Tackling disability support: is WSU really the uni that “cares”?

Illustration by Daniel Krivacic.

How proactive is the university with disability support?

Western Sydney University (WSU) advertises itself as a supporter of equality for all and “committed to creating an equitable and inclusive environment for all students and staff, including those with disability.” Several anecdotes from students with disabilities at the university question if some of its services have fallen short, are understaffed and under-resourced.

Australian Student Disability Statistics. Source: University of Melbourne.

Where is WSU’s accessible and inclusive environment?

There has been a lack of accommodation in the recruitment stage for a student with a disability. A former Disability Collective Officer and student, Paulin, recently experienced a lack of inclusivity to accommodate her disability upon applying for a job on campus. The job application and position description clearly stated the job would be across multiple university campuses.

Teaching accommodations for students — where are they?

A female student studying a Bachelor of Social Science at Bankstown has accommodations for lectures, tutorial slides and extensions for assignments due to her chronic intellectual disorder. However, she was told by a Lecturer and Unit Coordinator that she did not need the accommodations.

Is the university being proactive when approaching disability?

Under-resourced staff is an ongoing issue when it comes to disability support. The Disability Service readjusted their team after some staff accepted volunteer redundancies — and lost two part-time staff disability advisors. However, they did not lose any disability support staff.

Feminist journalist and writer advocating for social change. Poetry is my creative form of expression. https://theauthortoria.com/