Discrimination

Discrimination

Discrimination against students with disability is against the law under the Disability Discrimination Act 1992 and the Disability Standards for Education 2005. This includes both direct and indirect discrimination.

Discrimination can occur because individuals have low expectations of people with disability and don’t give them opportunities to achieve. However expectations can improve if an enabling approach and language are used, which focus on what people can do. For example, a person with disability 'uses a wheelchair for mobility' instead of being 'confined to a wheelchair'.

Read more - Talking about people with disability

 

Discrimination is also less likely if people recognise that their own responses to students with disability can be as limiting as the disability itself: refusing to allow a student to go on a camp because they have a disability restricts the student’s learning opportunities and is discrimination.

In all cases, a person with disability has the right to be respected for their human worth and dignity, and to live without experiencing discrimination based on disability, regardless of the degree and nature of their disability.


Read more - Embracing diversity
Read more - Language guide


Disability discrimination means people are treated worse than others because they have a disability


Definitions
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Direct discrimination occurs when a person is treated unfavourably because they have an attribute (such as age or disability) covered by law.

Indirect discrimination occurs when everyone is treated in exactly the same way, even though this unreasonably disadvantages someone because they have an attribute covered by law.


Spotlight
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Spotlight: Preventing Discrimination

Disability discrimination can be prevented by making reasonable adjustments for students with disability.

A student with disability


I can expect:

  • The school will consider my needs.
  • The school will consult with me or my parent, carer or other associate about reasonable adjustments.
  • The school will make reasonable adjustments if they are needed for me to participate in activities on the same basis as students without disability.
  • The school will treat me differently from other students when this assists me and it is fair to do so.

I can contribute by:

  • Telling the school if I am having difficulties
  • Telling the school if I am treated less favourably than other students because of my disability
  • Discussing with the school the ways I learn best.

A student without disability


I can expect:

  • The school will make reasonable adjustments so students with disability can participate in activities on the same basis as me.
  • The school will treat other students differently from me when this assists them and it is fair to do so.

I can contribute by:

  • Telling the school if these adjustments make it harder for me to learn.

A parent, carer or other associate
of a student with disability


I can expect:

  • The school will consider and address barriers to my child’s education.
  • The school will consult with me about reasonable adjustments for my child.
  • The school will make reasonable adjustments so my child can participate on the same basis as other students.
  • The school will treat my child differently from other students when this assists my child and it is fair to do so.

I can contribute by:

  • Discussing my child’s needs with the school
  • Sharing ideas for removing  barriers
  • Expressing any concerns if my child is being treated less favourably because of their disability.

A parent, carer or other associate
of a student without disability


I can expect:

  • The school will make reasonable adjustments so all students can participate in activities.
  • The school will treat students with disability differently from my child when this assists them and it is fair to do so.

I can contribute by:

  • Telling the school if adjustments for other students affect my child.

A parent, carer or other associate with disability


I can expect:

  • The school will consider my needs and assist me to be involved in my child’s education.

I can contribute by:

  • Informing the school of my disability and how it affects my involvement in my child’s education.


Summary
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Disability discrimination is when a person is treated less favourably because of their disability. Discrimination – both direct and indirect – is unlawful under the Disability Discrimination Act and the Disability Standards for Education.