Tailoring study to make it accessible and less stressful

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If you are a person with disability and looking to study, TAFE could be a great option for you.

TAFE and Universities across Australia have a range of free supports available to help students with disability get the most out of further education.

Geelong’s Gordon TAFE Disability Liaison Officer, Michelle Jepsen, said if you are considering further education you can make an appointment to talk to a Disability Liaison Officer (DLO) about your situation and what supports are available.

“It is better if students register for disability support before or soon after they enrol,” she said.

The DLO can then sit down and work out a Learning Access Plan, which includes reasonable adjustments teachers can make to be inclusive of all students in the classroom.

“Some examples of reasonable adjustments could be, the student might need course notes electronically; they might need instructions simplified or broken down into steps to make work easier to comprehend, or they might need to have the schedule of the day written up on the board so they understand what’s taking place across the day and when,” Michelle said.

“Many reasonable adjustments end up benefiting the entire classroom. They are minor but they can make a huge difference.”

Michelle said The Gordon TAFE also has student education assistants who can come to class with students to take their notes.

“If a student is finding a class difficult, they can talk to a DLO who can suggest strategies the teachers can adopt to cater for the student’s particular learning style.”

Michelle said last year, at The Gordon TAFE’s City Campus, 120 people registered as having a disability, but not everyone with disability registers.

“I would encourage anyone with disability to register. The more knowledge the TAFE has about a student’s learning needs, the more help it can provide,” Michelle said.

Contact your local TAFE (External website) or University (External website) to find out what support they offer.