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What is a disability

Definition

The Australian Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) defines disability as:

  • Total or partial loss of a person’s bodily or mental functions; or
  • Total or partial loss of a part of the body; or
  • The presence in the body of organisms causing disease or illness; or
  • The malfunction, malformation or disfigurement of a part of a person’s body; or
  • A disorder or malfunction that results in a person learning differently from a person without the disorder or malfunction; or
  • A disorder, illness or disease that affects a person’s thought processes, perception of reality, emotions or judgement or that results in disturbed behaviour.

It includes a disability that:

  • Presently exists; or
  • Previously existed but no longer exists; or
  • May exist in the future; or
  • Is imputed to a person.

It is important to note the broadness of this definition. People can sometimes limit their understanding of disability to someone who has an obvious physical disability or to someone who has a permanent disability or illness.

For Bond University, a disability includes any impairment, injury, illness or health condition, which may affect a student's capacity to undertake a program of study. Some disabilities, such as physical or sensory disabilities, may be obvious. Others may not be apparent unless disclosed by the student, for example, diabetes, epilepsy, dyslexia or mental health difficulties.

The disability may be permanent, short-term or episodic in nature.

Under the formal definition of disability in the Disability Discrimination Act, English language proficiency is not considered to be a disability.

Reasonable adjustments support

Students who have a disability are welcomed and every effort is made to accommodate a student’s reasonable adjustments, but the university does have limited resources and facilities.

The following information outlines what we can and cannot offer in supports during your time at Bond. 

For some courses, there are inherent requirements that must be met. In these cases, some accommodations may need to be negotiated or will not be able to be made depending on the marking criteria or participation requirements of that particular course. Please contact the relevant Faculty if you require further information. 

An example of inherent requirements would be undertaking a Public Speaking Presentation Skills for Leaders subject and having recommended accommodations of ‘no public speaking due to anxiety levels’ this could not be provided as support in this particular subject.

Be aware that the maximum amount of support a student is likely to receive is an extra 20 minutes/hour extra time in exams. This is the norm for Australian Universities.  If this is sufficient, then we would certainly be able to accommodate this need.  

Students with academic adjustments are seated in a separate room, usually with a maximum of 15 students.

There are tutorials and a few subjects where lectures cannot be recorded. A Disability Officer can on your request notify the Faculty on your behalf regarding the accommodation to record, but as a courtesy, students need to confirm this permission with the lecturer or tutor concerned (some fellow students may not want to be recorded). Most Law lectures are streamed.

Bond University does not provide scribes for exams.          

Students generally print off the power point slides of the lecture and some lectures are streamed.

It is important that students are well aware of assessment and examination formats early each semester for each subject.  It is pointless contacting the Disability Officer after the fact or on the day of assessment/examination as these issues are either Faculty or Student Business Centre Examinations matters and out of our control.

This would need to be negotiated with lecturers and due to the semester timelines, the most likely scenario is that students would not be given any more than 24-48 hour extensions.

Computer exams may be arranged for a student who has this on their medical documentation as a recommended support.

If this is a required support, it is imperative that students discuss with Lecturers the format of exam papers early in the semester, as some documents will need to be altered well ahead of the exam date.

The Bond University Student Association (BUSA) has a dedicated Student Advocacy Officer who can be contacted at [email protected] . However, Bond University also encourages students to also take responsibility in making themselves known to staff and discussing any concerns directly with academics.

There is a Student and Staff Medical Clinic where students can see a counsellor free of charge at any time by appointment for personal and study support.

Bond University has an Assistive Technology Room (ATR) Room 4_66 on the 4th floor of the library. Students contact the Disability Officer to gain priority access to this room. In addition to the standard software available on all University computers, “Dragon Naturally Speaking" and "Read&Write Gold" are available for students who require this software. Self-service bookings, for a maximum session of 2 hours, can be made through the calendar. Features of the room include automated door entry and exit, duress alert buttons to the front desk, height adjustable desk and a dimmer switch to adjust lighting levels.  There is also a height adjustable PC workstation in the Main Library (main desk/coffee shop level) that is reserved for students with special requirements.

Bond University does not provide individual tutors. Each Faculty also has a tutor database (at a cost for personal tutoring) with a list of students who have excelled in their studies and have nominated themselves to be tutors for any subject which they have achieved a mark of 85% or higher. If you have any queries, please contact the Academic Affairs Director in your faculty.

Unfortunately, extra time cannot be given for English as a second language. English is a prerequisite for enrolment.

As far as avoiding multiple testing on the same day, we would endeavour to do this. However, because of the time gap in between terms (Bond has 3 Terms a year, compared with other Universities that have 2 semesters), the exam period has to be confined to a week.

We have a limited amount of wheelchair accessible accommodation available on campus at any one time.

You would need to check with On-Campus Accommodation whether any is available for the period concerned and discuss any relevant requirements.

Medications & Prescriptions: If you require ongoing medication in Australia, you will need to bring your medical history. Be aware that you may not be able to bring your medication into Australia. Restricted medications for ADHD may only be brought in to Australia in small quantities (usually only one month’s supply). To obtain restricted medications in Australia, you will need a prescription from an approved registered Queensland practitioner, which can be done by a referral to a local psychiatrist. You will also need to provide a current report (written in the past year) from your specialist (not a family GP) at home which must be on your specialist’s letterhead and lists your specialist’s name and qualifications, your diagnosis, the medication/s prescribed and the relevant doses of each.

Please contact the Medical Clinic at Bond University if you have further questions:
Tel: +61 7 5595 4043