Disability Action Plan (DAP)

Disability Action Plan (DAP)

Last updated 6 September 2021
Last updated 6 September 2021

Disability Action Plans are an important tool to enable tertiary education organisations (TEOs) to evidence their support of disabled learners.

To encourage and support TEOs to take a strong and proactive approach to improving outcomes for disabled learners, the TEC is initiating a new Investment Plan requirement – Disability Action Plans (DAPs).

Introducing DAPs in the 2022 investment round is part of the Government’s move to ensure TEOs meet their responsibilities under the United Nation’s Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

Giving effect to the Tertiary Education Strategy (TES)

The creation and implementation of a DAP and the subsequent improvement in outcomes for disabled learners will also help TEOs give effect to the TES – specifically Objective Two: Barrier free access.

What is a Disability Action Plan (DAP)?

The TEC wants to ensure TEOs practices avoid discrimination against disabled people, and disabled learners experience better outcomes across their education journey. 

A DAP helps TEOs to identify good practices and offers a blueprint for change. The DAP sits alongside other Investment Plan requirements, including learner success plans designed to improve outcomes for historically underserved learner groups.

To help TEO’s develop a DAP, the TEC has issued DAP Guidance. The Guidance outlines what is expected from TEO’s regarding their DAP development and implementation.

Unlike the Learner Success Plans, we have not provided a set template for completing your DAP, rather the DAP Guidance supports you to develop your own DAP and provides suggestions on how to use the Kia Ōrite Toolkit as part of your development.

Download the:

Supporting the DAP Guidance is a toolkit for good practice

The Kia Ōrite Toolkit is a New Zealand code of practice to achieve an inclusive and equitable tertiary education environment for disabled learners.

A TEO’s DAP must show clear evidence that they are using various processes and measuring their progress against the Kia Ōrite Toolkit and the best practice standards described therein.

The Kia Ōrite Toolkit is available on the ACHIEVE website.

A DAP supports your organisation’s Learner Success approach

Fundamental to our Learner Success approach is understanding all learners, their needs and aspiration. The work taken to develop and implement the DAP will play a critical role in ensuring organisations fully understand the needs of disabled learners. Alongside Kia Ōrite, the DAP’s are a vital resource to support TEOs to intentionally redesign their businesses with learners at the centre.


What is the difference between the DAP Guidance and Kia Ōrite?

The DAP Guidance is TEC issued advice, which outlines how TEO’s are expected to develop a DAP, and what it should cover.

Kia Ōrite is a toolkit for best practice, developed by a group of sector experts. It provides advice for TEO’s about how to best support disabled learners at all stages of their learning journey.

While two distinct resources, they support each other and should be read and used together.

Who has to submit a DAP?

The first year of this requirement (Plans submitted in 2022 for investment from 2023), applies to TEOs who receive more than $5 million in TEC funding and who are required to submit a Plan.

What about TEO’s that aren’t submitting an Investment Plan in 2022?

We strongly encourage all TEC funded TEOs to engage early with the Kia Ōrite Toolkit and develop a DAP. This will mean taking all possible steps to reduce discrimination against disabled people, including staff, learners and those in the wider community.

Any questions?

TEC staff are available to support you with any questions around the DAP Guidance, the Toolkit and the investment process for 2022. Please contact your Relationship Manager or the Customer Contact Group on 0800 601 301.