New Guide for Higher Education Sector to Improve Resource Accessibility for Students with Disability

Today, Senator the Hon Anthony Chisholm, Assistant Minister for Education and Assistant Minister for Regional Development, launched the Accessible ICT Procurement Implementation Guide for Higher Education to help reduce barriers encountered by people with disability during their studies.

This new guide is designed to assist the higher education sector to procure accessible information and communications technology (ICT) products and services to further support students with disability to get the most out of their studies.

"Students with disability are the fastest growing equity group in the higher education sector – nearly 80,000 students were studying at Australian universities in 2020," Assistant Minister, Chisholm said.

"While this is fantastic to see, we know these students can still face many challenges during their studies and have lower retention and completion rates compared to students without a disability."

"The launch of the Accessible ICT Procurement Implementation Guide for Higher Education will help to address some of the barriers that students with disability face during their educational experience, through improving access to their learning materials."

“I encourage all higher education providers to adopt the information in the new guide, so we can deliver welcoming and accessible education spaces for all students."

IHEA members should note the guide includes advice on procurement policies, how higher education providers can meet the Australian Standard for Accessibility requirements for ICT products and services, and information on how to enable accessibility in existing software and hardware.

The guide was developed by the Australian Disability Clearinghouse on Education and Training (ADCET) in consultation with representative groups and individuals with lived experience. ADCET is funded by the Australian Government Department of Education under the Higher Education Disability Support Program.

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