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Applying for disability provisions

Contact Student Support

(02) 9367 8117


Any HSC student with a disability recognised in the Commonwealth Disability Standards for Education 2005 can apply for disability provisions.

The definition of ‘disability’ in the Disability Discrimination Act 1992 includes:

  • physical
  • intellectual
  • psychiatric
  • sensory
  • neurological, and
  • learning disabilities, as well as
  • physical disfigurement, and
  • the presence in the body of disease-causing organisms.

Disability provisions apply only where the disability needs a practical arrangement to reduce disadvantage in an exam situation.

Disability provisions also apply to temporary and emergency-related disabilities such as where a student breaks their writing arm a week before an examination.

Students who become ill during an examination period may be eligible to make an  illness/misadventure application rather than a disability provisions application.

Completing the application

A student’s year adviser, school counsellor or other nominated teacher needs to complete the online application form through schools online. In doing so, they should:

  • Indicate the provisions for which the student is applying. 
  • Indicate how the disability affects the student's work in the classroom and in examination situations.
  • Supply evidence of the student's disability. If the student cannot obtain an appropriate diagnosis, then other detailed information must be submitted to establish the existence of a disability. It is necessary to provide details about why the student cannot obtain relevant documentation and diagnosis, a reasonable history of the student’s difficulty and needs (including previous and current in-school support), and detailed teacher comments which indicate the impact of the student’s condition on their classwork and in examinations.

It is important that schools submit completed applications to us by the due date, which is always the last day of Term One. Applications exempt from this date are based on chronic fatigue syndrome, post-viral syndrome, Ross River fever or glandular fever and should be submitted in July of the examination year, with teacher comments and medical documentation, also dated July.

If all the necessary information is not provided, some requested provisions may be declined due to insufficient evidence.

How does the process work?

Once we have received the application, a letter acknowledging receipt is published on Schools Online. We then process the application.

We have a panel of specialists that includes medical practitioners, educational psychologists, and consultants for the visually or hearing impaired. The category of the disability and the evidence presented will determine who reviews the file.

When a decision has been made, a decision letter listing the approved and/or declined provisions is published through Schools Online, with a copy for both the principal and the student.

Appeal procedures

If a student wants to appeal the decision to decline a provision, they must submit the appeal through the school within 14 days of receiving the disability provisions decision letter. The appeal must state the reason why the decision is considered unacceptable, making reference to the evidence supplied in the original application.

The appeal must include new supportive evidence, such as a further medical report, which clearly states why the student needs the provision, or additional reading, writing or spelling test results.

We will conduct an independent review and make a decision within 21 days. The outcome of the appeal will be advised to the school and to the student via Schools Online.