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Students with disability to benefit from innovative programs

Students with disability learning at schools across NSW are set to benefit from innovations pioneered at 18 NSW public schools.

New and different ideas developed specifically to improve the learning and wellbeing of students with a disability were collected and assessed under a new Innovation Program.

Minister for Education and Early Childhood Learning Sarah Mitchell has  congratulated 18 schools for their innovative approaches to improve the learning and wellbeing of students with disability.

Ms Mitchell said the newly established Innovation Program, a NSW Government initiative that forms part of the Disability Strategy, will benefit schools across NSW.

“We developed the Innovation Program to encourage and test new and exciting ideas for improving outcomes for students with disability and to scale up effective approaches,” Ms Mitchell said.

“The successful applicants we are announcing today represent the diversity of our school system; all have partnered with universities, industry and government to come up with these innovative approaches for inclusive learning.”

The successful application ideas include:

  • Increasing coordination between health and education services to ensure students with disability are effectively supported.
  • Telepresence robots to support students with chronic illness or disability to attend school.
  • Supporting students with disability to transition to higher education or employment by building staff capacity around trauma-informed practice, quality teaching and curriculum adjustments, as well as clinical interventions.
  • Capturing the voices of students with disability in Individual Education Plans using a visual tool to include their goals.
  • An alternative curriculum for students with moderate to severe intellectual disability in Years 9 -12.
  • An action research project to improve student learning and wellbeing in early years using universal design for learning (UDL) and co-teaching.

“We will now be exploring ways to roll some of these programs out across NSW so every student can benefit,” Ms Mitchell said.

“Teachers know better than anyone which programs in schools have the most impact on a student’s education and wellbeing.

“It is crucial we continue to investigate how these ideas impact outcomes such as attendance, engagement and suspension for students with disability.

Minister for Families, Communities and Disability Services Gareth Ward said the program is another example of the NSW Government’s work to create more inclusive and accessible communities that support people with disability.

“Fostering innovative solutions in schools is a great way to unlock opportunities for young people with disability and to help them learn, grow and develop,” Mr Ward said.

“We want every child with a disability to be supported to reach their full potential at school and this program is another step in the right direction.”

NSW Department of Education

This story was written by the NSW Department of Education. School News shares it with permission.

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