Disclosing a disability

It can be difficult to know how to tell the relevant people at university about your disability, and when it is appropriate to do so. Curtin’s AccessAbility advisors can assist you with this process.

Completing the disability details section on eStudent

Completing the Disability Details section on your student record assists us to contact you with information about disability services and to provide appropriate disability support to our students.

You can access your record through OASIS (My Studies and Evaluate > eStudent > My Details > Disability Details).

Completing these details does not automatically result in assistance being provided. It is important that you make contact with an AccessAbility advisor or an appropriate staff member if you require support to access your studies due to a disability.

Disclosing a disability to a staff member

If you have discussed your disability information with an AccessAbility advisor and provided health professional documentation, you are usually not required to discuss the details with other university staff. However, there are situations where some level of disclosure can help staff to have a clearer understanding of your circumstances and how they can assist you.

If you do disclose to staff, it may not be necessary to divulge all the details if the information is sensitive; however it is more important for the staff member to be aware of the impact of your disability on your studies. For example you could say: “I have a medical condition that makes me very tired in the afternoons. Because of this, I would like to attend the tutorial that is held in the morning.”

You could also ask the staff member to keep the information confidential, or specify who you are willing to have your situation discussed with.

There are some situations where it is important that staff are aware of your disability or health condition if it could impact on the health and safety of yourself or others. An AccessAbility advisor can advise you on how best to manage this information.

Disclosure on fieldwork placements

It is important that you discuss any disability or health issues that may impact on fieldwork or other work placements with an AccessAbility advisor and/or your school’s fieldwork coordinator well in advance of the placement, particularly if:

  • your health condition may impact on the health and safety of yourself or others while on placement, or
  • you require reasonable adjustments to be made while on placement.

The AccessAbility advisor or fieldwork coordinator will discuss with you the best way to disclose appropriately on placement, and assist you in negotiating reasonable adjustments.

Disclosing a disability to AccessAbility Services

An AccessAbility advisor will have to fully understand your disability and how it may impact on your studies, in order to arrange the support you need to succeed in your Curtin studies.  The advisor will gather information and documentation from you, and discuss with you the best way of informing key people about your requirements. In most cases a Curtin Access Plan will be developed to assist with this process.

Any information disclosed to AccessAbility Services is treated confidentially, according to the confidentiality policy.

Please contact AccessAbility Services and speak to an AccessAbility advisor.

Disclosing a disability to other students

There is no need to discuss your disability with other students, but you may choose to disclose to other students if you would like them to understand your situation.

If you are not sure of how to handle questions that may arise if they become aware that you require certain arrangements or considerations, please feel free to talk to an AccessAbility advisor about how you could respond.