Research Database

NCSEHE/ADCET webinar: Supporting students with disability during and beyond higher education

Type of Publication: Multimedia

Lead Organisation: NCSEHE

Year Published: 2020

Lead Researcher: David Eckstein and Tim Pitman

Presented by NCSEHE 2020 Equity Fellows David Eckstein and Tim Pitman


The NCSEHE partnered with the Australian Disability Clearinghouse on Education and Training (ADCET) for a webinar on Thursday 5 March, presented by NCSEHE Equity Fellows Tim Pitman and David Eckstein.

Through their year-long Fellowships, David and Tim are examining the ways in which Australia’s higher education institutions support students with disability to succeed in their studies and beyond. Tim is particularly interested in how students with disability from regional and remote parts of Australia are supported, whilst David is researching the practicalities of providing targeted careers education that enables their post-graduation success.

David and Tim, in the early stages of their research, outlined their projects and discussed their next steps.

Over 100 participants engaged with the researchers through live polls and discussion, providing Tim and David with feedback and advice as they undertake their projects.

Webinar recording

Webinar slides


It has been well-established that for generations, people with disability have faced many barriers in gaining access to higher education in Australia. People with disability are now enrolling in studies but they complete at lower rates and remain less likely to be employed when they leave university, compared to their mainstream counterparts. Consequently, increasing attention needs to be paid to what happens to these students post-enrolment. This includes the how, when and why of disclosing information about their disabilities and accommodations and the adjustments made to support their studies. Also, the provision of careers education targeting the needs of students with disability increases their chances of transitioning to the workforce, but not all universities are able to provide such support. This issue also requires attention.


Tim Pitman is a Senior Research Fellow at Curtin University in the School of Education. He has worked in the Australian higher education sector since 1996 and his PhD in Education was completed at The University of Western Australia in 2012. His research focus is on higher education policy, with a particular focus on increasing the representation of disadvantaged students. He has researched and published widely on these and other topics. In 2020 he joins the NCSEHE as an Equity Fellow. His Fellowship will focus on how universities can best support people with disability, who come from regional, rural and remote Australia, in their higher education studies.

David Eckstein is a university careers practitioner and recently established Swinburne University of Technology’s AccessAbility Careers Hub — a specialist initiative for students with disability that received the 2019 NAGCAS Best Practice Award. His interests include student notions of professional self; employability in the curriculum; industry partnerships that generate disability confidence; discrimination and harassment; alternative dispute resolution; and the use of narrative methods to help people develop and implement meaningful workforce participation plans. As a 2020 Equity Fellow at the NCSEHE, his research into the provision of targeted careers support for students with disability in Australian universities will result in open-access tools and guidelines for all universities to use.

Posted 5 March 2020