Student stories


  • Age:34
  • Area of study: accounting
  • Disability: quadriplegia

Support services accessed

The university provides a scribe for Andrew since he can't take notes by himself. There are people provided for this purpose and are available on request.

Some buildings were inaccessible to Andrew but after he approached the university, they had sliding doors fitted in place of the ordinary doors. Rooms for tutorials are sometimes inaccessible, and he approaches the secretary with a request for a change of rooms and it's done.

In the Adaptive Technology Centre, which is in the library, there is a provision for a sliding table that can accommodate a wheelchair.


"Be self motivated and do not wait for aid. Go find it because if nobody knows that you need help, they won't be able to give it to you."



  • Age: 19
  • Area of study: arts
  • Disability: Schizo-Affective Disorder

Support services accessed

When Sarah first started studying, she found she was having trouble coping. Then a friend referred her to the Disability Liaison Officer who has since organised assistance whenever she needs it. 

Sarah takes her exams in a separate room, with extra time allocated, and tea and coffee provided. She also receives lecture notes when needed. When she misses a class or needs an extension on an assignment, the lecturers are very understanding.


"If you want to study but your only fear is that you won't be able to because of your disability - think again. There's so many services that the uni offer. Give it a shot; give it a go, because you never know just how capable you can be with a little bit of help."



  • Age: 42
  • Area of study: business
  • Disability: Mobility Impairment and Multiple Sclerosis

Support services accessed

Use the Adaptive Technology Centre, alternative examination arrangements, and looking at the possibility of using a note taker.


Get up and do it!



  • Age: 31
  • Area of study: not disclosed
  • Disability: Chronic Fatigue, Osteoarthritis (Spine, Hips and Pelvis) and Panic Disorder

Support services accessed

Advocacy assistance with academic staff, special exam conditions (ergonomic chairs, computers, rest facilities, food/drink in exam room), special consideration and extensions on assessment tasks, and adaptive technology assistance.


Life can be really rewarding if you set reasonable goals. Believe in yourself. Become aware of your individuality, your uniqueness and promote it. A positive attitude is life's best asset. Focus on ability, not disability.

The University of Newcastle acknowledges the traditional custodians of the lands within our footprint areas: Awabakal, Darkinjung, Biripai, Worimi, Wonnarua, and Eora Nations. We also pay respect to the wisdom of our Elders past and present.