Staff with Disability

Approval Date
2 May 2012
Approved By
Chief Executive
Deputy Chief Executive: People, Culture and Safety
Baldrige Criteria
Workforce focus

To ensure that staff with disability have access to support, reasonable accommodation, and equity, enabling them to undertake the duties associated with their position, and to protect staff from discrimination in accordance with the Human Rights Act 1993.


Otago Polytechnic Ltd acknowledges that while all staff have particular needs, staff with disabilities may require additional support to enable them to fulfil the requirements of their position. Staff with disability will not be unfairly disadvantaged.



1.         Otago Polytechnic Ltd is committed to supporting staff with disability through assessment and provision of reasonable accommodations that will enable the staff member to fulfil the requirements of they/their position.

2.         Those eligible may have a mental health, sensory, physical, or learning disability, or a long-term medical condition which does, or may, impact on aspects of their ability to do their job.

3.         Staff and Formal Leaders are encouraged to communicate with and support each other and, should advice be required, to contact the Health and Safety Advisor.

4.         Appropriate support will be available through the Head of College/Formal Leader, Health and Safety Advisor and People and Culture Business Partner. Appropriate resources may be provided from within the department, the Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) and other departments such as Information Services and Support, and Campus Services.

5.         Appropriate accommodations may be unreasonable for Otago Polytechnic Ltd to provide. For example, not all classrooms may be able to be adapted for the required accommodation, or accommodations facilitate key aspects of a job, e.g., the attendant lecturer of workshop must be able to mark the learner’s practical assessments.



1.         Identifying the need for, and implementing reasonable accommodations

1.1.         As soon as the disability and its effects or potential effects on work are evident to the individual or their Formal Leader, each should communicate with the other.

1.2.         The Health and Safety Advisor is available to provide work assessment, advice, access specialist advice and support, and facilitate meetings and resourcing.

1.3.         In discussion with the individual and Formal Leader, a plan to identify abilities, limitations and needs will be determined. This may include a request for a medical certificate and liaison with other agencies where appropriate.

1.4.         Where appropriate, recommendations will be forwarded to other agreed persons and liaison with key personnel will occur.

1.5.         The progress and/or outcome of the plan will be reviewed at agreed intervals.

1.6.         Support people are available to the individual through the process. These may be a trusted colleague, family/whanau, union representative, chaplain, medical or allied health professional, community/disability support personnel, ACC case Formal Leader, or other person of choice.


2.         Description of Reasonable Accommodations

Accommodations for the staff member will be considered ensuring fairness and equity across the staff of Polytechnic. A list of possible accommodations is provided below.

2.1.        Adjustment to workload allocations. This could include consideration of the proportion of timetabled teaching to attendant duty hours, support for marking, consideration of the range of tasks to be undertaken at any one-time, timetabling accommodations.

2.2.        Adjustment to hours of work. These could include reduced hours, altered start or finish times, planned rest/recovery breaks within the day.

2.3.        Accessibility. This could include consideration for classroom bookings, classroom access as well as meeting locations, toilet facilities and office allocations.

2.4.        Provision of equipment such as lifting and carrying aids; special office equipment and stationery; ergonomic furniture; specialist fittings for personal protective equipment e.g., safety footwear.

2.5.        Technology Support. This may include provision of specific hardware or software, and electronic devices for example hands-free telephone, voice recognition software.

2.6.        Provision of administrative office support such as assistance with filing and handling of student scripts, documents.



  • Emergency Evacuation, Earthquake
  • Vision Safety
  • Employee Workplace Rehabilitation
  • Recruitment and Appointment of Staff
  • Stress Prevention and Management
  • Performance Review
  • Workload Policy



Employee Assistance Programmes