The University of the South Pacific (USP) inclusive program has a strong commitment to creating an inclusive, barrier free working and learning environment for its students and staff from around the Pacific region. Our aim is to contribute to positive change by providing quality education within a supportive teaching and learning framework.
The USP Disability Action Plan builds on the substantial work undertaken by the University since it included disability as part of the policy and service. The Plan was developed in consultation with students and staff with disability, the Executive and other stakeholders within the wider University community.
The Disability Action Plan recognises that genuine inclusion involves much more than physical accessibility and individual adjustments. USP in becoming an inclusive organisation requires changes to the way we do things. All our decisions and planning must be informed by regional and international instruments of equity and inclusiveness. We must see that the way we design and deliver our courses and support services must involve common deliberations and wide constructive consultations. We need to mindful of the complex challenges, such as mental ill-health, must be sensitive, relevant and in language that people can understand. The overarching aim of the Plan is that persons with disability will participate fully in the life of the University and will succeed on an equitable basis in their study or work.
The USP is trying its level best to enhance the learning experience for students with disability but must admit that important challenges remain. We need to do more to support staff with disability and to further integrate inclusive approaches into mainstream policies and practices. We need to build the confidence and capacity of staff to teach and work together inclusively and grasp opportunities to share and develop knowledge and resources across the University and through partnerships with other organisations. This is an overarching living plan and will be continually updated as we achieve important milestones and encounter new challenges.