Disability learning at home

A guide to providing instructional learning activities for students with a disability and additional learning and support needs, who are learning from home.

Continuity of learning for students with a disability

Schools and staff are best placed to know their communities and how best to provide support for students and their parents or carers, in line with their current personalised learning and support plan.

The local knowledge includes:

  • providing support aligned with the students’ level of disability and additional learning and support needs
  • the age and developmental level of the student
  • technology and other tools available.

Teaching and learning from home

Schools should prepare instructional learning activities that can be provided in the most appropriate form to meet the student’s needs. It may be through online access (or in hard copy) including individual program resource packs, or a combination of both digital and hard copy resources. As much as possible, the learning activities should continue to be in line with the student’s personalised learning and support plan and with any existing program that is in use in the classroom, including resources to support the learning, textbooks, digital content, workbooks, quizzes, and scanned or printed worksheets.

Provide or support instructional learning activities through:

  • using the school website or other existing school-wide communication systems to inform students, parents and carers about their learning
  • teaching and communicating online with students using the department’s email, G Suite for education or Microsoft Office 365 applications or existing tools and platforms
  • providing ideas for instructional learning activities that parents and carers can complete with their children
  • using web conferencing tools to conduct live broadcasts or lessons with students
  • off-line or non-digital content such as worksheets, workbooks or text books that can be mailed to students
  • SMS or telephone calls.

The department has teaching and learning resources available which provide online and offline practical instructional learning activities and resources for early childhood, K-6 and 7-10.

Students may require access to assistive technology or alternate formats, including Braille, e-text and large print materials. Assistant Principals' Vision and Hearing will receive targeted information for supporting the continuity of learning for their students. Other itinerant staff are also available to support students.

Communicate clearly and frequently

You are encouraged to communicate clearly and frequently with students, parents and carers. Make sure they know:

  • how they can contact teachers for learning support
  • when the support teachers will be available
  • when their teachers will contact them
  • which method of communication will be used
  • how they can access support.

Communication channels could include email, digital learning platforms, school website, social media, phone, web conferencing tools, or Sentral.

Regular communication with students, parents and carers is recommended to ensure everyone feels connected, supported and confident. Try to make instructions as clear and concise as you can, use plain English and check if you need translation services.

Plan your students’ days

Consideration could be given to the following:

  • utilising existing timetables and schedules
  • providing schedules for each day of the week with visuals to support understanding
  • delivering content depending on individual student and digital capability.
  • using students’ personalised learning and support plans to inform the program of work and delivery.

Using technology

Teachers may require support in using technology for online learning delivery. The department has developed the Digital learning selector that provides information (educational use, links to training and getting started) about online learning tools available to teachers and students. These include using assistive technology to support student learning.

Read the Guidelines to support schools using live video with students (PDF 234KB).

Teachers are also encouraged to use the department's Internet filtering-web filter (access via staff portal) to determine the appropriateness of digital resources provided to students.

Social Stories

You may wish to use a social story to support discussion of the Coronavirus with your students. Below are two examples or you could create your own for the appropriate age level:

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