Services for Students

Services for Students

Who we are

The Student Access & Inclusion (SA&I) team assist students with a disability or a health condition, those caring for someone with a disability, students who are incarcerated or are otherwise disadvantaged in their ability to access their course material, are provided with appropriate assistance, support and services to access UNE. We also work closely with the Faculties, Schools and other key departments within the University to raise awareness and understanding of disability and diversity rights.

Under the Disability Standards for Education 2005, education providers are required to provide students with a disability with reasonable adjustments to enable them to participate on the same basis as other students in all aspects of university life. For more information, see Disability Education Standards - Your Right to An Education.

UNE 2020-2021 Accessibility Action Plan (AAP)

To demonstrate UNE's commitment to our diverse student population, UNE has a 2020-2021 Accessibility Action Plan (AAP)

PDF Version UNE AAP June 2020 - June 2021. (PDF, 353.24 KB)

Word Version UNE AAP June 2020 - June 2021 (DOCX, 63.84 KB)


SA&I is a free and confidential service. We understand that students are disclosing personal and often sensitive information and we take privacy and confidentiality very seriously. We are bound by relevant State and Commonwealth legislation and UNE’s Privacy Management Rule. Without your permission we never disclose the nature of your disability or health condition. SA&I only would discuss the nature of your disability or health condition if there is a risk to your or others' safety. We will only discuss the impact of your condition on your academic studies and what reasonable adjustments will be required.

Disclosure is a difficult choice for most students and is one that presents a number of challenges and opportunities. More information about disclosure and the issues that you might need to consider is available on the NDCO disclosure website.

Be assured that you are not alone. At any one time, more than 1000 UNE students are registered with SA&I and many more manage their health condition/disability, caring responsibilities and other commitments without additional support.

Do I have to speak to the SA&I?

You are not obliged to speak with the SA&I or disclose your disability/health condition or personal situation to UNE. However, if you would like to receive study adjustments, you will need to register with SA&I and provide appropriate and current supporting documentation.

But, we encourage you to contact us to talk about your situation to see if we can assist you, by talking to us there is no obligation to register.

How to get Support

A phone or face-to-face consultation is not required to register with SA&I; however a conversation allows us to better understand your situation and gives you the opportunity to ask any questions and better understand UNE’s processes and support services.

Areas of discussion may include your disability/health condition and associated treatment, or details of your situation to discuss appropriate reasonable adjustments, your current studies, your past experiences and any concerns you may have. The SA&I Officer must also consider the academic integrity and inherent requirements of the course when determining reasonable adjustments, however these requirements remain the responsibility of the student to ensure they can meet.

SA&I is a free and confidential service.

You can book an appointment online or by calling our reception on 02 6773 2897.  We can also be contacted by email

We are here to help!

Most academic Schools have a nominated SA&I contact person, who liaises between the SA&I and School staff and students.

If you have questions specifically related to any study adjustments for your studies or your degree, they are available for you to talk/email with. You do not need a Study Access Plan to contact them.

SchoolContact NamePhoneemail
PathwaysIngrid Wijeyewardene
Faculty of Arts, Humanities, Social Science Elizabeth 
Faculty of Science, Agriculture, Business and LawTBA 
Medicine and PharmacyDeanne
School of HealthMelissa
School of PsychologyCarolyn

Please click here for more information on the role of the School Contact Network.

Support we offer

Reasonable adjustments to participate in lectures, tutorials and seminars need to be discussed with each unit coordinator with support from SA&I. They may include:

  • Permission to record lectures/tutorial
  • Level access to venues
  • Permission to take guide dog to lectures/tutorials.
  • Access to lecture theatres with a hearing loop.
  • Attendance variation
  • Height adjustable desk in laboratory spaces
  • Use of computer and assistive technology to listen to, participate in and take notes of lectures.
  • Use of FM radio, where the lecturer wears a small microphone and FM transmitter that the student provides at the beginning of each lecture/tutorial.
  • Participation support for the use of visual materials, such as closed caption of relevant material.

There are accessible toilets on UNE's campus in Armidale.

Some lecture theatres have hearing loops.

SA&I does not provide academic support, such as mentors or participation assistance. If you require academic support, please see the Academic Skills Office. If you are a first-year student, you may also contact the First Year Advisor at your School to talk about support services available.

Your Study Access Plan (SAP) may include, where appropriate, reasonable adjustments for assignments and/or timed assessments (Moodle and in-class quizzes). Reasonable adjustments may include:

  • extra time to complete and/or take rest breaks
  • alternative formatted material
  • oral presentation adjustments
  • in-class quiz assistance e.g. reader/scribe/computer

If you would like to use the assignment and/or timed assessment adjustments in your SAP, for each individual assignment or timed assessment/quiz you must request your adjustment before the assignment due date. You will need to contact your unit coordinator or appropriate contact within your school (as per your School’s policy/processes) to request these adjustments.

If you require the use of a reader/scribe or other additional assistance for a quiz, you will need to contact SA&I at least two (2) weeks before the assessment is held, so we can make the necessary arrangements.

Your Study Access Plan (SAP) may include, where appropriate, reasonable adjustments for final examinations. These will be implemented by the UNE Exams Office. You will receive specific exam instructions with your adjustments in an email from the Exams Office about four (4) weeks prior to the exam period.

Reasonable adjustments may include:

  • extra time to complete and/or take rest breaks
  • permission to use a computer
  • sitting the exam in a separate room or in a small group
  • permission to use ergonomic equipment
  • permission to eat/drink or administer medication
  • examination assistance e.g. reader/scribe

Please note that if you register after the exam cut-off date, it is highly unlikely that exam adjustments can be provided for exams held in centres. You will have to consider, whether you wish to apply for a Special Examination or complete the exam/s without these adjustments.

Many adjustments for online examinations can be implemented at short notice; however you still need to register with SA&I and provide supporting medical documentation prior to the exam/s.

When considering whether to enrol in units that have mandatory intensive schools, please think about the cost and time required to fulfil this requirement. Intensive schools run for full days over several days and cover the trimester’s content of that unit within a very short time. You will need to manage the impact this may have on your health, knowing that all students have to work hard during this time.

Where appropriate, types of adjustments that can be included are:

  • adjustments related to group work activities.
  • level access to sessions.
  • occasional short rest breaks.
  • alternatively formatted handouts.
  • Separate room to manage health systems.
  • Permission to bring guide dog or carer to sessions.

There are accessible toilets on UNE's campus in Armidale.

Some lecture theatres have hearing loops.

Exemption from attendance at mandatory intensive schools is not possible in most cases. If you do not attend the mandatory intensive school, you will incur a Fail (NI) for that unit, unless you withdraw from the unit. Withdrawals after Census or after the last date for withdrawal without academic penalty will incur the HECS liability and/or the academic penalty.

UNE has accommodation on campus available to students, however places are limited so we encourage you to book early. You can request request accommodation here.

For students with difficulties accessing online learning systems, podcasts or videos, for health or other reasons, SA&I may provide learning material in alternative formats. These may include books as e-texts and closed captioning of audio and video unit material.

Your Study Access Plan (SAP) may include, where appropriate, a recommendation for some or all of the course related material to be converted into accessible alternative format. This may include, but is not limited to:

  • Braille
  • Large print
  • Accessible electronic texts
  • Closed captioning/transcriptions

If your SAP states that all Moodle material will be formatted, the SA&I will either send the completed material to you or it is made available in your Moodle unit/s (e.g. closed captions are available in Moodle). To ensure high quality formatting, most formatting is being completed by external organisations; therefore there will be a delay in accessing your materials. If this impacts on your ability to complete assessments, please contact SA&I and your unit coordinator as soon as possible, so arrangements, such as extensions, can be made timely.

If your SAP states that you need to request material in an alternative format, it is up to you to contact SA&I in a timely manner to make these requests. Please be specific about which file, document or textbook you require to be formatted. Please also be mindful that formatting takes time and may not be available until one or two weeks after you have made the request.

In-Class Materials

Should you require material in an alternative format, such as hard copy and PowerPoint presentations in electronic format prior to each session, you will need to request this from each unit coordinator in the beginning of the trimester. SA&I does not have access to this material.

For support with academic skills, such as assignment writing and referencing, you should consult the Academic Skills Office.

Independent Learning

We work with students to utilise inclusive technology and other techniques to access their learning material independently. This is to ensure that students do not rely on SA&I for their studies. For example:

  • students requiring their readings in a larger font or coloured paper can use available technology on their device to change the layout of their computer.
  • Students with reading difficulties (for a wide range of reasons) may benefit from text-to-speech technology, such as Dragon Naturally Speaking.
  • Similarly, students with difficulties writing may work with speech-to-text technology.

For information on inclusive technology options for specific disabilities, please view the Australian Disability Clearinghouse on Education and Training (ADCET).

Student Feedback

"I have told many friends that I would recommend UNE, particularly if they have special needs. I would not have attempted my course if I had not received such excellent support from Special Needs [now Student Access & Inclusion] and Online Exams."

"The [SA&I] Officer advised me of what I needed to do clearly on the phone, and again by email. It's great to have the follow up email in case I missed something on the phone. She also contacted the online exam staff for me, which saved me two calls - a call to them and then back to her.  I have been raving to everyone about the support I get at UNE. Special Needs [now Student Access & Inclusion] and online exams have exceeded my expectations every time I need help."

Additional Support Services