Accessibility Support


The Need for Accessible Websites
UNSW Corporate Website Accessibility
UNSW Website Accessibility Guidelines
Support for Students and Staff at UNSW
Additional information and support for students with disabilities


Welcome to the University of New South Wales Accessibility Support Web Page. The University of New South Wales is committed to providing accessibility support to students and staff with special needs. This site provides additional information on the services we offer for students with disabilities and links to resources to help staff in the design of accessible websites, online courses and resources.

The Need for Accessible Websites

Each year around 1000 students at UNSW register as having some kind of disability. The disabilities reported include blindness, vision impairment, hearing impairment, learning disabilities, physical disabilities and others.

The internet and web based materials have become an important and effective source of educational resources but if these resources are not designed with accessibility in mind it can be difficult or impossible for students with disabilities to use them. Depending on the nature of the disability, students might have some of the following barriers to accessing online resources:
  • difficulty reading or comprehending text or distinguishing colours
  • unauthorised tampering or interference with files published on the UNSW site;
  • difficulty with organisation, structure or memory (material difficult to navigate, poorly structured or complex, or the interface may be inconsistent)
  • those with mobility problems, limited motor control or vision impairment may not be able to use a keyboard or mouse
  • they may not be able to see or hear audio, video or animations
  • they may not be fluent in the language of instruction

UNSW reserves the right to make disclosures to relevant authorities where the use of the UNSW site raises a suspicion that an offence is being, or has been, committed.

UNSW Corporate Website Accessibility

The aim of an accessible website is to be understood by everyone regardless of any disability they may have, or the browser or assistive technology they may be using. The goal is to provide, as far as possible, the same experience to everyone.

The UNSW corporate web site has been developed using benchmark guidelines based on those produced by the Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI), part of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), accepted worldwide as the standard. The aim is to be fully compliant with Priority Levels One, Two and where appropriate, Level Three of the W3C Guidelines. Additionally, all documents in Adobe PDF format are, wherever possible in an accessible format provided that the user has installed Adobe Acrobat Reader version 5.00 or above and a PDF compatible screen reader. The site has been tested by using the Wave automated checking mechanism, and through manual checks by reviewers including users with disabilities. However, if you encounter any problems accessing any part of the site, please contact the webmaster and let us know. We cannot, though, be responsible for sites that are not part of the UNSW corporate website.

Support for Students and Staff at UNSW

The University of New South Wales aims to provide a study environment that fosters fairness, equity, and respect for social and cultural diversity as well as providing a place to study free from harassment and discrimination, and one in which every student is encouraged to work towards her/his maximum potential.

Student Equity and Diversity Unit

The Student Equity and Diversity Unit (SEADU) provides services to students in all matters of equity. For more information and guidance on support and facilities for students with disabilities please visit the Student Equity and Diversity Unit.
All matters relating to staff with a disability should be referred to Human Resources.

To contact the SEADU:
Telephone: +61 2 9385 4734
Fax: +61 2 9385 6262

Learning and Teaching @ UNSW

Learning and Teaching @ UNSW can help staff with all aspects of the inclusive design, development and implementation online courses and educational resources that are accessible to students with disabilities. Learning and Teaching @ UNSW 's resources includeGuidelines for Accessible Online Courses, information on and links to assistive technologies, checking tools, and other accessibility related resources. Other services include the production of accessible rich media resources including video, audio and animation. Learning and Teaching @ UNSW also provides training and staff development in accessible course design, learning and teaching with technology and training in inclusive practices with myElearning Vista. We are also engaged in ongoing research into ways of using technology to improve access to learning for students with disabilities.

For more information please contact Associate Professor Michelle Scoufis, Director of Learning and Teaching @ UNSW

Additional information and support for students with disabilities
If you are a person with a disability the following information on the support services and availing yourself of these services may be useful.

Disability Definition

The definition of disability is based on the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) and includes:

  • Deaf/hearing impaired
  • Blind/vision impaired
  • Physical disability
  • Specific learning disability
  • Chronic medical conditions
  • Psychiatric disability
  • Acquired brain injury
  • Temporary disability


Disability Services

The following services are offered to students with disabilities and are provided on a free and confidential basis:

  • Advice to prospective students
  • Assistance at enrolments
  • Services including note taking, sign interpreting and readers
  • Examination provisions
  • Parking for students with mobility impairments
  • Library assistance
  • Assistive Technology Centre
  • Liaison with academic staff
  • Email Newsletter
  • Disability educational resources
  • Accessible on campus transport
  • Accessible accommodation

Who is Eligible for Services?

All students enrolled at the University of New South Wales are eligible for our services including:

  • International students
  • Study Abroad students
  • ATAX students
  • AGSM students
  • Postgraduate students

Prospective Students

To enable us to assist you in a smooth transition to study at UNSW, complete the confidential disability questionnaire and return it to the Universities Admissions Centre with your application form. You will also find it useful to:

  • Visit the campus prior to enrolment
  • Identify your disability on the enrolment form
  • Consult the Student Equity and Diversity Website
  • Have some computer skills

Enrolled Students

So that we can discuss your requirements, make an appointment with one of the Student Equity Officers (Disability) prior to or at the beginning of session (see below for contact details). You will also find it useful to:

  • Attend the Access Smart Start Orientation
  • Take part in Orientation Week
  • Take part in campus and library tours
  • Find out about student services on campus such as the Learning Centre
  • If you experience problems seek early assistance from one of the Equity Officers (Disability)

Students with disabilities need to provide documentation verifying the disability in order to be eligible for services. Documentation can be from medical specialists, educational psychologists or other qualified health practitioners.

Please contact the Student Equity & Diversity Unit to organise an appointment. Appointment times are as follows:

10.00am - 5.00pm Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday
10.00am - 1.00pm Wednesday
Drop-In appointments are available 10.00am – 1.00pm Wednesdays.
Out of hours appointments can be arranged for evening students.
College of Fine Arts Campus: the Equity Officers attend the campus one Monday a month and on an appointment basis when required.

Students can also email the Equity Officers (Disability)
Telephone: +61 2 9385 4734
Fax: +61 2 9385 6262