Page created by Andrea Reyes
Published by the Department of Education and Training

Melbourne August 2018

© State of Victoria (Department of Education and Training) 2018

Disability Action Plan 2018–2021 is licensed under a Creative
Commons Attribution 4.0 licence. You are free to re-use the work
under that licence, on the condition that you credit the State of
Victoria (Department of Education and Training), indicate
if changes were made and comply with the other licence terms
available at https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

The licence does not apply to:

• any trademarks or branding, including the Victorian Government
  logo and the Department of Education and Training logo

• images or photographs or other content supplied by third parties.

Copyright queries may be directed to copyright@edumail.vic.gov.au

Authorised by the Department of Education and Training

2 Treasury Place, East Melbourne, Victoria, 3002

This document is also available in accessible format on the internet
at www.education.vic.gov.au

Introduction                                    4
The Plan’s Structure                            9
Actions: Department of Education and Training   10
Case Studies                                    19
Conclusion                                      23
Glossary                                        23

      The Victorian Government has a vision              The plan acknowledges everyone will
      of an inclusive Victoria. This would               experience disability in a different way,
      see people with disability given the               depending on their individual circumstances,
      opportunities and support they need                life experiences, and the nature of their
                                                         needs and abilities. It also recognises that
      to be better included in the community
                                                         early childhood education, schools, training
      and better able to contribute to it.
                                                         and skills systems need to respond to these
      The Victorian Government set out its               individual needs in order to support every
      vision for an inclusive Victoria in Absolutely     Victorian to reach their potential and live the
      Everyone: State disability plan 2017–2020          life that they want.
      which recognises the critical role that
                                                         The Department is building an education
      education and training play in supporting
                                                         system that is inclusive and produces
      Victorians with disability to live safe,
                                                         excellence. Work is underway to ensure an
      inclusive and productive lives.
                                                         inclusive education system that allows every
      The foundations for a more inclusive state         learner to learn in a safe and supportive
      start with education.                              environment – and provides settings that
                                                         are best suited to the learners’ needs. This
                                                         will ensure that all Victorians have access
      Together we give                                   to quality education and training that
                                                         meets their needs and enables meaningful
      every Victorian                                    participation in society.

      the best learning                                  The Victorian Government is focused
                                                         on ensuring that Victorians with disability
      and development                                    are well prepared, and have increased
                                                         opportunities, for employment.
      experience, making                                 Specific approaches are needed to assist

      our state a smarter,                               people with disability to overcome
                                                         the significant barriers they face to

      fairer and more                                    gain employment.
                                                         Every opportunity: Victorian economic
      prosperous place                                   participation plan for people with
                                                         disability 2018–2020 outlines the Victorian
                                                         Government’s approach to enhance the
      The Department of Education and
                                                         economic participation of people with
      Training (the Department) delivers
                                                         disability in this state. This includes work to:
      and regulates statewide learning and
      development services for at least one-third        •   reduce discrimination and stereotyping
      of all Victorians every year. Its services are         that affect the community and
      delivered across the early childhood, school           employers’ understanding and
      education, and training and skills sectors.            awareness of disability

      The Department has a responsibility to do          •   recognise the compounding impact of
      this well – but it must do it even better for          multiple disadvantages some people
      children, students and learners with disability.       with a disadvantage face to secure
                                                             employment, such as Aboriginal
      This Disability Action Plan (the plan)                 Victorians with disability, women
      demonstrates the Department’s work to                  with disability and mature-aged people
      support the Victorian Government’s vision of           with disability.
      an inclusive Victoria. It sets out the actions
      the Department will take to support people
      with disability to use its services, engage
      with it or work for it.

Every opportunity highlights that education
and training are critical enablers to                Victorian Public Sector
employment for people with disability, and            Employment Targets
reinforces that the education system needs
to prepare children and young people for
                                                                            Increase to

                                                     6                     12
further study and employment. This is a key
responsibility of the Department.
The benefits of employment for people
                                                            %                          %
with disability are significant, allowing the
opportunity for participation, improving           employment
standards of living and social inclusion.           target by
The Victorian Government’s Public Sector
Disability Employment Action Plan is under
                                                                           by 2025
development to enhance employment
                                                As one of the largest employers in
opportunities for people with disability in
                                                Victoria, the Department has a significant
the public sector. This plan responds to the
                                                opportunity to increase the number of
public sector employment targets laid out
                                                people with disability that are directly
in Every opportunity and will coordinate
                                                employed within it. The Department also
whole-of-government actions to ensure all
                                                has additional opportunities to encourage
departments can meet these targets. These
                                                employment of people with disability in the
are ambitious targets – but the Government
                                                services it funds.
has committed to them because, as
employers, it is important that departments     The Department’s Disability Action Plan
take the lead and act as models for             2018–2021 was developed in alignment with
other employers.                                the Department of Education and Training
                                                2018–2022 Strategic Plan and links to the
                                                Department’s outcomes: Achievement,
                                                Wellbeing, Engagement and Productivity.
                                                These outcomes are closely aligned with the
                                                State Pillars in Absolutely Everyone State
                                                Disability Plan 2017–2020.

DISABILITY ACTION PLAN 2018–2021                                                              5
    THE DEPARTMENT HAS                                                    it is essential that every child
                                                                          and young person has a
    A STRONG RECORD OF                                                    safe, positive and supportive
    ACHIEVEMENT FOR LEARNERS                              learning environment in which to learn
                                                          and that is suited to their individual needs. ​​​​
    The Department has a strong record of
                                                          Inclusive education means that all members
    achievement in providing services to people
                                                          of every school community are valued and
    with disability across the early childhood,
                                                          supported to fully participate, learn, develop
    school education, and training and skills
                                                          and succeed within an inclusive school
    sectors. It also recognises that there is more
                                                          culture. Education for all is Victoria’s school
    work to do. This is the third Disability Action
                                                          policy that gives schools a clear definition
    Plan for the Department and it sets out how
                                                          of inclusive education and what the legal
    it is working towards changes to improve the
                                                          obligations are for supporting students with
    lives and experiences of children, students
                                                          disabilities (see the work underway in the
    and learners with disability. It is informed by
                                                          Special Needs Plan for Victorian Schools and
    the Department’s significant work so far and
                                                          the Inclusive Education Reform Agenda).

    draws on its knowledge that:

                                                                          additional support for
                    the first years of life are crucial                   students who need it and
                    to lifelong learning, wellbeing                       investment in the education
                    and success. For children with        workforce’s training and professional
    disability it is an even more critical time.          learning are critical to ensure that children’s
    It is essential that any developmental or             and students’ learning and development
    learning difficulties are identified early and        needs are met (see the work underway in
    supports are provided to assist children              response to the Review of the Program for
    and families to understand their needs                Students with Disabilities).

    and reach their potential (see the work
                                                                          it is essential that every student
    underway in the Education State Early
                                                                          receives the support to gain
    Childhood Reform Plan released in 2017).
                                                                          the skills industry needs and
                                                          employers expect. For more people with
                                                          disability to gain employment it is critical that
                                                          they are well prepared and that the training
                                                          system can support their learning and
                                                          development needs (see the work underway
                                                          through the Skills First reform agenda for
                                                          Victoria’s training and TAFE system).

This diagram shows how the Department of Education and Training
Disability Action Plan aligns with national and state disability plans and the
Department’s strategic intent and outcomes.

                    National Disability Strategy 2010–2020
                     Australian Government Action Plan

                            Absolutely Everyone:
                       State disability plan 2017–2020

                                        Every opportunity:
                                       Victorian economic
                                   participation plan for people
                                    with disability 2018–2020

                    Department of Education and Training
                       Disability Action Plan 2018–2021

   The Department’s            Together we give every Victorian the best learning and development
   Strategic Intent            experience, making our state a smarter, fairer, more prosperous place

                         Achievement              Wellbeing            Engagement         Productivity
   Strategic Plan

   State Disability
     Plan Pillars:
                           Inclusive           Health, housing         Fairness and       Contributing
                         communities            and wellbeing             safety             lives

                         I feel included          I live well          I get a fair go     I contribute

                      • Universal design    • NDIS transition        • Disability        • Inclusive
        The                                                            advocacy            education
                      • Inclusive schools   • Vulnerable children
                      • Building              and families                               • Employment
                        requirements        • Disability workforce

DISABILITY ACTION PLAN 2018–2021                                                                          7

         The Department provides
       approximately 9,000 students
        with disability with transport
      assistance to travel to and from
           their specialist school                       96.4%                                 In 2017 there were 595
                                                                                            completed Auslan interpreter
                                                   In 2017, 4,859 out of 5,083                   bookings for DHH1
                                                applications were approved by                Vocational Education and
                                                 the Victorian Curriculum and                 Training (VET) students
                                               Assessment Authority (VCAA) for
                                              Special Examination Arrangements

     In Victoria there are over 1,500
           government schools

                                %                The Program for Students with
                                                                                                In 2017 the Schoolcare
                                                                                            Program provided training to
                                                                                             374 school staff members to
                                                Disabilities funds 93 per cent of           support the medical needs of
                                                Victorian government schools to                students with disability
                                               support students with high needs
         In 2016 30 per cent of
    enrolments in training and skills
    pre-accredited programs were
      by people who identified as
            having disability

                            14     %                                                                10.4%
     In 2016, 14 per cent of Victorian                In 2017, 18.8 per cent               In 2016 students with disability
    parents reported their child had                 of students nationally                  represented 10.4 per cent of
    a speech or language difficulty                 received an adjustment                 government-funded Victorian
        when they started school2                         for disability                           VET enrolments

    1. DHH – Deaf and Hard of Hearing.
    2. Department of Education and Training (2016). Victorian Student Health and Wellbeing Survey ‘About You’.


The Department’s Disability Action Plan        Special Needs Plan for Victorian government
is organised under the four pillars of         schools, the recommendations from the
Absolutely Everyone.                           Review of the Program for Students with
                                               Disabilities, and a recently announced
Under each pillar there are key priorities     $42 million funding package of additional
that highlight the actions which will be       supports for schools. The initiatives focus
taken to improve the lives of people with      on developing the knowledge and skills
disability. Absolutely Everyone represents     of school employees and giving schools
a comprehensive approach across                clearer guidance and specialist support
government to create meaningful change         to better respond to the needs of students
for individuals, families and communities.     with disability and additional learning
The four pillars of Absolutely Everyone        needs. These initiatives will increase the
represent a whole-of-government, whole-        participation, achievements and wellbeing
of-life approach. As the Department’s focus    of students with disability and additional
is education and training, its contribution    needs in government schools.
to Absolutely Everyone concentrates on the
pillars representing this work. These are:     CONSULTATION PROCESS
•   Pillar One: inclusive communities
                                               A working group was appointed to develop
•   Pillar Four: contributing lives.           the Disability Action Plan and ensure
The following sections summarise the focus     that each area across the Department is
of the Department’s work under these two       represented and has the opportunity to
pillars. The Department is also undertaking    contribute to its development.
work that connects and supports other
                                               The input from each area was incorporated
pillars in Absolutely Everyone and these
                                               into the Disability Action Plan.
are shown in the action tables later in this
plan. The other pillars have actions that
are also supported by the work of other        MONITORING AND REPORTING
Victorian Government departments and
                                               The Disability Action Plan will be monitored
our Department works closely with them to
                                               and regularly reported through the Victorian
support these actions.
                                               Government disability plans:
The Department is delivering an inclusive
                                               •   Absolutely Everyone
education agenda to give schools extra
resources and guidance to support the          •   Every opportunity
delivery of high-quality schooling for all     •   Public Sector Disability
students. This includes initiatives from the       Employment Plan.

DISABILITY ACTION PLAN 2018–2021                                                              9


 Victorian Government Plan                                        Department Plan
                                                                  Inclusive learning environments
                                                                  Learning environments that consider the needs of learners
                    Inclusive communities                         with a variety of backgrounds, learning styles and abilities in
                    I feel included                               which students feel equally valued.
                                                                  The Department is committed to upgrading building facilities
                                                                  across all Victorian schools.

                                                                  List of priorities
                    •   Changing attitudes
                                                                  • Universal design
      Key           •   Universal design
                                                                     1 New Schools 2020 Program
   priorities       •   Public transport
                                                                  • Inclusive schools
                    •   Inclusive schools
                                                                     2 Inclusive Schools Fund

                    •   Building requirements
                    •   Community infrastructure
                                                                  List of actions
                    •   Government communications
                                                                  • Building requirements
      Action        •   Aboriginal self-determination
                                                                     3 Accessible Buildings Program
      areas         •   LGBTI people
                                                                     4 Inclusive Kindergartens Facilities Program
                    •   Refugees
                                                                     5	Update Building Quality Standards Handbook
                    •   Veterans
                    •   NDIS and diversity

priority/                                                                                                                   Implementation
action         Department activity, initiative or program                   Outcome                       Target group        timeframe

Universal          Implement the New Schools 2020 Program       This initiative will ensure students   All students with
               1                                                                                                                1 YEAR
                   which, in addition to universal design       with disability will be able to        varying levels           2 YEAR
                   being applied to all new schools, includes   attend their local school and is       of disability.
                                                                                                                                3 YEAR
                   two new schools using a ‘Supported           in accordance with the principle
                                                                                                       Teachers that            4 YEAR
                   Inclusion Hub’ model, which will provide     that every student has the
                                                                                                       work with students
                   an inclusive education environment for       right to attend their designated                               ONGOING
                                                                                                       with disability
                   a substantial cohort of students with        neighbourhood government
                   disability within mainstream primary and     school. Supported Inclusion Hubs
                   secondary school settings.                   further integrate stand-alone
                                                                special schools into mainstream
                                                                settings and will provide a
                                                                safe, accessible and inclusive
                                                                environment for every student
                                                                who enrols.

Inclusive          Continue delivering the Inclusive Schools    The program helps Victorian            All students
               2                                                                                                                1 YEAR
schools            Fund program. This $30 million initiative    government schools implement           with disability          2 YEAR
                   promotes inclusive learning environments     innovative projects that increase
                                                                                                                                3 YEAR
                   and supports the educational and social      participation and improve
                   needs of young people with disability.       outcomes for students with                                      4 YEAR
                                                                disability by strengthening and                                ONGOING
                                                                developing inclusive learning

priority/                                                                                                                    Implementation
action         Department activity, initiative or program                      Outcome                     Target group        timeframe

Building           Continue delivering the Accessible              This program improves access         Students, school
               3   Buildings Program to provide building           to buildings for all students with   staff and parents        1 YEAR
                   access to as many students with disability      disability. It meets their needs     with injuries            2 YEAR
                   as possible. This initiative includes ramps     where accessibility issues occur     or disability
                                                                                                                                 3 YEAR
                   and handrails, modifications to toilets and     as a result of deteriorating
                   showers, and support for those with vision      health conditions, and the                                    4 YEAR
                   or hearing impairments.                         program also supports access                                 ONGOING
                                                                   for employees and visitors.

Building           Rollout the Inclusive Kindergarten Facilities   This program will increase           Young children
               4                                                                                                                 1 YEAR
requirements       Program to upgrade early childhood              engagement and improve               with disability or
                   infrastructure and equipment, including         learning outcomes for children       additional needs.        2 YEAR
                   playgrounds. This $6.4 million program          with disability by strengthening     Kindergarten             3 YEAR
                   provides grants enabling kindergartens          inclusive early childhood            teachers who work        4 YEAR
                   to develop safe and more inclusive              environments.                        with children
                   environments.                                                                        with disability

Building           Monitor and revise the Building Quality         This Building Quality Standards      All school
requirements       Standards Handbook as required, and             Handbook ensures that school         leadership teams
                                                                                                                                 1 YEAR
                   ensure that this recently updated resource      facilities across Victoria reflect   involved in school
                   is used by architects and builders for all      a commitment to remove               infrastructure           2 YEAR
                   government school building projects.            barriers and promote inclusion.      projects                 3 YEAR
                   The Handbook incorporates seven                                                                               4 YEAR
                   universal design principles, and promotes
                   inclusiveness as a key element of
                   infrastructure development.

    DISABILITY ACTION PLAN 2018–2021                                                                                                      11

 Victorian Government Plan                                             Department Plan
      Pillar                                                           Supporting vulnerable communities
                     Health, Housing                                   The Department recognises the additional disadvantage of
                     and Wellbeing                                     vulnerable families and will support children and parents with
                                                                       disability to access the services they need to improve their
                     I live well                                       health, education, economic and social outcomes.

                                                                       The Department will continue to partner with other
      Key            • Health services
                                                                       government departments to support them to deliver the
   priorities        • Housing
                                                                       State’s key priorities which fall under this pillar.

                                                                       List of actions
                     •   Health promotion                              • NDIS transition
                     •   Dual disability                                  1 Victorian-approved NDIS provider status
                     •   Vulnerable children and families                 2 TAFE NDIS Action Plans
                     •   Parks access                                  • Vulnerable children and families
      Action         •   Sport and recreation                             3	Early Childhood Intervention Services and Flexible
      areas          •   NDIS transition                                      Support Packages
                     •   NDIS and health services                      • Disability workforce
                     •   NDIS access                                      4 Course in Introduction to the NDIS
                     •   NDIS and mainstream services                     5 Professional development for trainers and assessors
                     •   Disability workforce                             6 Expand the delivery of qualifications in Auslan
                                                                          7 Support the TAFE Network

priority/                                                                                                                           Implementation
action     Department activity, initiative or program                         Outcome                         Target group            timeframe

NDIS               Implement transitioning                    Monitoring the NDIS providers who have       NDIS providers
               1                                                                                                                        1 YEAR
                   arrangements to the NDIS, including        been granted VANP status ensures             who deliver early
                   granting Victorian-approved                children with disability or developmental    childhood support            2 YEAR
                   NDIS provider (VANP) status to             delay continue to receive high-quality       to children with             3 YEAR
                   organisations and sole providers           services and are protected by strong         disability or                4 YEAR
                   wanting to deliver early childhood         safeguards until the full rollout of the     developmental
                   support under the NDIS.                    NDIS has been achieved.                      delay.

NDIS               The TAFE Network will continue             This initiative assists TAFEs to provide     People with
               2                                                                                                                        1 YEAR
transition         working with the Department to             education and training for the NDIS          disability, Disability       2 YEAR
                   develop TAFE NDIS Action Plans to          workforce into the future.                   workforce
                                                                                                                                        3 YEAR
                   support NDIS implementation in
                   their regions.                                                                                                       4 YEAR

Vulnerable         Continue delivery of Early                 These programs provide parents and           Children with
children and       Childhood Intervention Services            families with the knowledge, skills          disability or
families           and Flexible Support Packages              and support to meet the needs of             developmental
                                                                                                                                        1 YEAR
                   that support children with disability      their child and to optimise the child’s      delay from birth to
                   or additional needs and their              development and ability to participate       school entry and             2 YEAR
                   families. This includes the provision      in family and community life.                their families               3 YEAR
                   of opportunities that address the                                                                                    4 YEAR
                   current learning, developmental
                   needs and special education. These
                   programs will transition to the NDIS
                   by end of June 2019.

Disability         Develop and deliver tailored training      This initiative will assist with providing   Disability
               4                                                                                                                        1 YEAR
workforce          including the development of a new         high-quality workforce training tailored     workforce
                                                                                                                                        2 YEAR
                   course in Introduction to the NDIS.        to the needs of the NDIS, and will
                                                              contribute to attracting new entrants to                                  3 YEAR
                                                              meet increased workforce demand.                                          4 YEAR

3. Disability workforce – People that are skilled in providing specialised care for people with disability.

priority/                                                                                                                          Implementation
action     Department activity, initiative or program                         Outcome                         Target group           timeframe

Disability    5   Deliver professional development for        This initiative will maximise the            Disability workforce.
                                                                                                                                       1 YEAR
workforce         trainers and assessors in TAFEs, Learn      opportunity arising from NDIS                People with
                  Local organisations and other training      implementation for TAFE and training         disability, their           2 YEAR
                  providers, to support high-quality          providers, fostering innovative practice     families and carers.        3 YEAR
                  training of the NDIS workforce and          while providing safeguards for people        TAFE and training           4 YEAR
                  people with disability more broadly, as     with disability.                             workforce
                  part of Keeping our sector strong.

Disability        Expand the delivery of qualifications       This funding will allow Melbourne            Disability workforce.
              6                                                                                                                        1 YEAR
workforce         in Auslan. (Funding of $2.5 million         Polytechnic to use the latest digital        People with
                                                                                                                                       2 YEAR
                  through the Regional and Specialist         technology to deliver certificate            disability, their
                  Training Fund.)                             and diploma-level Auslan courses             families and carers.        3 YEAR
                                                              to over 400 additional students              TAFE and training           4 YEAR
                                                              across Victoria.                             workforce                  ONGOING

Disability        Support the TAFE Network to take            This initiative will help TAFEs to           Disability workforce
              7                                                                                                                        1 YEAR
workforce         a lead role in Victoria’s TAFE and          tailor and target training delivery                                      2 YEAR
                  Training System to deliver quality          to meet industry needs, as well as
                                                                                                                                       3 YEAR
                  training to meet disability sector          work with other specialist providers
                  workforce demand.                           across Victoria.                                                         4 YEAR


 Victorian Government Plan                                             Department Plan
     Pillar                                                            Promoting fairness and safety
                                                                       The Department supports advocacy programs and groups
                    Fairness and safety                                to promote fairness and safety for people with disability,
                    I get a fair go                                    including staff members, children and young people, and
                                                                       their families.

                                                                       List of priorities
      Key           • Family violence                                  • Disability advocacy
   priorities       • Disability advocacy                                 1 Work in partnership with disability organisations
                                                                          2 Central complaints team

                    •   Safeguards
                    •   VCAT accessibility                             The Department will continue to partner with other
     Action         •   Victoria Police                                government departments to support them to deliver the
     areas          •   Corrections                                    State’s key priorities which fall under this pillar.
                    •   Assistance dogs

priority/                                                                                                                          Implementation
action     Department activity, initiative or program                         Outcome                         Target group           timeframe

Disability        Continue work in partnership with           This initiative will continue to support     Families and children
              1                                                                                                                        1 YEAR
advocacy          disability organisations to provide         public policy and service system delivery.   with disability or
                  advocacy and information services           This will influence improvements in          developmental delay.        2 YEAR
                  for families of children with disability.   educational outcomes for children                                        3 YEAR
                                                                                                           Parents and
                                                              with disability through strengthening                                    4 YEAR
                                                                                                           support employees
                                                              supports for families and the provision
                                                              of information and resources.

Disability        Appointment of a Departmental               This initiative seeks tailored assistance    Parents and
advocacy          central complaints team                     from the central complaints office,          mature students.
                                                                                                                                       1 YEAR
                  responsible for responding to and           where appropriate, to support students       Department
                  resolving complaints, disputes and          with disability, improve engagement          staff involved in           2 YEAR
                  inquiries from parents, including           with internal and external stakeholders      complaint handling          3 YEAR
                  parents of children with disability.        including parent associations,                                           4 YEAR
                                                              professional associations and disability
                                                              advocates, as part of the complaints
                                                              resolution process.

     DISABILITY ACTION PLAN 2018–2021                                                                                                           13

Victorian Government Plan                Department Plan
                                         Inclusive education
                                         Inclusive education is part of our vision for Victoria as the Education
                                         State. A major reform of the provision of services and support to schools
     Pillar                              and students with disability is currently underway. This reform aims to
                                         transform the culture, policies and practices of Victorian schools to be
              Contributing lives         fully inclusive for all students.
              I contribute               Equitable access to lifelong learning and education for people with
                                         disability is critical to enabling meaningful participation in society. The
                                         Department is committed to establishing Victoria as the Education
                                         State – where every Victorian has access to a quality education that
                                         supports them to gain knowledge and skills to reach their full potential.

                                         The Department provides a range of ongoing programs and services
                                         that provide essential support across early childhood and school years,
                                         including Kindergarten Inclusion Support, the Program for Students
                                         with Disabilities and the Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority
                                         Special Provision Policy.
                                         List of priorities
                                         • Parent/carer support
                                            1 Strengthening parent support program
                                            2 ParentingNow
                                            3 Maternal Child Health autism professional learning
                                         • Early Years
                                            4 Early Childhood reform plan: ready for kinder, ready for school, ready
                                                 for life
                                            5 Early Abilities-Based Learning and Education Support
                                            6 Professional development grants for Preschool Field
                                                 Officer Program
                                            7 Transition: A Positive Start to School
                                         • School
                                            8 Students with Disabilities Transport Program
                                            9 Inclusive education practices
    Key       • Inclusive education
                                            10 Learning difficulties resources
 priorities   • Employment
                                            11 Professional development in autism
                                            12 Functional Needs Assessment Pilot
                                            13 Glasses for Kids program
                                            14 Outside School Hours Care Demonstration Program
                                         • Skills
                                            15 Skills-First Community Services funding
                                         • Employment
                                            16 Disability Liaison Officers’ network
                                            17 Strengthen inclusion for students with disability
                                            18 Skills and Jobs Centres and TAFE Victoria’s TAFE NDIS Training
                                            19 Mental Health and Wellbeing Charter
                                            20 Disability awareness sessions
                                            21 Disability Employment Actions
                                            22 Review the Department’s recruitment and disability
                                                 employment policies
                                            23 Improve disability confidence
                                            24 Develop reporting mechanisms
                                            25 Social Procurement Framework

              •   Voice and leadership   The Department will continue to partner with other government
     Action   •   NDIS participation
                                         departments to support them to deliver the State’s key priorities which
     areas    •   Creative industries
                                         fall under this pillar.
              •   Inclusive tourism

priority/                                                                                                                 Implementation
action       Department activity, initiative or program                   Outcome                     Target group          timeframe

Inclusive         Strengthening parent support program       This program ensures that parents     Parents and
              1                                                                                                               1 YEAR
                  delivered across Victoria to support       and carers of children with           carers of children         2 YEAR
                  parents and carers of children with        disability or additional needs are    aged 0–18 years
                                                                                                                              3 YEAR
                  disability or developmental delay.         supported in providing high-quality   with disability or
                                                             care to their children that support   developmental delay        4 YEAR
                                                             their learning and development.                                 ONGOING

Inclusive         Rollout of ParentingNow provides free      This initiative increases             Parents or carers
              2                                                                                                               1 YEAR
education         parenting support focusing on families     accessibility of evidence-based       of a child with
                  with children with disability              parenting support for parents of      disability or              2 YEAR
                  or developmental delay, using              children with additional needs or     developmental delay        3 YEAR
                  webinar technology.                        developmental delays. It increases                               4 YEAR
                                                             parenting skills and confidence in
                                                             managing their child’s behaviour.

Inclusive         Develop and deliver Maternal Child         This professional development         Maternal and
              3                                                                                                               1 YEAR
education         Health autism professional learning        package will increase the early       Child Health
                  that will build nurses’ skills in          identification of autism in young     nurses, children           2 YEAR
                  developmental surveillance for autism      children and enable them to           with autism, their         3 YEAR
                  in children under three and providing      be referred to access early           families and carers        4 YEAR
                  appropriate referrals and support for      intervention and supports.
                  children with early signs of autism.

Inclusive         Continue to implement the Early            This reform will assist children to   All three to
education         Childhood reform plan: ready for kinder,   feel included by improving the        four-year-old              1 YEAR
                  ready for school, ready for life.          social and physical environment       kindergarten               2 YEAR
                                                             of the kindergarten to make it        children
                                                                                                                              3 YEAR
                                                             more accessible and open to           experiencing
                                                             participation. It will enhance        educational                4 YEAR
                                                             children’s capacity for social and    disadvantage              ONGOING
                                                             emotional regulation.

Inclusive         Rollout of the Early Abilities-Based       This initiative will improve early    Early childhood
              5                                                                                                               1 YEAR
education         Learning and Education Support             assessment of learning and            professionals who
                  resource that provides a comprehensive     development for children with         work with children         2 YEAR
                  set of tools to support the development    disability or developmental delay.    with disability or         3 YEAR
                  of individual learning plans for two to                                          developmental delay.
                                                                                                                              4 YEAR
                  five-year-old children with disability
                                                                                                   All children with         ONGOING
                  or developmental delay.

Inclusive         Rollout of professional development        This program will improve the         Preschool
              6                                                                                                               1 YEAR
education         grants for Preschool Field Officer         capacity of kindergartens to          field officers.
                  Program includes strengths-based           be inclusive and support the          Kindergartens and          2 YEAR
                  training, coaching and capacity-building   attendance and participation of       early childhood            3 YEAR
                  skills disability-specific training.       children with additional needs.       educators.                 4 YEAR
                                                                                                   Children with
                                                                                                   additional needs

Inclusive         Implementation of the revised              This initiative improves              Early childhood and
education         Transition: A Positive Start to School     collaboration and consistent          school professionals
                  initiative and resources including         sharing of information about                                     1 YEAR
                  development of resource kit section        children’s learning and                                          2 YEAR
                  regarding Equity and Diversity for         development to assist with
                                                                                                                              3 YEAR
                  children requiring enhanced transition.    continuity of learning and support
                  Implementation of the online Transition    transitions for all children.                                    4 YEAR
                  Learning and Development Statement                                                                         ONGOING
                  (TLDS) with a strengthened section for
                  children requiring enhanced transition.

    DISABILITY ACTION PLAN 2018–2021                                                                                                   15
priority/                                                                                                                    Implementation
action       Department activity, initiative or program                      Outcome                      Target group         timeframe

Inclusive         The Students with Disabilities               The SDTP aims to facilitate             Students with
              8   Transport Program (SDTP) provides            substantive equality for                disability who
                  travel assistance for eligible               students with disability and is         attend a designated       1 YEAR
                  students attending their designated          an acknowledgement of the               government                2 YEAR
                  government specialist or integrated          additional costs families may           specialist or
                                                                                                                                 3 YEAR
                  school. The SDTP is an ongoing               incur because their child attends       integrated school
                  program; however, student transport          a specialist or integrated school.                                4 YEAR
                  is in scope of NDIS and the SDTP is                                                                           ONGOING
                  therefore expected to transition to
                  the NDIS in the future.

Inclusive         Develop a suite of resources to              This initiative will enable teachers,   School staff,
education         enhance the understanding of                 parents, and students to develop        students and              1 YEAR
                  inclusive education practices and            shared understandings of inclusive      their families            2 YEAR
                  human rights knowledge by teachers,          practices in schools. It will enable
                                                                                                                                 3 YEAR
                  as well as providing advice on               them to identify appropriate
                  appropriate supports available to            adjustments and strategies to                                     4 YEAR
                  student and their families.                  support all students’ strengths                                  ONGOING
                                                               and needs.

Inclusive         Deliver learning difficulties resources      This initiative will benefit teachers   Teachers, school
education         and professional learning for teachers       and school leaders with tailored        leaders, students
                                                                                                                                 1 YEAR
                  and school leaders. The resources            and accessible professional             and student
                  will enhance teacher confidence              development tools to identify           support service           2 YEAR
                  and competence to identify and               the learning needs of students          officers                  3 YEAR
                  respond to the needs of students             with learning difficulties. It will                               4 YEAR
                  with learning difficulties.                  increase the knowledge and skills
                                                               of teachers and carers around
                                                               learning difficulties.

Inclusive         Deliver additional professional              This will ensure that schools are       School staff
             11                                                                                                                  1 YEAR
education         development in autism to school staff        better equipped to include and          and students
                  to provide more tailored learning            support students with autism.           with autism.              2 YEAR
                  experiences for students with autism.                                                                          3 YEAR
                  Appoint autism-specialist coaches
                                                                                                                                 4 YEAR
                  across the state to guide best practice
                  in supporting students with autism.                                                                           ONGOING

Inclusive         Pilot a new Functional Needs                 Phase one pilot will contribute to      Students with
             12                                                                                                                  1 YEAR
education         Assessment approach to support               the development of a Functional         disability and
                  students with disability and additional      Needs Assessment for students           additional needs          2 YEAR
                  needs by focusing on the strengths and       with disability and additional                                    3 YEAR
                  functional needs of these students, and      needs, which aims to increase                                     4 YEAR
                  promoting inclusive education practices      inclusion of all students in
                  at an individual, school and system level.   Victorian government schools.

Inclusive         Rollout of Glasses for Kids program          This program will identify and          Prep to Year 3
             13                                                                                                                  1 YEAR
education         which tests children’s vision. Free          address vision problems early to        students in 250           2 YEAR
                  glasses are then given to students           ensure students do not fall behind      targeted schools
                                                                                                                                 3 YEAR
                  who need them.                               in their learning.                      in disadvantaged
                                                                                                       areas across              4 YEAR
                                                                                                       Victoria                 ONGOING

Inclusive         Implement the Outside School Hours           This program will ensure that           Children and
             14                                                                                                                  1 YEAR
education         Care (OSHC) Demonstration Program            children and young people with          young people
                  addressing the gap in OSHC services          disability receive additional           with disability           2 YEAR
                  for children and young people                support to contribute to improving                                3 YEAR
                  with disability.                             academic performance, promote                                     4 YEAR
                                                               physical health, and social and
                                                               emotional wellbeing.

priority/                                                                                                                      Implementation
action       Department activity, initiative or program                      Outcome                      Target group           timeframe

Inclusive         Rollout of Skills-First Community            These programs will assess the          Disadvantaged or
             15   Services funding specifically targeting      learning and non-learning needs         vulnerable cohorts
                  initiatives to help TAFEs deliver services   and career goals of eligible            in vocational               1 YEAR
                  to disadvantaged students. Additional        people aged 17 to 64 and develop        education and               2 YEAR
                  support for the Reconnect Program            an agreed development support           training
                                                                                                                                   3 YEAR
                  to enable TAFEs and Learn Locals             plan to commence pre-vocational
                  to provide wrap-around services,             or vocational training and                                          4 YEAR
                  such as extra literacy, health and           complete an accredited course.                                     ONGOING
                  accommodation support to high
                  needs learners.

Inclusive         TAFEs to continue supporting students        This will assist learners with          People with
             16                                                                                                                    1 YEAR
education         with disability, e.g. through the            disability with advice and              disability                  2 YEAR
                  Disability Liaison Officers’ network.        support to engage and
                                                                                                                                   3 YEAR
                                                               succeed in training.
                                                                                                                                   4 YEAR

Inclusive         The TAFE Network will work with the          TAFEs will provide inclusive            People with
             17                                                                                                                    1 YEAR
education         Department to apply lessons learned          environments for staff and              disability                  2 YEAR
                  from the Inclusive Education Agenda          students with disability to
                                                                                                                                   3 YEAR
                  in schools to strengthen inclusion for       access and participate in
                  students with disability.                    training and employment                                             4 YEAR

Employment        Enhance employment pathways and              Through the NDIS                        Disability workforce,
             18   promote rewarding careers in the             implementation, this initiative         people with                 1 YEAR
                  disability sector to encourage uptake        promotes opportunities to               disability, their           2 YEAR
                  of training and career opportunities         people with disability to increase      families and carers
                                                                                                                                   3 YEAR
                  by people with disability including          participation in training.
                  through the Skills and Jobs Centres                                                                              4 YEAR
                  and TAFE Victoria’s TAFE NDIS                                                                                   ONGOING
                  Training Campaign.

Employment        Implement the Department’s actions           This initiative will promote            All Department
             19                                                                                                                    1 YEAR
                  under the Mental Health and Wellbeing        positive mental health under the        workforce
                  Charter to actively demonstrate the          Charter which is closely aligned                                    2 YEAR
                  Victorian Government’s commitment            with our Investing in Our People                                    3 YEAR
                  to having an engaged workforce that is       strategy, Victorian Public Sector                                   4 YEAR
                  physically and mentally safe and healthy.    values and Victoria’s 10-year
                                                               Mental Health Plan.

Employment        Rollout disability awareness sessions        This initiative will build capability   VPS workforce
             20                                                                                                                    1 YEAR
                  across the Department’s corporate            and disability confidence
                  workforce to improve disability              in recruitment and people                                           2 YEAR
                  confidence to support employees              management to enhance                                               3 YEAR
                  with disability.                             employment experiences                                              4 YEAR
                                                               for people with disability
                                                               across the Department.

Employment        Develop the Department’s Disability          This initiative will focus on the       VPS workforce
             21   Employment Actions in partnership            Department-specific actions                                         1 YEAR
                  with Department employees. This will         that will boost the representation                                  2 YEAR
                  include actions that will enable the         of people with disability in the
                                                                                                                                   3 YEAR
                  Department to boost the employment           Victorian Public Sector (VPS)
                  of people with disability.                   workforce, including meeting the                                    4 YEAR
                                                               targets of 6 per cent by 2020, and                                 ONGOING
                                                               12 per cent by 2025.

    DISABILITY ACTION PLAN 2018–2021                                                                                                        17
priority/                                                                                                           Implementation
action       Department activity, initiative or program                 Outcome                      Target group     timeframe

Employment        Review the Department’s recruitment      This initiative will promote          VPS workforce
             22   and disability employment policies and   understanding around unconscious                             1 YEAR
                  make improvements.                       bias and support the development                             2 YEAR
                                                           of an inclusive workplace culture. It
                                                                                                                        3 YEAR
                                                           will also include research about the
                                                           barriers to success for people with                          4 YEAR
                                                           disability in the Department and                            ONGOING
                                                           use this evidence to inform change.

Employment        Improve disability confidence by         This initiative will remove barriers   VPS workforce
             23   providing training and information       by ensuring that hiring managers                             1 YEAR
                  sessions to hiring managers and          understand the strategies they                               2 YEAR
                  employees to reduce bias.                can use in recruitment processes
                                                                                                                        3 YEAR
                                                           to support candidates with
                                                           disability, and can access and                               4 YEAR
                                                           use reasonable adjustment                                   ONGOING
                                                           processes successfully.

Employment        Develop reporting mechanisms to          This initiative will improve data      VPS workforce
             24                                                                                                         1 YEAR
                  provide leadership teams with reports    collection, monitoring, and                                  2 YEAR
                  on the proportion of people with         reporting of disability employment
                                                                                                                        3 YEAR
                  disability in Department’s workforces.   at the Department with the aim
                                                           to increase performance against                              4 YEAR
                                                           employment targets.                                         ONGOING

Employment        Implement the Social Procurement         This initiative will help increase     Suppliers and
             25                                                                                                         1 YEAR
                  Framework to promote employment          employment of people                   VPS workforce         2 YEAR
                  of people with disability.               with disability through the
                                                                                                                        3 YEAR
                                                           Department’s procurement and
                                                           service delivery arrangements.                               4 YEAR



                       Matthew has a history of reading and             The evidence included: a psychologist’s
                       handwriting difficulties. In secondary           report saying Matthew has dyslexia; a Year 10
                       school, he was diagnosed with dyslexia.          reading test showing that his comprehension
                                                                        was below average; and essays he
                       He was identified for classroom-based            completed under test conditions with illegible
                       interventions in primary school. Early in        handwriting which was confirmed by an
                       Year 7, his secondary school organised a         occupational therapist’s report.
                       meeting involving his parents, teachers and
                       special needs coordinator to discuss suitable    The school applied for Matthew to use
                       classroom arrangements. A range of possible      a computer to address his handwriting
                       interventions were determined by reviewing       issues and an electronic reader for his
                       clinical evidence from a range of sources        severe dyslexia. Both provisions were
                       including his development and educational        approved by the VCAA and he was also
                       history, and diagnostic assessment results.      granted extra working time to compensate
                                                                        for his use of assistive technology during
                       Matthew’s school then contacted the Victorian    external assessments.
                       Curriculum and Assessment Authority
                       (VCAA) about proposed interventions for          The evidence contained in the school’s
                       classroom learning and future school-based       application for Special Examination
                       assessments. The school wanted to implement      Arrangements clearly demonstrated
                       these before Matthew enrolled in his Victorian   Matthew’s reading and handwriting
                       Certificate of Education (VCE).                  difficulties would have a functional impact
                                                                        on his ability to demonstrate his learning
                       Matthew is now in Year 11. The school has        during timed VCE external assessments.
                       submitted a formal application for Special       Having a special provision in place provided
                       Examination Arrangements for his VCE             Matthew with better opportunities to succeed
                       external assessments. The application            in his VCE assessment at secondary school.
                       included the required diagnostic and
                       academic evidence, school observations, and
                       history of provisions used by Matthew in the
                       classroom and for school-based assessments.

DISABILITY ACTION PLAN 2018–2021                                                                                     19

Jeri was excited about starting school.                  The transition statement includes a section
It was a major milestone in her life and                 for the teacher to complete which identified
for her family. However, Jeri’s additional               Jeri’s learning and development outcomes
needs meant it was a challenging                         and what specific strategies would help her
                                                         as she settled into school.
time as well.
                                                         For example, it was noted that she would
For Jeri, or any child with disability or
                                                         benefit from some adult help, especially
those experiencing vulnerability, to feel
                                                         at times of distress or confusion in busy,
included in her first year of school it
                                                         crowded spaces.
was essential that all the professionals
involved with her worked with her family                 The early childhood teacher noted that one
to create positive transitions. Recent                   successful strategy was to include Jeri in
consultations4 with families of children                 small group discussions. Jeri was introduced
with additional learning needs, show that                to new activities in small groups until she
there are several factors that contribute                became comfortable.
to a positive transition, including:
                                                         Since Jeri’s first Early ABLES5 report in April
•    information provided by the early                   and the fourth term report which mapped
     childhood service                                   her learning and development outcomes
•    primary school teachers who read the                to the Victorian curriculum, the indications
     ‘transition to school’ statement and                are that Jeri has improved across all
     listened to the family                              outcomes areas.
•    flexibility to tailor the approach to the           Jeri’s statement also included a section
     child’s abilities.                                  from Jeri herself together with suggestions
The early childhood teacher worked with Jeri             from her family. The statement has been
and her family to write a Transition Learning            invaluable to both the prep teacher and
and Development Statement. The statement                 outside school hours educators. It has
helped Jeri’s new school and outside                     helped support Jeri settle into school quickly,
school hours care program understand her                 happily and with confidence.
and continue to build on her abilities, to
understand her strengths and proactively
support Jeri as she settled into school.

4. S
    emann & Slattery, 2015, Transition: A Positive Start to School Initiative – Consultation 2015,
   Department of Education and Training, Melbourne (page 29)
5. Early ABLES: Early Abilities-Based Learning and Education Support

                       WITH A VISION IMPAIRMENT

                       Samantha is in Year 2 at a local primary        The SVRC supports Samantha’s teachers
                       school. At school, she likes playing with       by transcribing her learning materials
                       her friends and her favourite subjects          into braille format. Samantha’s teachers
                       are art and music. She gets along with          send these materials to SVRC in time for
                                                                       them to transcribe and return them to
                       her teachers and feels supported inside
                                                                       the school. SVRC also provides Samantha
                       and outside the class.
                                                                       with a Braille Note laptop through their
                       Samantha has Leber’s congenital amaurosis,      technology lending library, so that she
                       which means that she has extremely limited      can access electronic information via a
                       sight in both eyes and is legally blind. She    refreshable braille display. For one day each
                       is not able to access printed text or most      term, Samantha attends SVRC’s ‘Dot Power’
                       visuals in pictures or videos, even when they   braille immersion program. Her teachers and
                       have been modified or enlarged. She needs       parents are invited along to these days, in
                       support to confidently navigate around          order to see high-quality braille instruction
                       her school environment, particularly when       in action. SVRC also provides a range of
                       there are unexpected physical changes in        other professional learning days each year,
                       her classroom.                                  including specialist training for Samantha’s
                                                                       art, music and physical education teachers.
                       Samantha is supported every week by
                       Sue, a visiting teacher who specialises in      Samantha faces a different range of
                       supporting students with vision impairments.    challenges compared to other girls her
                       Sue has helped Samantha read and                age. However, because of the support
                       understand braille, and has supported her       she receives, she feels included and can
                       classroom teachers to include her in school     learn, have fun and participate in her
                       activities. Sue uses information gathered       school community.
                       from a vision assessment made by a
                       paediatric ophthalmologist at the Education
                       Vision Assessment Clinic at the Statewide
                       Vision Resource Centre (SVRC) in order to
                       ensure Samantha is ready and supported in
                       her current and any future environments.

DISABILITY ACTION PLAN 2018–2021                                                                                  21

Helen has worked at the Department of            Helen says her team members are like a
Education and Training for more than             family to her and often help with tasks.
20 years.                                        Christine said the whole team benefitted
                                                 from Helen’s enthusiasm and commitment
She is a Service Desk Analyst in the             to her work. The team has also built its
Information Management and Technology            confidence in supporting colleagues with
Division where she is a valuable member          disability and have a greater understanding
of a team that responds to about 120,000         of the challenges that people with disability
requests for support each year. Helen has a      can face in the workplace. As Helen’s needs
vision impairment and requires workplace         change, the Department will continue to
adjustments to support her in her role.          work with Helen and her team her to ensure
As Helen’s needs continue to change, Helen       she is supported in her role.
and her manager Christine have an ongoing        People with disability bring a wide range
assessment in place that results in further      of skills, talents and qualifications to
workplace adjustments and adaptive               the Department. Helen is a reliable and
equipment. These include a high-resolution       committed employee who builds strong
screen with larger and easier-to-see text. In    relationships with her customers and
addition, team members provide Helen with        engages her team members. By supporting
assistance to move around the workplace.         employees with disability like Helen, the
Recently, Helen’s team relocated to a new        Department is retaining a skilled staff
building, which presented navigation and         member, reducing staff turnover, recruitment
familiarisation challenges for Helen. She and    and retraining costs, and contributing to
Christine worked together to come up with        overall organisational diversity.
solutions to help Helen navigate the building.
This included the mobility assessor from
Guide Dogs’ Victoria working with Helen,
and increased and continued support from
her colleagues.


                       Victorians living with disability are going through a period of significant transition
                       and change. The foundations for a more inclusive state start with education.
                       The Department’s Disability Action Plan lists a series of actions which were developed
                       to ensure the Department is able to deliver inclusive education for all Victorian children
                       and young people. Education is the pathway to participation in civic processes and the
                       economy and the Department has developed actions to ensure Victorians with disability
                       can and do contribute.

                       Acronyms               What it means in the plan

                       Early ABLES            Early Abilities-Based Learning and Education Support
                       Auslan                 Australian sign language
                       Department             Department of Education and Training
                       DHH                    Deaf and Hard of Hearing
                       LGBTI                  Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex
                       MCH                    Maternal and child health
                       NDIS                   National Disability Insurance Scheme
                       OSHC	Outside school hours care, which includes before school care, after
                             school care and holiday programs
                       PSD                    Program for Students with Disabilities
                       SVRC                   Statewide Vision Resource Centre
                       TAFE                   Technical and further education
                       VANP                   Victorian Approved NDIS Provider
                       VCAA                   Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority
                       VCE                    Victorian Certificate of Education
                       VDEI                   Victorian Deaf Education Institute

DISABILITY ACTION PLAN 2018–2021                                                                                    23
You can also read