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Disability Discrimination Act Action Plans: A Guide for the Tertiary Education Sector

Disability Disability Rights
Friday 14 December, 2012


Disability Discrimination
Act Action Plans: A Guide for the Tertiary Education Sector

The
Disability Discrimination Act 1992 (DDA) is a piece of Commonwealth
legislation which creates a new context for service provision. The Act
requires that people with disabilities be given equal opportunity to
participate in and contribute to the full range of social, political
and cultural activities. Access for people with disabilities, including
access to the goods, services and facilities provided by tertiary education
institutions, can no longer be an after-thought. The DDA is not about
limited or 'parallel' access, but promotes and protects equality of
access - physical, informational and attitudinal.

Action
Plans have the capacity to produce the systemic change which is required
to eliminate disability discrimination whether it be direct, or unintentional
and indirect. Through an Action Plan, a tertiary education institution
may reduce the risks of having complaints made against it under the
DDA. An Action Plan will also assist a tertiary education institution
better to meet its objective of providing high quality educational services
to the whole community, of which people with disabilities constitute
over 18%.

Providing
a copy of your Action Plan to the Australian Human Rights
Commission will be a bold statement of your institution's commitment
to equality of opportunity for all.

The
tertiary education sector has initiated many reforms in recent times
to make education more accessible for people with disabilities. Tertiary
education institutions have been the first Australian organisations
to provide Action Plans to the Australian Human Rights
Commission
under the DDA.

We
commend this guide to you, and look forward to the tangible advantage
which will result for the whole community as people who have disabilities
are able to benefit from and effectively contribute to the educational,
social, cultural, political and economic environment in which we all
live.

Contents

1.
Introduction

2. How to develop an action plan
3. Summary
4. Glossary
5. Appendix 1: Checklist
6. Appendix 2: Examples
7. Appendix 3: Legislative requirements for action plans
8. Appendix 4: Relevant sections of the DDA
9. Appendix 5: the Commission's DDA resources

1. Introduction

What
is an action plan?

Who may develop an action plan?
What disabilities should be covered by your action plan?
How an action plan can assist your institution
Action plans and employment policies
Action plans and people from Aboriginal, Torres Strait
Islander and non-english speaking backgrounds

What
is an action plan?

The
Disability Discrimination Act 1992 (DDA) makes it unlawful to
discriminate in the provision of goods, services or facilities (including
all services and facilities provided by tertiary education institutions)
against people on the basis that they have, or may have, a disability.
It also makes it unlawful to discriminate against a person on the basis
that one of her or his associates has, or may have, a disability.

The
DDA states that organisations may develop Action Plans to eliminate
discriminatory practices and that these may be given to the Australian Human Rights
Commission (the Commission).

An
Action Plan is a strategy for changing those practices of tertiary education
institutions which might result in discrimination (intentional or unintentional)
against people with disabilities. An Action Plan will help your institution
to identify these practices and offer a blue-print for change.

An
Action Plan must include certain components - these are listed in section
61 of the DDA (see Appendix 4):

  • a
    review of current activities;
  • devising
    of policies and programs;
  • goals
    and targets;
  • evaluation
    strategies;
  • allocation
    of responsibility; and
  • communication
    of policies and programs.

This
guide deals which each of these requirements in turn.

Who may develop an action plan?

Action
Plans may be developed by any 'service provider'. This term includes
anyone who, or any institution which, provides goods or services or
makes facilities available, with or without cost. It applies to:

  • educational
    institutions;
  • Commonwealth
    and state government departments and agencies;
  • Local
    government;
  • organisations
    and businesses in the public and private sectors; and
  • individuals.

All
institutions which provide educational services including child care
centres, schools and universities, colleges of technical and further
education, apprenticeship and trade schools and private educational
institutions, are covered by the DDA.

This
guide is specifically designed for tertiary education institutions.
The Commission may in the future produce additional guides to assist other educational
sectors.

In
developing an Action Plan an institution is asked to focus on its role
as a service provider. For tertiary education institutions this includes
the provision of lectures, information distribution, access to classrooms,
examination of students, publication of newsletters, and the operation
of theatres, food and bar services and sporting facilities. It also
includes all services funded by the institution, including child care
and student medical services.

What disabilities should be covered by your action
plan?

The
Act uses a very broad definition of `disability' and covers disabilities
which are physical, intellectual, psychiatric, sensory and neurological.
It also covers physical disfigurement and the presence in the body of
an organism capable of causing disease, such as HIV.

The
Act makes it unlawful to discriminate against a person on the basis
of a disability that she or he has now, once had, may have in the future
or is assumed to have. It also makes it unlawful to discriminate against
a person on the basis that her or his associate (partner, carer, friend,
family member or work colleague) has a disability.

How
an action plan can assist your institution

Minimise
discrimination and avoid complaints

Encourage broader participation
Boost prestige and maintain high levels of demand
Meet government expectations

Action
Plans are not just about complying with another Commonwealth government
requirement. Implementation of an Action Plan can produce many benefits
for an institution. Through implementation of a Plan your institution
can:

Minimise
discrimination and avoid complaints

The
right to access services, including education services, without discrimination
is a basic human right possessed by all people including people with
a disability. Tertiary education institutions have, in many ways, led
the way in promoting these rights.

Where
people experience unlawful discrimination they may make a complaint
to the Commission.

The
implementation of an Action Plan will make it far less likely that an
educational institution will inadvertently practice discrimination in
the first place. A successful action plan can, in a sense, act as an
insurance policy against DDA complaints.

Of
course, not all discrimination is unlawful. The DDA states that discrimination
will not be unlawful where, for example, the elimination of all discriminatory
practices would impose 'unjustifiable hardship' on a person or institution.
Development of an Action Plan will ensure that, in the event a complaint
is made, the institution concerned will already have considered complex
issues like 'unjustifiable hardship'.

When
deciding whether an alleged act of discrimination is unlawful, the Commission
is required by the Act to consider any Action Plan which may have been
prepared by the respondent. Tertiary institutions may wish to present
their Action Plan to explain the context within which the alleged act
of discrimination took place.

An
Action Plan will not of itself be conclusive proof that unlawful discrimination
has not occurred, but the Plan will certainly be considered relevant.

Encourage
broader participation

The
most recent Australian Bureau of Statistics information (1993) indicates
that some 3.2 million people, or 18% of all Australians, have a disability
(up from 15.6% in 1988). When applying the definition of 'disability'
which is used in the DDA (which is much broader than the one used by
the Australian Bureau of Statistics), this figure is significantly greater.
When the relatives, friends, carers and colleagues or associates of
people with disabilities are added, this group represents a sizeable
share of the Australian population of potential students, the talents
of which the tertiary education sector should not ignore.

An
Action Plan will encourage people with disabilities to use your institution's
services, and your student population will become more reflective of
the broader Australian community.

Boost
prestige and maintain high levels of demand

Students
want to study at reputable tertiary education institutions.

As
a public statement about commitment to practices which eliminate discrimination,
an Action Plan will boost the prestige of your institution - not just
within groups of people with disabilities, but within the broader community
as well.

There
are many indicators of success as a place of learning, but one important
indicator is student demand. The success of an institution will also
be marked by the extent to which it serves the community - and people
with disabilities are an ordinary and integral part of the community.

Meet
government expectations

Where
institutions are supported, even in part, by Commonwealth or State government
departments, there is likely to be additional pressure to comply with
the DDA. The DDA requires that government departments ensure compliance
in all public programs, including funded programs.

Action
plans and employment policies

The
DDA's Action Plan provisions target educational institutions as service
providers, rather than as employers. While it is not essential for Action
Plans to include employment reforms, it makes sense to develop your
Action Plan in association with a review of employment policies and
practices.

The Commission has produced a range of materials to assist people to understand the
DDA, including a guide to assist employers comply with the DDA. The
Disability Discrimination Act Employment Manual - Developing Best
Practice
is available from the Commission's Publications Officer
for $25 (see Appendix 5).

Action
plans and people from Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander and non-english
speaking backgrounds

People
with disabilities from an Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander and non-English
speaking backgrounds often encounter additional barriers in attempting
to access services. Access is made difficult not only because of the
person's disability, but also because services are not offered in a
way which is culturally and/or linguistically appropriate.

Tertiary
education institutions have developed significant expertise in ensuring
cultural sensitivity in service provision. This sensitivity will also
be an important requirement of any initiatives to make your services
more accessible for people with disabilities.

Tertiary
education institutions will need to be mindful of these issues in developing
an Action Plan.

2.
How to develop an action plan

Review
your current activities

Devise policies and programs
Goals and targets
Devise evaluation strategies for your action plan
Allocate responsibility
Communication

Your
Plan will need to be tailored to meet the particular needs of your institution,
but there are some 'musts' set out in section 61 of the DDA (see Appendix
4).

The
steps set out below will guide you towards the development of a Plan
which is not only responsive to the needs of your institution and the
users of its services and facilities, but which satisfies all the legal
requirements as well. The approach recommended in this guide is not
mandatory.

In
Appendix 2 there are some sample Action Plans to assist you to develop
your own Plan.

Review your current activities

Collect
information

Identify physical barriers which limit access to services
Identify communication barriers
Identify attitudinal barriers
Consider confidentiality
Include people with disabilities in the review process

The
action plan of a service provider must include provisions relating to
the review of practices within the service provider with a view to the
identification of any discriminatory practices; DDA s.61 (c)

An
institution must conduct a review (or audit) of the ways in which its
current practices might obstruct people with disabilities from access
to its goods, services and facilities. Obviously, an institution can't
effectively plan for the future without knowing where it currently stands.

Tertiary
institutions should consider the ways that participation by people with
disabilities is prevented or limited. Participation can take many forms
but it includes being able to enrol in courses, undertake studies, use
campus facilities, participate in open days, provide information through
student and community surveys, access complaints processes and nominate
for appointed and elected offices. This information is essential if
your institution is to remedy deficiencies in service provision.

The
review will be an essential first step in assessing current performance
level, identifying areas in need of change and developing realistic
targets and goals. The information from the review will be essential
for evaluation of your progress towards Action Plan goals.

A
successful review will require old practices to be considered from a
new perspective. For this reason it may be useful to have the review
conducted independently.

Institutions
can benefit greatly from utilising the expertise of people with disabilities
in conducting reviews.

Your
review will need to:

Collect
information

You
should, where possible, collect information to support your Action Plan.

Information
may be obtained from student and community surveys, market research,
staff and organisations representing people with disabilities.

Institutions
should collect information about potential service users and the extent
to which they currently deliver services to the general community, including
students with disabilities.

Information
on student profile data can be useful in identifying difficulties with
accessibility. It can also be an excellent measure by which to assess
improvements in making educational services accessible to students with
disabilities.

For
example, a survey of staff who work in the student enquiries section
may indicate that they cannot recall a single instance over the last
twelve months of providing services to a student with a disability.
While many disabilities are not visible, the fact that no-one can recall
serving a student with a guide dog or a mobility aid, a student who
uses a hearing aid or who has a hearing loss, or a student who uses
a wheelchair, suggests that the service may not be accessible for students
with disabilities.

Identify
physical barriers which limit access to services

Tertiary
institutions should identify the physical barriers which restrict access
to premises. To do this you will need to consider, among other things:

  • all
    the areas to which students should be entitled to have access, including
    all academic, social and sporting facilities;
  • physical
    structures such as doorways, steps and stairs which may act as barriers
    to people who use wheelchairs;
  • the
    existence of uninterrupted and safe pathways of travel around campus,
    including campus transport;
  • structures
    designed to deliver services, such as student information counters
    and electronic information systems;
  • signage
    which is confusing or inadequate;
  • decor
    which may be confusing or disorienting for people with disabilities
    affecting their vision;
  • non-visual
    guides to assist people to use campus buildings, including lifts with
    tactile buttons and floor announcements; and
  • emergency
    and evacuation systems, including alarms with both auditory and visual
    components.

 

Identify
communication barriers

Identify
how your institution communicates with people and ask:

  • could
    information produced by the institution be considered offensive by
    people with disabilities?
  • do
    you have a marketing strategy which ensures that people with disabilities
    learn about the range of courses offered and the extent to which premises
    and courses are accessible?
  • what
    provisions are made for making information available to all people
    who may want access to goods, services and facilities?
  • do
    you provide information in braille, large print or on audiotape for
    students and/or potential students who have difficulty with standard
    forms of printed information?
  • do
    you ensure information is exchanged through signing and other non-verbal
    means?
  • do
    you provide access to computer technology appropriate for students
    with disabilities?
  • do
    you ensure that videos or films produced or presented are captioned?
  • do
    you ensure that hearing loops are set up where appropriate to assist
    students with hearing disabilities?
  • do
    you ensure that information is presented to groups in a way which
    is user friendly for people with disabilities which affect their vision
    eg. by reading aloud overhead projections and describing graphs and
    pie charts?
  • do
    you ensure that staff are familiar with the technology and practices
    developed to assist people with disabilities including Telephone Typewriters
    (TTYs), hearing loops and sign language interpreters?

Identify
attitudinal barriers

Tertiary
institutions also need to consider the way any discriminatory attitudes
held by staff may impact on service provision.

Where
people with disabilities encounter attitudinal barriers, they may be
discouraged from using your services. Alternatively, they may lodge
a DDA complaint with the Commission.

Consider
confidentiality

All
people have a right to privacy. They have the right to access services
without being required unnecessarily to disclose personal information.
If this information is provided, your students have the right to expect
the information will be treated confidentially. This is equally true
of information about a person's disability.

Tertiary
institutions will need to consider whether personal information is over
collected and how the confidentiality of information may be protected.

Include
people with disabilities in the review process

People
with disabilities will often have had life experiences which enable
them quickly to identify barriers to accessing services. This skill
will be very useful in any review of current activities.

Devise
policies and programs

Devise
strategies to eliminate barriers

Utilise available expertise
Resource the action plan
Ensure the future of your action plan
Think about specialist services
Promote your action plan

    The
    action plan of a service provider must include provisions relating
    to the devising of policies and programs to achieve the objects of
    this Act; DDA s.61(a)

Devise strategies to eliminate
barriers

Your
review, which identifies the ways your institution excludes people with
disabilities from becoming students, from carrying out the tasks of
study once enrolled, or otherwise using your services, will enable you
to develop strategies to make your services more accessible to students
with disabilities. For example, improved campus signage (including use
of tactile cues) may be a way of encouraging more blind people and people
who have a vision impairment to use campus facilities.

Utilise
available expertise

People
with disabilities often have vast experience in dealing with discrimination
and barriers to access. As a consequence, they will have a very useful
perspective on practices which may discourage people with disabilities
from becoming students or using your services.

As
with any initiative, you will want to make use of existing expertise
in the development and implementation of an Action Plan. In developing,
implementing and evaluating Action Plans, institutions should consult
with and involve people with disabilities.

Resource
the action plan

The
costs of implementing an Action Plan need to be recognised as a legitimate
expenditure and incorporated into current and future budgets.

Ensure
the future of your action plan

Develop
policy

Incorporation
of the Action Plan into policy will ensure that the commitment to the
Plan continues beyond the employment of a few key people, and will inspire
public confidence that the commitment is real rather than transitory.
Action Plan policy will:

  • demonstrate
    commitment to the Plan's objectives;
  • indicate
    the support of management for the initiative; and
  • legitimise
    the allocation of resources to the implementation of the Action Plan.

Consider
mainstreaming

In
the short term, it may be that an Action Plan will be a separate component
of your institution's strategic plan. However, over time the Action
Plan will become part of your general approach to forward planning.

The
Action Plan will become less an independent strategy and more a thread
running through all institution plans, including those plans relating
to capital works and property management, academic programs, student
needs, information technology, library services and activities organised
through the student union and other campus associations.

Alternatively,
the Action Plan may be mainstreamed from the outset. This will be a
decision for each individual institution.

Develop
an informed planning process

To
ensure that your forward planning is done effectively, it is important
that those involved in the planning process are informed about the function
of an Action Plan.

Action
Plans will need to include strategies for ensuring that future planners
are made aware of Action Plan goals.s

Think
about specialist services

Many
education institutions have staff (such as Disability Liaison Officers)
who focus exclusively on disability issues. This may be a useful model
for other institutions. It is certainly the case that in-house expertise
will be of invaluable assistance to an institution in the implementation
of a Plan.

However,
the establishment of specialist positions does not justify an institution
failing to address systemic discrimination against people with disabilities.
A Disability Liaison Officer may be part of a strategy to eliminate
discrimination, but cannot be all of it.

Promote
your action plan

If
your institution is to reap the full benefits of having an Action Plan
it will need to market the Plan effectively to current and potential
students and service users. It will also have to involve people by offering
them the opportunity to make suggestions about ways to improve the Action
Plan.

Ensure
Information is Publicly Available
Access to the Action Plan and
its implementation process will encourage a sense of ownership of the
Action Plan among staff, students and service users. This sense of ownership,
of having a stake in the success of the Plan, will encourage people
to make contributions.

A
copy of your Plan may be given to the Commission. The Commission may make the
Plan available to other organisations as an example of an Action Plan.
Providing an Action Plan to the Commission is a clear statement of your
institution's commitment to non-discriminatory practices. By reporting
on progress towards Action Plan goals, for example through annual reports,
evaluation reports and audits, an institution can confirm and renew
this commitment.

Establish
grievance procedures

An
effective grievance procedure encourages confidence in the Plan and
facilitates feedback on ways the Plan may be improved. It may also be
an effective way of preventing DDA complaints, through resolution of
disputes at an early stage.Grievance procedures need to be publicised.
They should be quick and efficient, free of charge, dealt with by management
and capable of delivering results.

Goals
and targets

Think
about specific goals and targets

Set time frames

    The
    action plan of a service provider must include provisions relating
    to the setting of goals and targets, where these may reasonably be
    determined against which the success of the plan in achieving the
    objects of the Act may be assessed; DDA s.61(d)

Think about specific goals and targets

Without
goals and targets, Action Plans will be much more about 'plans' than
'action'.

Without
goals and targets, it will be difficult for your institution either
to assess improvements in marketing your goods, services or facilities
to people with disabilities, or to identify ways your Plan might be
further improved.

Goals
and targets should be specific enough to enable them to be measured.
For example:

  • all
    lecture theatres and campus auditoriums to be made wheelchair accessible;
    or
  • all
    examination requirements to be reviewed to ensure they are non-discriminatory.

Back to Menu,
Back to Develop an Action Plan, Back to Goals & Targets

Set
time frames

Strategies
designed to achieve goals and targets must also include time frames.

Without
time frames, strategies are generally incapable of evaluation and your
institution will have no way of determining if the Action Plan initiatives
are effective.

Using
the examples above, the strategies are greatly improved by the incorporation
of a time frame:

  • all
    lecture theatres and campus auditoriums to be wheelchair accessible
    by 1999; and
  • all
    examination requirements to be reviewed within six months of the adoption
    of this Plan to ensure they are non-discriminatory.

 

Devise evaluation strategies for your action
plan

    The
    action plan of a service provider must include provisions relating
    to the means other than [goals and targets] of evaluating the policies
    and programs [included in the plan]; DDA s.61(e)

Without
evaluation you will have no way of determining whether you are achieving
your goals or whether your implementation program is producing value
for money and effort expended. Evaluation strategies should be developed
in connection with goals, targets and time frames.

The
success of an effective Action Plan may be illustrated by any number
of changes such as:

  • greater
    use of services by members of the public who have a disability;
  • increased
    numbers of students with a disability;
  • higher
    levels of academic achievement by students with a disability;
  • observable
    changes in staff understanding of disability discrimination issues;
    or
  • improvements
    in the physical accessibility of campus buildings.

Make
a date to review your Plan following any evaluations conducted, or just
to reconsider your strategies in light of your experiences in implementing
the Plan.

Allocate responsibility

Decide
who will implement the action plan

Promote responsibility

    The
    action plan of a service provider must include provisions relating
    to the appointment of persons within the service provider to implement
    the provisions [of the action plan]; DDA s.61(f)

Decide
who will implement the plan

As
with any important initiative, smooth implementation of the Action Plan
will require that clear lines of responsibility be established.

An
Action Plan should involve the broad range of institution services,
and the implementation of a Plan should involve people who are able
to effect change across this broad range of services.

In
large organisations, like universities or colleges, it may be appropriate
to appoint people within each department to be responsible for implementing
the Plan. These people could account to the person or group responsible
for the overall implementation of the Action Plan. It is particularly
important for large institutions, which may spread Action Plan responsibilities
across a number of senior people, to maintain a system of overall coordination.

Information
from students and potential students will also assist in the improvement
of the Plan. To facilitate this feedback, contact details for the person
or group responsible for implementation should be made public.

Promote
responsibility

While
the decision to develop an Action Plan must be taken by your governing
body, implementation of the Plan will involve all staff.

All
management position descriptions should specify that managers are required
to implement the Action Plan. All other job descriptions should require
employees to implement their Action Plan responsibilities.

Communication

    The
    action plan of a service provider must include provisions relating
    to the communication of [action plan] policies and programs to persons
    within the service provider; DDA s.61(b)

For
the Plan to succeed a team effort will be required. In order that all
staff appreciate the value of successfully implementing an Action Plan,
as well as understand what they are required to do to ensure success,
you will need to work out ways to communicate the Plan to staff.

Training
in Action Plan responsibilities will need to be undertaken with all
staff. The Plan will also need to incorporate strategies for encouraging
current and future staff to undertake training.

3.
Summary

The
Action Plan process is similar to any best practice approach to running
your academic institution. It will fit comfortably with your institution's
objectives of pursuing academic excellence, maintaining a viable and
prestigious place of learning, and ensuring that all your goods, services
and facilities are accessible to all members of the community. The stages
are:

  1. review
    your current institution practices;
  2. develop
    policies and programs;
  3. develop
    goals and targets;
  4. devise
    evaluation strategies;
  5. allocate
    responsibility; and
  6. develop
    communication strategies.

4.
Glossary

Alternative
assessment:
Means of assessing a student's knowledge of an area
(and eligibility for an academic award or progression through a course)
which accommodates the student's disability. For example, an oral examination
in place of written examination for students with a mobility disability
affecting their capacity to write.

Alternative
formats:
Information presented in formats other than the standard
printed form. Alternative formats include presenting information on
audiotape or on computer disc (in various formats), in large print or
in braille.

AUSLAN/sign
language:
Official non-verbal (signed) language of the Deaf community
of Australia.

Closed
captions:
Written messages which appear on a television or movie
screen and which represent the program's auditory messages (primarily
dialogue) in written form. Closed captions are revealed through special
components of electronic technology (televisions, videos) which are
optional with most commercial brands.

Commissioner:
A Commissioner of the Australian Human Rights
Commission.
Commissioners are responsible for the promotion and implementation of
human rights legislation. Some Commissioners are responsible for promoting
the objects of a particular Act. For example, the Disability Discrimination
Commissioner is concerned primarily with the administration and promotion
of the Disability Discrimination Act 1992 (DDA). A Hearing Commissioner
is responsible for determining complaints after a formal hearing (having
heard evidence from both complainant and respondent and relevant witnesses).

Complainant:
Person or organisation lodging a complaint of discrimination with
the Australian Human Rights
Commission.

Conciliation:
Process following lodging of a complaint of unlawful discrimination
whereby staff of the Australian Human Rights
Commission bring
complainant and respondent together to see if the complaint can be settled
without the need for formal hearing. The usual requirement that conciliation
be attempted may be dispensed with in certain circumstances.

Disability:
A condition or state of being which is covered by the broad DDA
definition. The term includes physical, sensory, psychiatric, intellectual
and neurological disabilities, physical disfigurement and the presence
in the body of organisms causing or capable of causing disease, such
as HIV - the virus which causes AIDS.

Discrimination:
Treating a person less favourably (on the basis of a disability
that that person has, may have, used to have or may have in the future)
than you would treat a person without that disability in the same circumstances
or circumstances which are not materially different. Discrimination
may be either:

  • direct
    discrimination - treating a person less favourably because of their
    disability, such as a policy that people with infectious diseases
    may not enrol at a particular institution;or
  • indirect
    discrimination - imposing a requirement or condition where that requirement
    or condition is one with which people with disabilities are disproportionally
    unable to comply, which is not reasonable having regard to all the
    circumstances and with which a complainant with a disability is unable
    to comply. For example, a student with a mobility disability which
    affects her capacity to write, may argue that an institution requirement
    that all students write their responses to exam questions unassisted
    is indirect discrimination. There are alternative ways of assessing
    a person's knowledge of an area and this requirement may not be reasonable
    in the circumstances. It is certainly one with which the student is
    unable to comply and one with which students with disabilities will
    be disproportionally unable to comply.

 

Hearing
loop/audio loop:
Magnetic field which helps prevent external sounds
from interfering with intended auditory messages within a given space.
Loops are set up in particular rooms or auditoriums to facilitate hearing
by people who use a hearing aid.

Australian Human
Rights Commission ('the Commission'):
A Commonwealth
statutory authority responsible for administering a number of pieces
of Commonwealth legislation relating to human rights and anti-discrimination.
The Commission also acts as a decision making tribunal when matters
cannot be conciliated - it makes these decisions after holding formal
inquiries.

Peak
Disability Organisations:
Organisations representing groups of disability
organisations. Peak organisations often liaise with government in relation
to disability issues.

Print
handicap:
A term used to describe a disability affecting a person's
capacity to access printed information, including a vision impairment
or dyslexia, and physical disabilities which affect the ability to hold
or read printed material.

Respondent:
Person, organisation or institution alleged in a complaint to have unlawfully
discriminated against a person.

Service
provider:
Any person, organisation, government department or agency
which provides goods, service or facilities to the public, for free
or at a cost.

Telephone
Typewriter or TTY:
Device attached to a telephone line which allows
callers to communicate by typing messages which are instantaneously
seen by the person at the other end of the line.

Unjustifiable
hardship:
Basis upon which a respondent can defend a complaint of
disability discrimination. The respondent might successfully argue that
not to discriminate would impose upon him/her/it an unjustifiable hardship.
In determining unjustifiable hardship, the Australian Human Rights Commission considers all the circumstances of the particular case, including
the benefits and detriment to relevant persons, the effect of the relevant
disability, financial circumstances and any Action Plan given to the
Australian Human Rights Commission by the respondent.

 

Appendix
1: Checklist

How
does your institution collect information about current and prospective
students and other members of the community who may seek access to your
goods, services and facilities?

What
physical barriers need modification to encourage people with a disability
to use your services?

How
can you change communication practices to ensure that all people may
have access to your information and provide information to you?

Are
staff allowing their own discriminatory practices to impact on the provision
of services? How might this problem be addressed to ensure you provide
a quality service?

Will
you include the expertise of people with disabilities in identifying
barriers to access and in developing and implementing your Action Plan?

Have
you determined ways to evaluate your progress towards Action Plan goals?

Are
your goals and targets achievable?

Have
you set time frames to ensure your goals and targets are effective?

Has
the institution allocated sufficient resources, priority and authority
to ensure the successful implementation of your Action Plan?

How
are you going to inform and educate staff about their role in implementing
your Action Plan?

Have
you devised strategies for publicising your commitment to your Action
Plan?

Does
your institution have a procedure that addresses complaints?

Has
your institution incorporated long term planning and evaluation strategies
into your Action Plan?

Appendix
2: Examples

Example
one: Commonwealth University

Example two: Nutonian Business College

These
are sample Action Plans only. They cannot be substituted for following
the steps outlined above. Educational institutions will need to develop
Action Plans which reflect their specific resources and structures.Educational
institutions named in the following examples have been invented by the Commission
for the purposes of illustration only. Any likeness to an actual institution
is accidental and unintended.

Example
one: Commonwealth University

Commonwealth
University (CU) is a newly established University in Brisbane. It is
governed by a University Council and consists of twelve departments,
most departments comprising a number of schools. There are 8,000 students
enrolled in the University.

The
Council decides to set up a Disability Discrimination Action Plan Team
(DDAPT) to identify whether existing practices limit access to the university's
goods, services or facilities for people with a disability, and to develop
an Action Plan to ensure the elimination of this discrimination.

The
Council directs that the DDAPT be chaired by the Vice-Chancellor, and
that it comprise the Academic Registrar, Disability Liaison Officer,
a nominated representative from each department, the Dean of Students,
Senior Architect Planner and representatives from the Students' Union.
The Vice-Chancellor is nominated to approach people with disabilities
to assist in the process.

Review current activities

Collection
of information

The
project team undertakes student, staff and community surveys to investigate
the ways in which people with disabilities access CU services. It also
commissions market research and considers information from the Australian
Bureau of Statistics.

The
project team also seeks information from particular people, including
members of the University's Students With Disabilities (SWD) group.
Discussions are held with local disability peak representative organisations.

Efforts
are also made to collect information from prospective students through
schools, pre-enrolment procedures and local disability organisations.

The
Research indicates that a very small percentage of students with a disability
are enrolled at the University and that less than half of all pre-enrolment
enquiries from people with disabilities result in actual enrolment.

Identification
of physical barriers

  1. The
    majority of campus buildings are accessible to people who use a wheelchair.
  2. Lecture
    Block A extends over three floors and only the ground floor is accessible.
  3. Lecture
    Blocks D and E are not accessible for people who use a wheelchair
    or another form of mobility aid.
  4. Lecture
    Blocks B is accessible only at the rear of the building and this is
    indicated only by a small sign adjacent to the block's main entrance.
  5. None
    of the laboratories have benches or equipment comfortably accessible
    to students who use wheelchairs.
  6. The
    University bar is inaccessible.
  7. There
    is some parking reserved for people with disabilities, however these
    spaces are not evenly distributed around campus and are frequently
    used by people who do not have a disability.
  8. The
    Students' Handbook does not include physical access information.
  9. No
    University advertising literature features physical access information.
  10. There
    is extensive sign posting around campus. However, these signs have
    no tactile cues and hence cannot be used by blind people. The colour
    schemes used on signage could be improved to make them more visible
    for people with a vision impairment. Some buildings are not sign posted.
  11. Most
    lecture theatres and tutorial rooms are brightly lit with a decor
    comprised of contrasting colours. This assists in the use of premises
    by people with a vision impairment. The decor in Lecture Block C is,
    however, black and grey with subtle lighting.
  12. The
    result of this scheme is an environment which is too dark and difficult
    for people with a vision impairment to negotiate.
  13. Campus
    lifts do not have buttons with tactile cues and do not announce floors.
    Consequently, blind people or people with a vision impairment find
    it difficult to locate the correct floor.
  14. While
    all campus premises have newly installed fire alarm systems, no systems
    have a visual component and there are no policies covering the evacuation
    of people with disabilities.
  15. Information
    desks at the Student Enquiries Section and in the library are too
    high to permit easy communication with people using a wheelchair.
  16. Library
    shelving results in most books being inaccessible for people who use
    a wheelchair.
  17. Electronic
    information terminals found in the library and around campus cannot
    be used by people with a vision impairment.
  18. Wheelchair
    access from upper campus to lower campus is limited to two routes
    and lighting on both routes is inadequate making them unsafe at night.
  19. The
    university swimming pool is not wheelchair accessible.
  20. Residential
    accommodation on campus is generally inaccessible for people with
    disabilities.

Identification
of communication barriers

  1. Some
    departments have TTYs, others do not. TTY numbers are not listed in
    the White or Yellow Pages, the TTY directory or the Students' Handbook.
  2. While
    most relevant staff know how to use TTYs, some do not.
  3. CU
    does not produce promotional information about its courses or facilities
    in anything other than standard print form - the university's entire
    advertising campaign is focussed on print media. This excludes blind
    people or people with a vision impairment or a print handicap. The
    exception is a promotional video distributed by the university, but
    this video does not include captions.
  4. Student
    loans are dependent upon complex print transactions. This precludes
    blind students or students with a vision impairment or a print handicap
    from using this service.
  5. It
    is not known whether any staff have AUSLAN sign language skills.
  6. University
    advertisements do not appear in any national publications which target
    people with disabilities. Other advertising does not refer to th accessibility
    of courses or facilities.
  7. Only
    two major auditoriums have a hearing loop installed and many lecturers
    indicate they would like more training in how to use this technology.
  8. There
    are no procedures for having lectures AUSLAN interpreted for Deaf
    students and the use of overhead projected information is limited.
  9. Course
    notes are not available in alternative formats.
  10. Few
    lecturers adequately describe printed information, such as charts
    and graphs, for blind people or people who have a vision impairment.
  11. Lectures
    are audio taped but these tapes are not usually made available until
    at least three weeks after the actual lecture.
  12. Systems
    set up to assist students with note talcers or exam writers are inconsistent
    across departments and inadequately publicised.
  13. The
    university does not possess any voice activated computers. and other
    computers are often not accessible.
  14. CU
    does produce information about its services in community languages,
    however there has not been consideration of the information needs
    of people with disabilities from non-English speaking backgrounds.
  15. CU
    does not have a policy on the information needs of people with disabilities
    from an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander background. The University
    does run some programs specific to these communities, however these
    are isolated and the principles underpinning these programs are not
    universally applied.

Identification
of attitudinal barriers

The
staff survey shows that:

  1. Staff
    are committed to the elimination of discrimination.
  2. Ten
    percent of university staff express that they are uncomfortable providing
    services to people with obvious disabilities and are unclear about
    the needs of students with disabilities.
  3. Five
    percent of all staff think that where people are accompanied by attendants,
    it is appropriate to address the attendant instead of the person.
  4. Of
    all official student complaints lodged over the last 12 months, twenty
    percent were made by students alleging they received inadequate service
    because of their disability.
  5. Thirty
    percent of sexual harassment complaints were filed by women who identified
    as having a disability.
  6. Staff
    are particularly concerned about providing services to people with
    HIV/AIDS and would lilce more information in this regard.
  7. Staff
    in the schools of medicine and dentistry are concerned about the transmission
    of infectious diseases from students to others.
  8. Staff
    are not satisfied that courses are sufficiently flexible to accommodate
    students with episodic conditions, including psychiatric disabilities.

Confidentiality

  1. The
    Student Records section does attempt to collect information about
    the number of students with disabilities. There is no provision for
    the anonymous collection of this data.
  2. Students
    with disabilities indicate concern that in disclosing their disabilities
    for the purposes of utilising certain facilities (such as assistance
    with note ta]cing or exam writing), they have no clear understanding
    of who may have access to this information.
  3. Staff
    in the schools of medicine and dentistry have openly canvassed the
    possibility of disclosing the HIV and Hepatitis status of students
    to relevant personnel at teaching hospitals.
  4. Applications
    for student loans include questions relating to disability.
  5. CU
    concludes that some of its current activities may contravene the DDA
    and there is a risk of a complaint being made against the University
    under the Act.
  6. CU
    comes up with the following Action Plan:

Commonwealth University action plan

a.
Physical barriers

The
University's building report will be reviewed to assess all CU premises
for their accessibility. Modifications required to make premises accessible
will be listed and this list will be forwarded to the University Council
as soon as possible. The Council will be responsible for making decisions
about which modifications are priorities, affordable and achievable,
but will take advice from the DDAPT and University Architect.

CU
will also allocate an amount per annum over the next three years to
implement urgent changes as indicated by the priority list below:

    Year
    1:
    fire warning systems will be improved; increased parking to
    be reserved for people with disabilities around campus;a large sign
    will be erected at the front of Lecture Block B advising that the
    building is wheelchair accessible from the rear;accessible benches
    and equipment will be installed as part of the refurbishment of the
    Biological Science Laboratory, and all future laboratory upgrades
    will include such adjustments;the university bar will be made fully
    accessible.

    Year
    2:
    lift access to the Lecture Block A's second and third floors
    will be made available;lighting will be changed within Lecture Block
    C to make the space less dangerous for people with a vision impairment.

    Year
    3:
    the already scheduled refurbishment of the library will focus
    on modifying shelves, compacters and service counters to ensure they
    do not act as barriers;accessible photocopiers will be provided in
    the library.

The
Director of CU Student Housing Services will within six months convene
a meeting of all providers of campus and student accommodation. A strategy
will be developed for doubling the supply of accessible CU owned and
operated campus accommodation within two years. This strategy will be
provided to the DDAPT within six months of the date of the meeting.

Other
residential colleges associated with CU will be asked to provide information
to CU DDAPT within six months relating to the availability of accessible
accommodation and plans for improving access to accommodation for students
with disabilities.

All
future refurbishment of CU owned and operated student accommodation
will be carried out with an emphasis on equality of access for students
with disabilities.

b.
Communication

  1. TTYs
    will be installed in all department offices by December 1995 and all
    relevant staff will receive training in the use of TTYs by March 1996.
  2. All
    TTY numbers will be listed in the TTY directory, the White and Yellow
    Pages as soon as possible and in all University advertising and student
    resources, including the Students' Handbook.
  3. Staff
    with AUSLAN sign language skills will be encouraged to utilise these
    skills and to undertake training at University expense to maintain
    these skills. Staff interested in developing these skills will be
    encouraged to undertake training at the University's expense and will
    be notified of this opportunity through the next staff newsletter.
  4. The
    University's promotional video will be remade within two years and
    include captions.
  5. The
    University will review its advertising strategy within a year to ensure
    information is reaching people with disabilities. The Public Relations
    Officer will investigate the possibility of advertising in national
    publications which target people with disabilities and the possibility
    of noting the Action Plan in all mainstream advertising.
  6. CU
    will establish within three months an inter-departmental committee
    to consider the information needs of people with disabilities from
    Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander and non-English speaking backgrounds.
    The Committee will report to the DDAPT within nine months on changes
    which need to be made to ensure people with disabilities from these
    communities have equality of access to CU services.

c.
Attitudinal

  1. Information
    about the DDA and people with disabilities will be provided to staff
    through their newsletter, commencing January 1996.
  2. The
    non-discriminatory employment policy will be affirmed by the Council
    at its next meeting and a statement to this effect will be incorporated
    into the next staff newsletter.
  3. Representatives
    of disability organisations will be invited to address a staff forum
    on disability discrimination issues within three months.
  4. Workplace
    training will be offered over the next 12 months to inform staff about
    rights and responsibilities which arise under the DDA, with staff
    to have received this training within two years.
  5. Management
    will, as a priority, collect and distribute information to staff about
    HIV/AIDS and other infectious diseases. This will be done by December
    1996. The DDAPT will meet with representatives of the medical and
    dentistry schools within three months to discuss the need for further
    information and greater clarity in policy and procedure relating to
    students with HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis A, B or C and other infectious diseases.
  6. Specific
    information on psychiatric disabilities will be provided to staff
    within six months. Additional training will be offered to staff within
    twelve months.

d.
Confidentiality

  1. The
    Student Records section will review its practices within three months
    to ensure its operations comply with the CU confidentiality policy.
    Except where collection of disability information is related to the
    provision of services to a particular student. CU will collect disability
    data on an anonymous basis.
  2. Students
    will be provided upon request with a copy of the CU confidentiality
    policy and reference to this policy will be included in future editions
    of the Students' Handbook.
  3. Staff
    in the schools of medicine and dentistry will be provided with copies
    of the CU confidentiality policy within three months. The DDAPT will
    convene a meeting with staff of the school of medicine and dentistry
    and student representatives to discuss outstanding issues.
  4. The
    collection of information relating to disability in connection with
    credit applications will cease immediately.

e.
Long term strategies

  1. Within
    three months, the University Council will pass resolutions:
  • committing
    the University to eliminating disability discrimination;
  • committing
    the University to resourcing the implementation of this Action Plan;
    and
  • affirming
    the right to equal access of people with disabilities to all the
    University's goods, services and facilities, and endorsing this
    as a fundamental philosophy to underpin all CU planning.
  • Members
    of the CU inter-departmental strategic planning team will be required
    to familiarise themselves with the DDA and the function of an Action
    Plan. Within six months, resources will be made available to assist
    the team to devise plans which comply with this Action Plan. Planners
    will seek advice from organisations representing people with disabilities
    where they are unclear about disability issues.
  • f.
    Communication and promotion of the Action Plan

    1. Copies
      of this Plan will be held by the University's Personnel Department
      and will be made available to staff upon request and free of charge.
      Staff will be advised of this through their newsletter.
    2. Copies
      of the Plan will be given to all department heads.
    3. Future
      editions of the Students' Handbook will include information
      on the CU Action Plan.
    4. A
      review of CU promotional material will be conducted within three months
      in order to assess how information on the Action Plan may be best
      distributed to prospective students and the broader community.
    5. Copies
      of the Plan will be available in alternative formats.
    6. Members
      of the community will receive a free copy of the Plan upon request.
    7. The
      Plan will be made available free of charge to students through the
      Student Services section.
    8. Feedback
      from staff, students and the community is welcome and should be directed
      to the Vice-Chancellor. Feedback will be acknowledged.
    9. The
      Plan will be given to the Australian Human Rights
      Commission
      within a month of its being adopted by the Council.
    10. Each
      CU Annual Report, starting 1995-96, will include information on progress
      towards Action Plan goals.
    11. Complaints
      about compliance with the DDA or Action Plan may be made to the Vice-Chancellor
      who will arrange for the complaint to be investigated by the DDAPT.
      Nominated DDAPT representatives will seek to resolve the problem as
      quickly as possible.
    12. Copies
      of any complaints, and information on progress towards resolution,
      will be made available to the University Council at the first meeting
      following receipt of the complaint.

    g.
    Allocation of responsibility

    1. The
      members of the DDAPT will be responsible for overseeing implementation
      of this Action Plan.
    2. Overall
      responsibility for implementation lies with the University Council
      through the Vice-Chancellor.
    3. The
      Personnel Manager will ensure that all department head job descriptions
      are reviewed by December 1996 to include a requirement as follows:
    4. Department
      Heads will be required to oversee the implementation of the University's
      DDA Action Plan.

    h.
    Evaluation

    This
    Action Plan will be evaluated no later than March 1998 and the University
    will fund appropriate evaluation.

    Indicators
    of success will include:

    • an
      increase in the number of students with disabilities enrolling in
      the full range of CU courses;
    • an
      overall improvement in the level of academic achievement for students
      with disabilities;
    • a
      reduction in the number of official complaints from students with
      disabilities;
    • an
      increase in the utilisation of Student Services (including services
      relating to scholarships, Student Loans and accommodation) by people
      with disabilities;
    • an
      increase in the number of pre-enrolment enquiries about facilities
      and programs to assist students with disabilities;
    • a
      decrease in the number of staff indicating a need for more disability
      information and/or training;
    • greater
      accessibility of campus premises and facilities; and
    • other
      appropriate indicators.

    This
    plan will be reviewed by December 1998 by the DDAPT and recommendations
    for changes to the Plan will be made to the University Council at the
    next meeting.

    The
    Council will consider suggested changes within two months of receiving
    them and will make appropriate amendments to the Action Plan.

    The
    Council will also take this opportunity to consider the positive outcomes
    of the implementation of the Action Plan and will consider ways to publicise
    these results.

    Example
    two: Nutonian Business College

    Nutonian
    Business College (NBC) is a privately owned and operated business college
    in Tasmania offering courses in secretarial, administration, hospitality
    and computer services.

    The
    College is operated by a Board of six Directors who represent the majority
    shareholders in the proprietary limited company.

    NBC
    has been operating for three years and its current enrolment is 320
    students. It employs ten part-time teachers. Following enquiries from
    potential students with disabilities about accessibility of services,
    the Directors decide to investigate the development of an Action Plan.

    NBC
    conducts a review in association with a commissioned consultant. The
    following issues are identified:

    • A
      number of design aspects of the NBC premises make access impossible
      for people who have a mobility disability.
    • Some
      classrooms are inaccessible to students who use wheelchairs because
      of stairs and steps.
    • Information
      about physical accessibility of premises has not been collected and
      cannot readily be made available to students seeking this information.
    • While
      all students are asked to complete pre- and post-enrolment questionnaires,
      no information is collected from students or potential students about
      whether or not they have a disability and what adjustments may be
      required to enable them to complete their chosen field of study.
    • NBC's
      confidentiality policies have not been reviewed since the College
      opened.
    • Some
      teachers have had experience in providing educational services to
      students with disabilities. No teachers believe that they have expertise
      in this area and most express a need for further information and for
      training.
    • NBC
      does not have a TTY.
    • NBC
      does not provide course notes in alternative formats although it has
      in the past recorded presentations by guest lecturers on audio tape.
    • NBC
      has a hearing loop installed in the main auditorium. There are no
      hearing loops in individual classrooms.
    • NBC
      draws most of its students from the local area. It does not have an
      ongoing relationship with any local disability organisations.
    • NBC's
      advertising is limited to the local newspaper and pamphlets which
      are distributed quarterly.
    • The
      Board is committed to making NBC's educational services accessible
      for students with disabilities but has not yet considered possible
      support services for such students.
    • Courses
      need to be made more flexible to accommodate students with episodic
      conditions including psychiatric disabilities.

    The
    Action Plan is prepared as follows:

    NUTONIAN
    BUSINESS COLLEGE INC.

    • An
      access audit will be conducted in association with a commissioned
      consultant with six months.
    • Physical
      barriers to access (and information relating to the costs of appropriate
      modification) will be considered by the Board of Directors within
      one month of this information being received from the consultant.
      This information will be considered in light of the fact that the
      lease on NBC's current premises expires in eighteen months and relocation
      is an option.
    • Physical
      access, including access to areas of practical and field experience,
      will be a criterion in the selection of future premises.
    • The
      1996 Students' Guide will include information relating to physical
      access.
    • NBC
      will, by June 1996, review its confidentiality policy to ensure it
      meets the needs of students and staff. Any deficiencies will be addressed.
      In particular, the review will assess whether information relating
      to a student's disability is adequately protected from inappropriate
      use and/or disclosure.
    • The
      revised policy will be reproduced in full in the 1997 Students'
      Guide
      .
    • Enrolment
      forms will be amended to include a question relating to disability.
      Students will be invited, but not required, to disclose any disabilities
      they may have. This information will be recorded statistically on
      an anonymous basis. The enrolment form will refer to the NBC confidentiality
      policy.
    • Complaints
      relating to NBC's failure to accommodate a student's disability will
      be recorded as an independent category in complaints information forwarded
      for consideration by the Board of Directors. The Board shall receive
      this data in a non-identifying form.
    • Admissions
      staff will keep records of the number of enquiries relating to access
      and disability received from potential students.
    • The
      post-graduation evaluation form will include questions relating to
      accessibility of educational services for students with disabilities.
    • Teachers
      have limited experience in providing education services to people
      with disabilities. Training will be provided for staff to address
      this need at NBC expense. This training will be provided within six
      months.
    • NBC
      will install a TTY within one month. The TTY number will be included
      in all NBC advertising, will be listed in the White and Yellow Pages
      and TTY directory, and all staff will receive training in how to use
      a TTY within a month of installation.
    • NBC
      will investigate provision of course notes m alternative formats with
      immediate provision of information in large print. An amount of money
      will be allocated each year to cover costs of translating information
      into alternative formats.
    • Hearing
      loops will be installed in all classrooms within twelve months and
      staff will receive training on how to use this equipment within eighteen
      months.
    • future
      advertising will refer to the Action Plan, specifically physical access
      information. TTY details and other measures designed to assist people
      with disabilities.
    • NBC
      will advertise its services in local disability newsletters and on
      Radio PH (radio for the print handicapped).
    • NBC
      will investigate support services for students with disabilities such
      as assistance with note taking.
    • NBC
      will review within 6 months all courses with a view to ensuring that
      course requirements are sufficiently flexible to allow for the needs
      of students with episodic conditions.
    • NBC
      will liaise with local disability groups to facilitate elimination
      of barriers to educational services offered by NBC.
    • Staff
      will be invited to nominate for the new position of Disability Liaison
      Officer (DLO). The successful applicant will be provided with additional
      training as necessary and will receive a salary loading for her/his
      additional responsibilities. The DLO will be responsible for investigating
      difficulties being experienced by students with disabilities in accessing
      educational services.
    • The
      DLO will report directly to the Board of Directors on a bi-monthly
      basis.

    This
    Plan will be distributed to all staff and company shareholders.

    It
    will be made available in alternative formats upon request.

    A
    copy of this Action Plan will be given to the Australian Human Rights Commission.

    Within
    six months, a working group comprising representatives of staff, management
    and students with disabilities will review examination and assessment
    procedures to determine whether any of these unnecessarily disadvantage
    students with disabilities.

    This
    working party will make recommendations for changes as appropriate to
    the Board of Directors no later than November 1996.

    This
    Action Plan will be reviewed each year for the next five years.

    An
    amount will be set aside to fund an external evaluation no later than
    1998.

    Evaluation
    will include consideration of:

    • information
      gathered through staff meetings and feedback from students;
    • any
      increase in the number of people enquiring about access for students
      with disabilities;
    • increased
      enrolment of people with disabilities; and
    • a
      decrease in complaints that NBC is inaccessible for students with
      disabilities.

     

    Appendix 3: Legislative requirements
    for action plans

    It
    is not a requirement of the DDA that service providers prepare and implement
    Action Plans. If, however, an institution decides to prepare an Action
    Plan, the DDA specifies that the Plan must include certain things.

    Disability Discrimination Act 1992

    Provisions
    of action plans:

    SECTION
    61

    The
    action plan of a service provider must include provisions relating to:

    1. the
      devising of policies and programs to achieve the objects of this Act;
      and
    2. the
      communication of these policies and programs to persons within the
      service provider; and
    3. the
      review of practices within the service provider with a view to the
      identification of any discriminatory practices; and
    4. the
      setting of goals and targets, where these may reasonably be determined
      against which the success of the plan in achieving the objects of
      the Act may be assessed; and
    5. the
      means, other than those referred to in paragraph (d), of evaluating
      the policies and programs referred to in paragraph (a); and
    6. the
      appointment of persons within the service provider to implement the
      provisions referred to in paragraphs (a) to (e) (inclusive).

    Action
    plans may have other provisions:

    SECTION
    62

      The
      action plan of a service provider may include provisions, other than
      those referred to in section 61, that are not inconsistent with the
      objects of this Act.

     

    Appendix 4: Relevant sections of
    the DDA

    SECTION
    4

    "disability",
    in relation to a person, means:

    1. total
      or partial loss of the person's bodily or mental functions; or
    2. total
      or partial loss of a part of the body; or
    3. the
      presence in the body of organisms causing disease or illness; or
    4. the
      presence in the body of organisms capable of causing disease or illness;
      or
    5. the
      malfunction, malformation or disfigurement of a part of the person's
      body; or
    6. a
      disorder or malfunction that results in the person learning differently
      from a person without the disorder or malfunction; or
    7. a
      disorder, illness or disease that affects a person's thought processes,
      perception of reality, emotions or judgment or that results in disturbed
      behaviour; and includes a disability that:
    8. presently
      exists; or
    9. previously
      existed but no longer exists; or
    10. may
      exist in the future; or
    11. is
      imputed to a person.

    Part 3 - Action plans interpretation

    SECTION
    59

    In
    this Part:

    "service
    provider" means a Department, a department of a State, a public
    authority of the Commonwealth, an instrumentality of a State, an educational
    institution or a person who:

    1. provides
      goods or services; or
    2. makes
      facilities available; whether for payment or not.

    Action
    plans

    SECTION
    60

    A
    service provider may prepare and implement an action plan.

    Provision
    of action plans

    SECTION
    61

    The
    action plan of a service provider must include provisions relating to:

    1. the
      devising of policies and programs to achieve the objects of this Act;
    2. the
      communication of these policies and programs to persons within the
      service provider; and
    3. the
      review of practices within the service provider with a view to the
      identification of any discriminatory practices; and
    4. the
      setting of goals and targets, where these may reasonably be determined
      against which the success of the plan in achieving the objects of
      the Act may be assessed; and
    5. the
      means, other than those referred to in paragraph (d), of evaluating
      the policies and programs referred to in paragraph (a); and
    6. the
      appointment of persons within the service provider to implement the
      provisions referred to in paragraphs (a) to (e) (inclusive).

    Action
    plans may have other provisions

    SECTION
    62

    The
    action plan of a service provider may include provisions, other than
    those referred to in section 61, that are not inconsistent with the
    objects of this Act.

    Amendment
    of action plans

    SECTION
    63

    A
    service provider may, at any time, amend its action plan.

    Copy
    of action plan to be given to Commission

    SECTION
    64

    A
    service provider may give:

    1. a
      copy of its action plan; or
    2. any
      amendments to the plan; to the Commission.

    Commission
    to sell action plans to public

    SECTION
    65

    The
    Commission is to sell copies of action plans or amendments to action
    plans given to it under section 64 to the public for a prescribed fee.

     

    Appendix 5: the Commission's DDA resources

    See the main Australian Human Rights Commission action plans
    page