Study at TAFE as a disabled person

As many of you know, there is a massive jump in between high school and TAFE or high school and university. Here's a blog for some few tips and tricks you can do to save time in between this transition stage.

I always knew that I wanted to continue studying when I finished year 12, but I didn't really know what to study until the last 6 months. Towards the end of year 10 (2017) I created my own website, and since then that has been where I escaped to from the real world. Since I found out that disability advocacy really existed in 2017, I have used this platform ( to educate non-disabled folks, and people that aren't within the disability community about people with disabilities; that we are really the same as them, but yes, we get adjustments to suit our specific individual needs as disabled people.

Last year was my first year out of high school; and we all knew how that went … COVID 🤦🏼‍♀️ For myself, like many others; I didn't have a great time during the lockdown. Back then I was pretty much packed to fly out to Sydney at the end of the week when the prime minister said that we were all going into lockdown. I had no clue what this meant, but I knew it was something serious.

During this time, I picked up an online TAFE course, which in hindsight was a good idea at the time. but as the weeks rolled into months I started struggling with the course, and I had to eventually drop out of it. Back then, I couldn't of imagine myself studying on campus, even in semester 2. I was really miss-understood in high school and I didn't really have any friends either, and this was because how under educated they were of disability. Yes, I hanged out with people during recess and lunch, but when it came to parties and sleepovers, they didn't want to include me in this. I never knew why, but I guess it really came down to my fellow non-disabled peers thinking of what could happen and what I can't do, rather than actually communicating with me about my needs as a disabled person.

Image description: A graphic picture with the background being white with books on it. Within this picture is two purple papers with an edge folded. In the centre of this is a picture of Layne, who is a young lady with short blonde hair, and she, is in her office scrolling through her work on the computer. In the background of this picture, you can see a bit of the living and dining room. On top of the picture is white writing that says, "Study as a disabled person". In the top right corner is my logo, "Layne Dixon Blogger & Disability advocate" this is on top of two purple rectangles.

I found the adjustment between high school and online study big; too big for me to even handle, and that's why I had to drop out. During this short period of time that I was studying, I have found out how to file and to right notes that makes sense 😅 So I have been doing this since I started studying website design a couple weeks ago at TAFE, yes, I know … IT'S ACTUALLY ON CAMPUS! Another thing that I was really concerned about was catching public transport. I tried it a couple times during high school … like going there and coming back, but that was a nightmare within itself. Yes, I have a right to an accessible seat, but when it came to school 'peak time' on transport I really struggled to find a seat. I was lucky enough to have my support worker, Oakly, working with me the first day that I started TAFE. She helped me with navigating around public transport, to the point that I was ready enough to do it on my own.

If you have just started out, or if you are thinking about starting to study, here are some tricks and tips to help you in your study journey:

  • Knowing how, you take notes – taking notes is such an important tool to use in class. For my class at TAFE, everything is put onto Blackboard (an online study portal) in case the people in my class miss anything.

  • Learning how, you study – There are many ways you can learn how to study, and this is completely different for the individual. I personally love audiobooks, and so having my notes being read out load to me is a really good way to do so.

  • Accessibility – Prior to studying make sure that you contact you learning support people at the campus that you are studying at, and they can provide you with all the access requirements that you need as a disabled person.

  • For TAFE, we use the computers in the classroom a lot. So one of the things that I brought prior to studying is a trackpad this is because I struggle to use a mouse. Just to let you know, the apple trackpads don't really work with Microsoft computers. I brought a keyboard that has a trackpad in it which has helped me a lot.

  • Knowing how, you are going to get to TAFE prior to starting the course.

  • Enrol in the FIRST round of submissions – If you know, you will need access requirements at TAFE I would highly recommend that you enrol within the first round. This will give you enough time to sort out where you are going and seeking support and guidance from the learning support people if you have any access needs.

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