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About us

Disability Information & Support is proud to be a leader in the field of disability support.

We work in partnership with students to tailor support to best suit individual study requirements.

Vision

Disability Information & Support works in partnership to promote an inclusive environment that celebrates diversity, promotes comprehensive academic support, and empowers individuals with impairments to achieve their full potential.

History

In 1991, a Disability Action Group was formed on campus and they identified a need for, and advocated for, academic support for students with impairments enrolled at the University of Otago. Funding was successfully sought from the Ministry of Education in 1992 and the Disabilities Office was established. In 2000, the Disabilities Office became ‘Disability Information and Support’. This new name better reflected the office’s role, which is:

  • To provide quality specialist support services that enable students with impairments to reach their educational goals and develop their full potential
  • To ensure students with impairments have access to the full university experience
  • To foster an inclusive environment where peoples’ differences and differing needs in relation to disability are understood, accepted and valued
  • To assist teaching staff in the delivery of teaching support to students with impairments, and
  • To act as a resource for university staff and students in relation to disability issues

There have been a number of important changes at a legislative level that have influenced our service. For example, The Human Rights Act 1993 and The New Zealand Disability Strategy 2001. These, plus other influential documents that aim to enhance basic human rights and remove barriers that prevent people from participating, have contributed to a substantial growth in our service and today, Disability Information & Support employs a dedicated team of staff who work with approximately 800 students a year.