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Students with disabilities

Find out how to identify support for students with disabilities through your Faculty Access Portal—the system linking faculty staff with relevant information held at Student Disability Services

What is my Faculty Access Portal?

Introduced in January 2024, the Faculty Access Portal is part of the University’s disability case management system, Symplicity Access. The system includes three portals: one for staff in Ratonga Hauātanga Tauira | Student Disability Services (SDS); one for students; and one for faculty (course coordinators and course directors).

The Faculty Access Portal is designed to allow course coordinators and course directors to securely view students’ learning and teaching adjustments. It has various features to help you identify and assist students who need support.

How does it work?

Students first register through the portal and are assigned a case file that stays with them throughout their studies at the University. At the start of each semester, students complete a renewal process to consent to share their relevant learning and teaching adjustments with course coordinators and course directors via the Faculty Portal. This includes special conditions for tests.

Will this change how I’ve worked with SDS and students in the past?

Previously, students might have approached you with an Access Plan that included their specific learning and teaching adjustments, either via email or in person. Now, with the student’s consent, this information can also be shared directly through the Faculty Portal. You can quickly view a list of all students enrolled in your courses at the start of the semester and organise as appropriate their adjustments without waiting for individual communications from students or SDS.

What about special conditions in tests?

The Faculty Portal improves efficiency by reducing the number of emails exchanged between Faculty and SDS. You can view students that have approved special conditions in the Faculty Portal and receive notifications of new students coming in through the system.

How is student’s privacy protected in the system?

Students on registration with SDS/Symplicity Access are asked to sign a consent statement. This states that a student’s “relevant health or disability-related information is only shared with appropriate University of Auckland staff or community services for the sole purpose of identifying and/or supporting any health or disability related needs.” A similar consent statement is included in the application for special conditions.

Where a reasonable adjustment is tied to a course, this consent agrees to share it with their course director and course coordinator and other relevant faculty support staff to arrange support.

How do students appear on the Faculty Portal?

If a student is registered with SDS, they can choose to share their learning and teaching adjustments through Symplicity Access with you. Some students may still prefer to approach you directly with their Access Plans or use a combination of both methods.

New students with special conditions for tests and exams are informed upon applying for these conditions that the information will be shared with course coordinators and course directors to implement the necessary support. Existing students complete a semester renewal to choose which courses they wish to share their adjustments with, including special conditions.

What relevant practices and policies does this relate to?

The Faculty Portal supports the goals outlined in the University’s Disability Action Plan to improve the experience of students with disabilities.

It reduces the need for students to continually explain their requirements to different teaching staff, in line with the Issues Related to Students’ disclosure of information on Disabilities or Impairments Staff Guidelines. It empowers you to build an inclusive learning environment following the Inclusive learning and teaching guidelines for students with impairments.

The Faculty Portal supports the University to be compliant with relevant legal requirements, such as the Human Rights Act (1993) and the Privacy Act (2020) and the Privacy Policy.

How do I use the Faculty Portal?

  • Only nominated course coordinators or course directors have access to the Faculty Portal.
  • (https://auckland-access.symplicity.com) through Single Sign-On (SSO) using your University login details.
  • Explore the site to view your students under ‘my courses’.
  • Refer to the for instructions on viewing students with exam adjustments in your class. To view the document, log in with your University Microsoft account (username@uoa.auckland.ac.nz).
  • If you cannot log in or see the correct courses, please contact your Group Services Administrator.

Need help with navigating the Faculty Portal?

During its launch in Semester Two 2024, training sessions will be offered (please check the Learning technology support page for latest details).

Have more questions?

Please contact Senior Project Officer, Eilidh Thorburn, if you have any questions or comments: eilidh.thorburn@auckland.ac.nz.

Page updated 27/05/2024 (minor edit)

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