Higher Education Disability Support Program

The Disability Support Program provides funding to eligible higher education providers to undertake activities that assist in removing barriers to access for students with disability.

 

Changes to the Higher Education Disability Support Program from 1 January 2020

The department has made changes to the Other Grants Guidelines (Education) 2012 and the amended Guidelines are available on the Federal Register of Legislation.  The Guidelines have been amended to reform the Higher Education Disability Support Program (DSP) from calendar year 2020. The changes to the DSP are a continuation of earlier work undertaken, including the 2015 evaluation of the program and consultation with the sector during 2016.
The key changes to the DSP are:

  • The former components of Additional Support for Students with Disabilities (ASSD) and Performance-based Disability Support funding have been merged to create the Disability Support Fund (DSF), which will allocate funding through both claims-based and formula-based models.
  • Eligible activities have been expanded to provide greater flexibility for the nature of support costs that can be claimed. Under the DSF, providers will be able to provide staff training to support students with disability, and modifications to course content, teaching materials and delivery methods.
  • The Australian Disability Clearinghouse on Education and Training (ADCET) will receive an increase in annual funding to $150,000 per annum from the current funding level of $79,900, to provide for an enhanced role for ADCET in its promotion of inclusive teaching and learning practices.
  • In response to feedback provided by the sector, the changes ensure that students with disability with high costs needs are adequately supported. Under the DSF, providers will be able to claim reimbursement for students whose needs exceed $10,000 in a calendar year.

Please note that for activities in 2019 and 2020 calendar years, eligible higher education providers will still claim under the current program arrangements.  In preparation for program changes, the department will communicate with providers in late 2019 and during 2020 to enable them to start collating 2020 expenditure in a way to reflect the new program arrangements.
Please direct any questions regarding the changes to disability@education.gov.au

Please see the Frequently Asked Questions relating to changes to the DSP.

The program has three components:

  • Additional Support for Students with Disabilities (ASSD)
  • Performance-based Disability Support Funding
  • The Australian Disability Clearinghouse on Education and Training (ADCET)

Additional Support for Students with Disabilities (ASSD)

The objectives of the ASSD component of the program are to:

  • provide funding to eligible higher education providers to assist with the high costs incurred in providing educational support and/or equipment to students with disability to enable them to participate in higher education; and
  • encourage efficient and effective use of equipment and education resources to support students with disability.

Eligible higher education providers can apply for reimbursement of their ASSD expenses incurred in the previous calendar year using the application form provided by the Department each following year.

Performance-based Disability Support Funding

The objective of the Performance-based Disability Support Funding component of the Disability Support Program is to encourage higher education providers to implement strategies to attract and support students with disability.

For further information see the Other Grants Guidelines (Education) 2012 or email disability@education.gov.au.

The Australian Disability Clearinghouse on Education & Training (ADCET)

The Australian Government provides funding under the Higher Education Disability Support Program to maintain the Australian Disability Clearinghouse on Education and Training (ADCET) website, currently hosted by the University of Tasmania. This site provides information and other resources designed to promote inclusive practices for people with a disability.