People With Disabilities - Statement of Commitment

The policy outlines commitment to people with disabilities, education objectives based on the principle of “normalisation” and responsibilities at state, regional and school levels. It also articulates the rights of parents, caregivers and students.

Changes since previous version

2022 Jan 12 - related document: Specialised Equipment for Students with Disability replaced with: Personalised support for student learning

Document history

2020 Jun 17 – updated contact details.

2012 Sept 26 – An implementation document was removed (Who's going to teach my child?) and minor text changes were made, e.g. Training changed to Communities for the department's title, correct title for Standards added, removal of link to old Disability Action Plan and change of title to DAP implementation document to reflect the department's new title.

2005 – the Government’s Special Education Initiative 2005-2007 commenced involving the allocation of additional teachers aides to special classes and an overhaul of special education services.

From 2004 the Learning Assistance Program provided strengthened support to students experiencing difficulties in learning in regular classes, including students with mild intellectual disabilities and language disorders. STLAs and funding were allocated to schools based on need for a 3 year period 2004-2006.

2000 – the Learning Difficulties Program moved to the allocation of support teachers learning difficulties (STLDs -now support teachers learning assistance (STLAs) based on information from state-wide assessments. The Funding Support Program was introduced to support schools with students with disabilities enrolled in regular classes who met the DET Disability Criteria. Access to funding based on educational support needs was refined.

In 1998 the Special Education Handbook for Schools articulated a new direction and guidelines for the delivery of special education services within NSW public schools with specialist resources and funding at school, district and state levels.

1996 – 10 DET regions were replaced by a number of State Offices and 40 school education districts. A new set of guidelines was developed to assist schools to support students with special education needs. The State Integration Program moved to a model of resourcing schools based on student support needs rather than a category of disability. Schools were encouraged to establish learning support teams to plan for and manage support to all students, including those with special education needs. Special education consultants (now disability consultants) and learning difficulties coordinators (now assistant principals learning assistance APLAs) were appointed to each district.

Superseded documents

Special Education Policy, 1993
Whos Going to Teach My Child? (removed)

  1. Policy statement
    1. The NSW Department of Education will assist people with disabilities to gain the knowledge, skills and understanding they need to successfully participate as citizens by working with its staff and students to achieve the following goals:
      1. Students, staff and customers with disabilities will be provided with the same opportunities as other people to take advantage of the range of education, training and employment opportunities provided by the department.
      2. The department will report on its progress in developing and implementing policies and practices to improve access, participation and outcomes for people with disabilities.
      3. The department will strengthen strategic alliances and have a coordinated approach to the delivery of services for people with disabilities.
  2. Audience and applicability
    1. This policy applies to all staff employed in Public Schools NSW in both school and non-school based positions. It also applies to students who attend public schools and has implications for each school community.
  3. Context
    1. The policy complies with requirements of the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA, 1992) and the Disability Standards for Education 2005.
    2. This policy underpins commitments made by the NSW Department of Education within its Disability Inclusion Action Plan.
  4. Responsibilities and delegations
    1. Director, Disability, Learning and Support
      • Approval of policy documents
    2. Policy Owner, Director, Disability, Learning and Support.
      • Publication and currency of the policy and support material
      • Notification to staff of any changes to this policy.
    3. Policy contact person, manager, Disability and Diversity Policy.
      • Provision of advice on interpretation and implementation of the policy.
      • Management and oversight of the policy and its implementation.
      • Provision of advice and assistance to support staff on policy development, implementation and evaluation.
      • Monitoring, evaluation, review and reporting to the Director, Disability, Learning and Support on the implementation of the policy and supporting documents.
    4. Users
      • Verification of the currency of Department of Education policy documents by reference to the policy website. PD-2005-0243 is the unique identifier of this policy document. It is the responsibility of the user to verify that this is the current and complete version of the document, located at the Policy Library. Supporting documents should also be referred to in the implementation of this policy.
  5. Monitoring and review
    1. The Director, Disability, Learning and Support will monitor the implementation of this policy and will report annually, or as required, to the Executive.
    2. Principals are responsible for the implementation and monitoring of this policy in their schools.
    3. Directors, educational leadership will support principals with the implementation of this policy.
  6. Contact
    Director, Disability, Learning and Support
    02 7814 3879
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