Students with Disability

The Australian Government provides substantial funding to education authorities to help meet the educational needs of all students, including those with disability. This funding, provided through the Australian Education Act 2013, also helps schools meet their obligations under the Disability Standards for Education 2005.

Disability Standards for Education 2005

The Disability Standards for Education 2005 sets out the obligations of education and training providers to ensure that students with disability can access and participate in education and training on the same basis as those without disability. The Standards were reviewed in 2015 and 2010. Guidance Notes, Fact Sheets and Exemplars of Practice are available.

Nationally Consistent Collection of Data on School Students with Disability

As part of the commitment to better support the needs of students with disability, all Australian governments have collaborated to implement improvements to data collections to ensure a stronger evidence base from which policy and programs can be developed. The Nationally Consistent Collection of Data on School Students with Disability (the national data collection) represents a major achievement and a highpoint of these efforts.  Through the national data collection, schools and governments are reporting for the first time in a nationally consistent way on the number of students with disability and the educational adjustments they receive.

Positive Partnerships

The Positive Partnerships program works to build partnerships between schools and families to improve educational outcomes for students on the autism spectrum. It is a national program and includes specific outreach to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and culturally and linguistically diverse families and communities.

Case studies on supporting students with disability

Examples of best practice and lessons learnt in supporting students with disability – developed under an initiative called More Support for Students with Disabilities – have been documented as case studies. The final evaluation report is also available.

Other resources and initiatives

Understanding Learning Difficulties: A Practical Guide

In 2016, the Australian Government provided funding to ensure that all registered teachers in Australia have free online access to Understanding Learning Difficulties: A Practical Guide. This guide, developed by the Australian Federation of SPELD Associations (AUSPELD), has been designed by experts to provide principals and teachers with greater awareness and understanding of the significant impact learning disabilities such as dyslexia can have on students.

The guide also provides advice on a wide range of strategies for use in the classroom to more effectively support and meet the needs of students with learning difficulties. Teachers can access this resource through their state or territory education portal.  Print versions of the resources can be purchased online through the Resources page of the AUSPELD website.

Case studies on supporting students with disability

Examples of best practice and lessons learnt in supporting students with disability – developed as part of the 2012-14 More Support for Students with Disabilities initiative – have been documented as case studies. The final evaluation report is also available.

Policy roundtable papers

Two policy roundtables were hosted in 2014 by the then Minister for Education and Training, the Hon Christopher Pyne MP. The roundtables focused on:

  • support for students with dyslexia
  • teacher education and students with disability and learning difficulties.

Presentations and related documents can be accessed from the policy roundtables webpage.