Providing quality educational programs that are accessible for all students with disability is a fundamental principle of 21st century learning. Students with disability are unique and vary in their strengths, abilities and support requirements.
This diverse area of education requires flexibility and creativity from schools to promote individual student success.
Knowledge and understanding of disability legislation, the Australian Curriculum and how to plan reasonable adjustments, together with consultation and collaboration between teachers, parents/carers, students and other professionals, are best practices for working together to achieve positive outcomes for diverse learners. The following resource has been developed to help schools and teachers learn more about inclusive education.
The definition of ‘disability’ used in the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) 1992 (Cwlth) and the Disability Standards for Education 2005 (Cwlth) (the Standards) is broad and includes: physical, intellectual, psychiatric, sensory and neurological impairments. It also includes physical disfigurement, the presence in the body of disease-causing organisms and imputed disability.
The DDA and the Standards seek to eliminate, where possible, discrimination against people with disabilities, including those with learning disabilities.
By implementing the advice contained within this legislation, educators ensure students with disability are provided with opportunities through equity of access, engagement and participation on the same basis as their peers.
Teachers and schools implement an accessible and inclusive curriculum by planning for teaching, learning and assessment to support all students, including those who require reasonable adjustments.
Throughout the year, teachers and schools use evidence of learning, anecdotal records and other relevant school data to inform decisions about reasonable adjustments. Consultation and collaboration between teachers, parents/carers and other professionals is a critical and ongoing part of this process. This includes considering the functional impact of the disability, how this affects access to the curriculum and what reasonable adjustments, if any, may be required.