Reforms to make sensory support access simpler for students and staff

Schools will no longer need to lodge Access Requests for low-level hearing and vision support from 21 September.

Following substantial consultation with schools, families, leaders and students, the Disability Strategy team has implemented important changes to make accessing support simpler for students with additional hearing and vision needs.

Assistant principals for vision and hearing can now recommend assistance for students via a simple appraisal form when seeking itinerant teacher support of less than eight hours of hearing or 12 hours of vision.

The new process eliminates the need to submit a more formal Access Request decided by an external panel, saving time for schools and improving experiences for students and their families.

Program Manager Lana Muncaster said she was delighted that her team had been able to deliver the first of a number of reforms to what can be a complex process.

“One of the most important parts of our work as a Disability Strategy team is creating reform that allows students with disability and their families to move seamlessly through the education system,” she said.

“We are so proud to have been able to deliver this reform in line with the recommendations of the 2016 Upper House Inquiry into Education of Students with Disability or Special Needs, and our Disability Strategy.”

“We’re currently looking at next steps on a number of other reforms to our Access Request system, and are looking forward to consulting with staff, students and their families to develop these new processes.”

Access Requests will still be required for students seeking support beyond the eight and 12 hour limits, or for students requesting multiple support provisions.

Materials to support schools in implementing these changes are available on the Improving the learning and support journey intranet page.

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