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Ability to succeed

by Linda Hein

(l to r) NDCO coordinator Jenny Watts-Sampson, carer Eva Potokar-Milojkovic, NDCO coordinator Karen Bolton, high school student Callum RoweUniSA is playing a key role in a new program designed to help students with disabilities make the transition to tertiary education.

UniSA has long been committed to providing an accessible learning environment for students with disabilities.

Inclusive teaching practices, tailored access plans, accommodation services, Adaptive Technology Suites, financial assistance, scholarships and career advice are just some of the services the University offers through Learning Connection and Disability Services.

Now, through the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations, UniSA is also playing a key role in a new program designed to help students with disabilities make the transition to tertiary education.

The multi-million dollar National Disability Coordination Officer (NDCO) program aims to remove the barriers students with disabilities face in gaining access to tertiary education across the country.

UniSA is hosting two of the SA-based NDCO Coordinators, Jenny Watts-Sampson and Karin Bolton and recently together with TAFE SA, they attracted almost 100 future students to the first of many "Come and try" information days.

Watts-Sampson said information days not only provide a fantastic opportunity for students to feel more comfortable about tertiary study, but also improve the relationship between tertiary institutions for the students’ benefit.

"We’ve been hosting forums for prospective students, parents and carers throughout the State so they can see what being at uni or TAFE is like and feel confident about the services available to them," she said.

"They literally ‘come and try’ for a day, go to lectures, get a feel for campuses, receive program or course information and meet with disability advisers and officers.

"Ultimately we’re aiming to really cement the links between schools, universities, Colleges of TAFE, training and disability service providers so that they can all work together to provide the best possible assistance for people with a disability."

Current Unley High School student, Callum Rowe, who wants to study business management with a focus on common law, said he appreciated the opportunity to attend the information day held at City West.

"The day has been really helpful. It’s been great to get to know what it would be like," he said.

For more information about NDCO Services contact:
Jenny Watts-Sampson (Mawson
Lakes) +61 8 8302 5444

Karen Bolton (Whyalla)
+61 8 8647 8139