Support for Persons with Disabilities
- Walking – do you have difficulty walking or climbing stairs?
- Seeing – do you have difficulty seeing, even if wearing glasses?
- Hearing – do you have difficulty hearing, event if using hearing aid?
- Communication – do you have difficulty using your usual (customary) language. do you have difficulty communicating, for example, understanding or being understood?
- Concentration/remembering – do you have difficulty remembering or concentrating?
- Self- care – do you have difficulty with self-care such as washing all over or dressing?
(Answers: *No difficulty, Some difficulty, A lot of difficulty, Cannot do it all)
If you identify as a person with disabilities, based on your responses to the above questions, and meet the eligibility criteria, you are encouraged to apply for an Australia Award.
Australia Awards scholarships ensures that barriers for exclusion are removed, so there is fairness and equity throughout the application process, and should you be successful, through out your scholarship journey.
All applicants (including persons with disabilities) are required to meet the eligibility criteria and complete an application. However, we understand the application process can be overwhelming, hence we encourage you to please contact us so that we can support you through the process.
Call: (679) 3312141 Text: (679) 7908661
How do we ensure fair and equitable access throughout the program?
Australia Awards uses what we refer to as reasonable adjustments or reasonable accommodations.
Reasonable adjustments are measures that can be made to ensure applicants receive (as much as possible) equitable assessment. Similarly, reasonable adjustments are measures that can be applied to ensure that students with a disability can meet the academic standards of their course and participate on the same basis as other students. Examples might include the provision of accessible transportation, sign-language interpreters, or documents in accessible formats.
Applicants are strongly encouraged to disclose their disability in their scholarship application form so that our team can identify any reasonable adjustments and accommodations and ensure applicants are able to equally participate in the assessment and selection process (and beyond)
What support is available during the application process?
- Accessible Information Centre. Opening hours are Monday to Friday (9am to 4:30pm). If possible, we encourage you to call or email for an appointment.
- A dedicated Awards Officer to guide you through the application process ensuring all barriers are removed and you receive equal access.
- If you are shortlisted for an interview, then an Awards officer will work with you to identify and confirm any reasonable adjustments (this will depend on your disability and individual needs). This is undertaken respectfully to ensure equal access throughout the interview process.
- If your application is successful and you are selected for a scholarship, then an Awards Officer will liaise, on your behalf, with your preferred institution for placement/admission.
- Once your placement/admission has been confirmed, then your Awards officer will take you through a Disability Support Plan Process.
- You will work closely with the DFAT Disability Support Consultant to develop a Disability Support Plan prior to travelling to Australia. This plan will be tailored to the needs of the individual and outlines the support required to successfully live and study in Australia.
- Financial support for carers of awardees will be provided on the provision that any care arrangement is determined by the Disability Support Consultant, in consultation with the awardee and Program area.
☐ Have you contacted Australia Awards to discuss your application and support needs?
☐ Have you completed all parts of the application form on OASIS– closely consider section 15 and how your study will support Fiji’s development.
☐ Have you declared your disability in the application form – please note this will not disadvantage you in any way?
☐ Have you successfully uploaded your application form on OASIS? If you cannot submit online, that is ok, please inform a member of our team.
☐ Have you certified all supporting documents?
☐ Have you uploaded the required supporting documents?
A current awardee’s scholarship experience
Serene Shrestha, a Master of Global Health/Master of Public Health student of The University of New South Wales (including ADFA), shares on her personal experience of applying for the Australia Awards and the support provided when she indicated her disability at the application stage of the scholarship.
Below is what she shares on this experience and hopes that it inspires you to apply too!
“When I initially applied for the Australia Awards Scholarship, I was hesitant to mention my disability. My concern was that my disability would put me at a disadvantage and that perhaps I would be overlooked for someone disability-free. I have since come to realize that Australia Awards scholarships are merit-based and that mentioning my disability did not negatively impact my application.
Since receiving the scholarship, Australia Awards has been extremely supportive – I was connected with a Disability Support consultant who discussed and made a support plan regarding my studies as well as with disability support services within my university and again, accommodations were made in regards to my condition. Australia Awards has also continued to follow-up with me regarding my disability.
I strongly encourage persons with disabilities to apply for the Australia Awards scholarships. Australia Awards is committed to an equitable application process and provides much needed support to ensure that there are reduced barriers to learning for students with disabilities. Australia Awards has made me feel supported, I have felt seen, and I have not been made to feel as if my disability minimised my standing as a scholarship recipient.”