People with Disabilities

Reasonable adjustments should be provided to allow awardees with disability to participate in their Scholarship equally with all other awardees.

The Australian Government is committed to the rights of people with disabilities to have the same opportunities and benefit equally from Australia’s development program. This commitment is reflected in the Australia Awards Scholarships program. In line with the Australian government’s Development for All 2015–2020: Strategy for strengthening disability-inclusive development in Australia’s aid programAustralia Awards in Indonesia continues to increase access for people with disabilities to the learning and professional development opportunities through Long Term Awards and Short Term Awards. Support for awardees with disabilities has also been increasing over time, and Australia Awards continues to mobilise the largest number of Indonesian Awardees with a disability to Australia so far. People living with disabilities will receive additional support to ensure they can participate in all phases of the Scholarships cycle, including the application, selection and mobilisation processes, living and studying in Australia, and as alumni upon their return home. More information on the Australian definition of disability and the rights of people with disability in Australia is available on the Australian Human Rights Commission’s website.

“Disability studies offer cross-cutting knowledge from political, philosophical, cultural and behavioural perspectives.” Eva Rahmi Kasim, Senior Policy Analyst at the Ministry of Social Affairs, in Jakarta. She obtained her Master of Disability Studies from Deakin University.

For a plain-text version of the above steps, please click here.

Award pre-application stage 

DFAT's Development for All strategy commits the Australian aid program to meet the needs and priorities of people with disability. In line with this commitment, Australia Awards strongly encourages applications from people with disability who are otherwise eligible for a Scholarship. Since the 2013 round, the number of people with a disability applying for Australia Awards Scholarships has increased by almost 140%. However, because English language abilities are one of the significant barriers for prospective applicants, the pool of eligible applicants with disabilities is relatively low compared to the high numbers of Indonesians living with a disability.

English Language Training Assistance students from the Geographic Focus Areas, including the applicants with disability, prepare their English language skills to apply for the Australia Awards Postgraduate Scholarships.
English Language Training Assistance students from the Geographic Focus Areas, including the applicants with disability, prepare their English language skills to apply for the Australia Awards Postgraduate Scholarships.

Australia Awards conducts the English Language Training Assistance (ELTA) program for potential Scholarship applicants. This program assists potential candidates whose English language levels were slightly below the requisite English level (IELTS level of 5.0 or TOEFL 500 equivalent for applicants with disability and applicants from the Geographic Focus Area) to help them achieve eligibility to apply. The ELTA program was initially provided to applicants in the Geographic Focus Areas (GFA) of Nusa Tenggara Barat (NTB), Nusa Tenggara Timur (NTT), Papua and Papua Bara experiencing similar barriers in terms of English language capability. This model proved successful and is now applied to prospective applicants with disability from all provinces in Indonesia.

Please note that the English Language Training Assistance for People with Disabilities (ELTA PWD) is closed and will reopen next year. Please click here for further information on ELTA for GFA and FAQ on ELTA.

Applicants with disability need to disclose their disability in the application form. Australia Awards will provide reasonable adjustment for applicants with disability during the shortlisting and selection processes.

Award pre-mobilisation stage

All successful Australia Awards Scholarships applicants must attend Pre-departure Training (PDT) courses, including those with a disability.

For awardees with disabilities, "reasonable adjustment" is provided based on creating and implementing Disability Support Agreements (DSA). The Australia Awards Disability Support process begins with a Disability Assessment, covering the key themes including transport, accommodation, care, communication and academic environment. Based on this assessment, a Disability Support Plan is created through a consultative process, culminating in a DSA between the awardee and DFAT, implemented by the host university in Australia.

“This scholarship will let me further explore social movements and the inclusion of marginalised groups in employment and provide networking opportunities.” Ekawati Liu, Co-founder of Tepian, a collective NGO that helps farmers, youth with disabilities and street children in Jakarta. She is PhD candidate in Social Science at Sydney University. She is the first person with a hearing impairment to receive an Australia Awards Indonesia scholarship.

On-Award support

Australian education providers are obliged to make "reasonable adjustments" to the learning environment to support the full inclusion of students with disabilities for equal opportunity. The adjustments are made from an agreed assessment before mobilisation, after which a support plan is developed.

Post-Award support

After completing their study, the awardee will become a part of a more extensive and more inclusive Australian alumni community. Alumni will get many opportunities to participate in various activities such as professional development, networking events, guest lectures and more. When attending related events, alumni with disability are requested to notify Australia Awards to accommodate support needs. Alumni will also get membership access to the Australia – Indonesia Alumni Forum on LinkedIn. The Forum is a place for alumni to connect, facilitate business opportunities, share knowledge and exchange ideas, obtain information about employment opportunities, and participate in professional development activities on a national and global scale.


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