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Reasonable adjustments

Under the Equal Opportunity Act 2010 employers, educational authorities and goods and services providers are required to make changes so that a person with disability can safely and productively:

  • perform the genuine and reasonable requirements of employment
  • participate in an education program
  • access a service, or derive a substantial benefit from a service.

These changes are known as reasonable adjustments.

Making reasonable adjustments requires an employer, educational authority or service provider to balance the need for change with the expense or effort involved in making this change. If an adjustment requires a disproportionately high expenditure or disruption it is not likely to be reasonable.

The reasonable adjustments obligations directly address systemic discrimination experienced by people with disability in the workplace, in education, and when they use goods and services.

Examples of reasonable adjustments

A bank provides flexible ‘at home’ services for people with disability

A school makes a voice recognition software package for computers available to assist students with learning or physical disabilities

A factory provides widened doorways and ramp access to all common areas for employees with disability.

Are there any exceptions to the law?

There are limited exceptions to the obligation to make reasonable adjustments, which allow employers, educational authorities and providers of goods and services to discriminate on the basis of disability if:

  • the adjustments are not reasonable
  • the person with the disability could not perform the genuine and reasonable requirements of the employment, participate in education, or access services even if the adjustments were made
  • the activities comply with or are exempted from a relevant Commonwealth Disability Standard made under the Disability Discrimination Act 1992 (Commonwealth)
  • a determination has been made under Victoria’s Building Act 1993.

Find out more

The obligation to provide reasonable adjustments for people with disability is discussed in more detail on these pages:

Disability and Education

Making reasonable adjustments in employment

Discrimination in goods and services provision