On the same basis

On the Same Basis

Access and Participation
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Students with disability have a right to access education on the same basis as other students. According to the Disability Standards for Education 2005, schools and education providers must make adjustments to ensure that students with disability have the same or similar choices and opportunities as students without disability, particularly in regard to enrolment, participation, curriculum, and support services.

Participating in education on the same basis as other students means that students with disability:

  • Have the same, or very similar, opportunities to take part in education as other students
  • Do not face unnecessary barriers which limit these opportunities
  • Have the opportunity to succeed and show their learning
  • Are provided with adjustments which make education accessible to them.

On the same basis does not mean all students have to be educated in exactly the same way. Teachers may have to do things differently for students with disability to ensure they have access to the curriculum.

On the Same Basis: In Practice ...
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Some examples of treating students with disability on the same basis include:

  • A Deaf student is provided with a signing interpreter which allows the student to participate in class on the same basis as other students.
  • A student in chronic pain is given extra time for breaks during an exam, to lessen the pain. This enables the exam to assess skills and knowledge, rather than pain tolerance.
  • Schools provide accessible information about enrolment so students affected by disability have the same opportunities to enrol as other students.
  • Exam papers are in braille or large print for students with low vision. This gives all students comparable opportunities to show what they have learnt.
  • Schools teach all class members how to use a communication device so that they can interact with a student who uses technology to communicate.
  • Schools provide space for specialised equipment as required.

Read more - In brief: What's fair?


Definition
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On the same basis means that students with disability are provided with opportunities and choices that are comparable to those available to students without disability.


It is fair to treat some students differently to avoid discrimination


Video: Understanding Differences
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Download video transcript
Catherine describes how students in her son's class at primary school are supported in understanding differences.

Department of Education Safe Schools Hub website.
© Commonwealth of Australia reproduced by permission.


Question
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Ian is a Year 9 student who writes as quickly as other students using his computer, although he writes slowly by hand because of a disability. If asked to use handwriting to complete his English exam, Ian would be unable to finish in the given time. Ian and his teacher consider several possible adjustments. Which would be the most appropriate?

This would deny Ian the opportunity to show his knowledge of English, so is rejected by the teacher.

This would give Ian the opportunity to show his knowledge but would intrude on his time and may isolate him from the other students. The teacher considers this the second-best adjustment.

The teacher selects this adjustment because it gives Ian the opportunity to participate in the exam on the same basis as other students and show what he has learnt.


Being fair means everyone has comparable opportunities and choices


Spotlight
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Spotlight: On the Same Basis

A student with disability has the right to participate in education on the same basis as students without disability.

A student with disability


I can expect:

  • I will participate in the same or similar activities as other students.
  • My school will make adjustments when necessary to enable me to participate.

I can contribute by:

  • Telling the school about my interests and needs
  • Being clear about how I learn and participate best.

A student without disability


I can expect:

  • Students with disability will be supported to participate in activities offered to other students.
  • Students with disability will be treated differently from me when it is fair to do so.

I can contribute by:

  • Inviting students with disability to take part in my school activities
  • Supporting students with disability to participate in ways that suit them.

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:

  • Informing the school about my child’s needs.

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


I can expect:

  • Students with disability will have opportunities which are comparable to my child’s.

I can contribute by:

  • Telling the school if I believe this affects my child.

A parent, carer or other associate with disability


I can expect:

  • The school will consider my needs so I can participate in the school community, like other parents.

I can contribute by:

  • Informing the school about my disability.


Summary
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All students have choices and opportunities at school. The Disability Standards for Education state that students with disability have the right to be treated on the same basis as students without disability. This means that the range of choices and opportunities for students with disability should be the same or very similar to the range of choices and opportunities for students without disability.