Preservice Teachers with Disabilities

Professional placement can be a particularly challenging activity for Preservice Teachers. For Preservice Teachers (PSTs) with a disability, mental health or medical condition or a carer of a person with a disability, there may be additional challenges and considerations. Every reasonable effort is made to adapt the learning experiences and/or assessment requirements of placements to meet the individual needs of PSTs with disabilities.

PSTs with a disability are eligible to apply for special consideration in accordance with the Assessment Policies and Procedures. Requests to adapt the learning experiences and/or assessment requirements of placements must be made well in advance of the placement.

PSTs with a disability that may impact on their participation in professional placement are encouraged to discuss their needs with an Access and Inclusion Advisor, in the first instance to develop an Access Plan. Any request for modification to placement must be negotiated with the relevant Course Coordinator, with assistance from the Access and Inclusion Service, if required. Adjustments will vary depending on the learning objectives of each placement.

The objectives of such discussions are:

  • To clarify the nature and impact of the disability/health issue within the placement setting
  • To consider the potential barriers that might be encountered within the placement site; these are not always apparent in the first instance and hence discussion may highlight some unexpected issues
  • To develop a plan of action that will best support the PST and foster a positive relationship with the venue and/or academic staff.

PST Action: To advise the Professional Experience Office (PEO) of your need for special consideration and, after discussions with your Course Coordinator, go to your InPlace profile, select YES to Access Plan under Other Preferences and email EDS-PEO@unisa.edu.au.

Injuries and other health issues

If you have any injuries/health issues (including short-term) you are encouraged to notify appropriate staff of the injury/health issue and any relevant management strategies to ensure your placement is structured and monitored appropriately. Early notification to relevant people is helpful in maintaining strong relationships with schools, preschools, childcare and early learning centres.

Confidentiality

Confidentiality regarding a PSTs disability is assured both by the University and under the Disability and Discrimination Act (Commonwealth Government - Australia 1992). PSTs will need to consider disclosure of their disability to facilitate the negotiation of reasonable adjustments. No information about a student’s disability will be discussed or passed onto a placement venue without a student’s consent.