Rights and responsibilities

If you are receiving support from AccessAbility Services you need to be aware of your rights and responsibilities. You must also agree to follow these guidelines.

Your rights

You have the right to:

  • be treated in a fair and respectful manner, free from all forms of harassment and discrimination
  • confidentiality of information and sharing of information on a need-to-know basis with informed consent
  • negotiate appropriate reasonable adjustments to enable participation in education, to the same standard as any other student, provided those adjustments do not compromise the academic requirements or learning outcomes of the unit or course, or are considered unreasonable by the university. Reasonable adjustments will be documented in an Education Access Plan (EAP).

Your responsibilities 

Swinburne student charter expectations

  • Treat other students and staff with honesty, respect and courtesy in a safe manner, free from all forms of harassment and discrimination.
  • Be accountable for your learning.

View the Swinburne student charter.

Arranging and managing your support

  • Contact AccessAbility Services as early as possible after enrolment so that arrangements can be made to have your support in place.
  • Supply a complete copy of your timetable as soon as it is available to you. This includes units (name and code), times, locations and term dates.
  • Provide current documentation from a relevant treating health professional to access reasonable adjustments via AccessAbility Services.
  • Provide your Education Access Plan (EAP) to conveners/lecturers/tutors to support your reasonable adjustments.
  • Late changes in timetable or subject choice may result in reduced or delayed services being available to you.
  • Initiate and maintain contact with AccessAbility Services regarding any change in your condition or required reasonable adjustments in a timely manner.
  • Apply for Equitable Assessment Arrangements (EAA) at least six weeks before the first exam.
  • Ensure your Swinburne student email account remains able to receive incoming mail, and check it regularly so that you can promptly respond to any requests for action or information.

Assistive technology

Assistive technology can include software, digital recorders, tablets, echo smart pens and laptops.

  • We encourage you to trial assistive technology and equipment to determine what may be of greatest assistance to you.
  • The library’s borrowing policies and guidelines will apply, however extended loans can be authorised by the AccessAbility Adviser.

Education Access Workers

  • Education Access Workers are provided where it is the most appropriate means to assist a student to effectively access education, this is negotiated on an individual basis. 
  • Your AccessAbility Adviser will go through the responsibilities attached with having an Education Access Worker assist you with your studies.

If you need some assistance in your exams/tests

Assistance can include extended time, rest breaks, extra reading time, use of a computer, or a reader/scribe.

  • Call the AccessAbility Adviser to discuss your needs, at least six weeks before exam dates in Higher Education, at least one week before test dates in Pathways and Vocational Education.
  • AccessAbility Services needs time to make the necessary arrangements with the exams team, department and support staff. 
  • Requests for alternative assessments may require written documentation/certificate from a doctor or relevant professional.

Alternative formatting of learning materials

  • Prescribed course learning materials will be provided in alternative format where possible. This process can take up to three months.
  • A maximum of three textbooks per enrolled unit of study will be provided, including up to two prescribed textbooks and one recommended textbook only.
  • Contact your School or Faculty as early as possible so that they can provide you with information about the learning resources you require. AccessAbility Services requires at least three months’ notice from you about your alternative formatting requirements.
  • If AccessAbility Services does not have this information early, you may run the risk of not having the material back in time.
  • Post-graduate students will need to negotiate with the AccessAbility Adviser for the provision of alternatively formatted materials.

AUSLAN interpreters or live captioning

  • May be available for students who are deaf or hearing impaired.
  • Contact Disability Services early so that arrangements can be made.
  • All endeavours will be made to provide you with an interpreter, however, this may not always be possible as there can be heavy demand of the small pool of qualified interpreters at various times.
  • Other communication options will be discussed with you.
  • If you are unable to attend class you must notify AccessAbility Services at least 24 hours prior so the arrangements can be cancelled.
  • If you miss a lecture, transcripts will only be made available upon request, where those lectures are routinely recorded and available to all students as an audio recording.


  • It is important to give feedback to the Education Access Worker and the AccessAbility Adviser.
  • This allows AccessAbility Services to monitor the support service and ensures that appropriate changes are made to improve the quality of support.

Problems and conflict

  • If any problems or conflict occur between you and the Education Access Worker you should first talk with the Education Access Worker about it.
  • If this is not possible, or problems continue, please contact the AccessAbility Adviser for a confidential discussion.
  • The AccessAbility Adviser will assist in trying to resolve the problems or will refer the matter on to the appropriate Swinburne authority (if necessary).
  • If any problems occur between you and the AccessAbility Adviser, or you have a complaint, contact the Associate Director, Student Equity and AccessAbility Services: Anthony Gartner, agartner@swinburne.edu.au.

Understanding the guidelines

If you have any concerns or questions about these guidelines, it is important to discuss this with the AccessAbility Adviser.

If you are eligible to access services from AccessAbility, you will then need to sign the service guidelines and agreement document.

Find out how to register for AccessAbility Services