Education’s Disability Inclusion Action Plan
Our Disability Inclusion Action Plan (DIAP) builds on our previous DIAP and includes our Disability Strategy and Access and Inclusion Index report. It also supports the implementation of a wide range of Department policies including the Inclusive Education policy and the Workforce Diversity policy.
This plan articulates a consistent, achievable approach to improving outcomes for people with a disability. Not as a separate and bespoke strategy, rather as an important central part of our everyday business.
Although DIAPs currently have a four-year lifespan, they must become integrated into organisational culture and practice. To achieve this, we commit to embedding the principles of inclusive design in our thinking and actions. We will listen to, learn from and codesign with our stakeholders to:
- be constantly aware of, proactive and responsive to disability matters.
- take deliberate steps to identify challenge areas and take planned and resourced actions to address them. These steps will come in the form of projects.
The projects within our DIAP are the expression of our intent and action. They also directly contribute to achieving the outcomes of the NSW Disability Inclusion Plan (NSW DIP). Each of the projects in our DIAP were developed and are owned by the organisational groups and divisions across the Department. This allows those teams across the agency to take accountability for their part in ensuring their core business becomes barrier-free.
It also provides those teams the agility to be proactive and responsive to disability matters as they arise. This agility could result in new projects being added. It could also mean that the timeframes of some projects may need amending. What is consistent through that process is that the project owner must engage with key stakeholders in a meaningful way through the life of the project – from design to evaluation (and potential adaptions) to ensure that projects address stakeholders' needs effectively.
Our areas of focus
All of our DIAP projects contribute to the NSW DIP. However, we have grouped our projects under different focus areas or headings than what is used in the NSW DIP to make it easier for people to discover the work being undertaken in our Department.
Our projects can be sorted by either key stakeholders or touchpoints. Key stakeholders are:
- Children, young adults, parents, and caregivers. Projects that relate to this group can be found under the student focus area.
- Employees, contractors, and consultants employed by the Department. Projects that relate to this group can be found under the staff focus area.
Students are and always will be our core focus. Our staff and community members who support our students are important as well.
Touchpoints are where stakeholders interact with what we create or buy. Touchpoints that are inclusively designed are barrier-free and afford our stakeholders the dignity of participating on the same basis. Our key touchpoints are:
- Offices, schools, centres, and playgrounds. Projects that relate to this group can be found under the built focus area.
- Digital content, books, software services as well as personal devices and hardware or services. Projects that relate to this group can be found under the digital focus area.
Focus area 1: Our students and community with a disability
- Feel welcomed into their local school community
- Experience more responsiveness to changes in their needs
- Have more involvement in decisions about their education
- Experience smoother transitions between schools and settings
- Receive a clearer demonstration of learning outcomes from teachers
- Be treated as partners and recognised as experts of their child
- Receive earlier identification and support for their children
- Find it easier to connect with other families with similar needs
- Have better and easier experiences with our system (including complaints)
- Be provided with more consistent information from schools, NDIS providers and health services
Focus area 2: Our employees with a disability
- Feel welcomed in a workplace culture in which we think and act inclusively.
- Experience recruitment processes that are accessible and promote fair selection processes.
- Participate in career development opportunities on an equal basis
- Receive appropriate and reasonable workplace adjustments in a timely manner
- Recognise Education as an employer of choice.
Focus area 3: Our physical places and spaces
- Embed universal design to embrace diversity and deliver design solutions that benefit as many people as possible and afford users the dignity of independent and equal access.
- Provide accurate and up to date information about their level of accessibility against the Disability (Access to Premises – Buildings) Standards and National Construction Code.
- Endeavour to provide enhanced accessibility for different user groups with integrated design features to improve overall ease of use and comfort. enhanced accessibility for different user groups with integrated design features to improve overall ease of use and comfort. the principles of accessible an, we will directly engage our people
Focus area 4: Our digital information and services
Any digital product (content, digital book, software hardware or services) created or procured:
- Enables equal access of use for all intended users, be they students, staff or community.
- Complies with level AA of the W3C’s WCAG's current standard
- Works seamlessly with the inbuilt accessibility features/assistive technologies found on current mainstream devices.