During the course of implementing the 2003 - 2007 DAP, UTS continued to make substantial progress in developing a more coordinated and streamlined approach to improving the study and work opportunities for students and staff with disabilities,. Significant improvements in service delivery resulted from effective partnerships between service providers and from the further development of the Academic Liaison Officer (ALO) network within faculties. The accessibility of the physical environment improved notably with the integration of detailed accessibility requirements into mainstream planning and building policies and the positive adoption by staff of these responsibilities. One of the most striking achievements is the commitment by a wide range of staff to thinking consciously and creatively about how to build a more inclusive environment for staff and students with disabilities.
Other significant achievements include:
- The overall increase in access and participation rates for undergraduate students with disabilities (assisted by the expansion of outreach activities and admissions programs).
- The continued development of the ALO Network critical to the academic success of students with disabilities within faculties. The efforts of the ALO Network were recognised by a Carrick Institute Award for sustained contribution to the success of students with disabilities.
- An enterprising approach to the timely delivery of course material in alternative formats by outsourcing course material conversion internationally.
- The effective use of technology to streamline and increase the effectiveness of note-taking services.
- The partnership with the Commonwealth Rehabilitation Service that reopened the door to employment for 28 people returning to work from temporary or longer term disability or illness.
- The development and implementation of UTS Web Access Standards and a rolling program to update all UTS websites.
- A growing culture of engagement of staff and students with disabilities in the development of UTS's disability initiatives.
- The development and delivery of an innovative training program on inclusive practices to academic staff.
- The creative use of monies raised from unauthorised disability parking to fund innovative, practical projects to benefit students with disabilities.
Areas for development
The review of the 2003 - 2007 Plan also identified areas for improvement and further development within the new Plan. In the 2010 - 2014 Plan, UTS will be seeking to locate responsibilities for the educational outcomes for students with disabilities further into mainstream priorities, policies and practices within the organisation.