve them.
- Marketing services among community networks that people with impairments access.
- Consulting with students with different impairments and whanau about service reviews and outcomes.