Getting Support

Getting Support

Two Types of Support Services

Under the Disability Standards for Education 2005, students with disability have a right to access general school services on the same basis as other students. This means that adjustments are made when necessary to enable students with disability to access these general services.

Students with disability may also need specialised support services to access and participate in education. The school can provide these directly or arrange access to the services.

Getting Support: In Practice ...

Under the Disability Standards for Education, schools can treat students differently in order to be fair. For example, they can provide the following supports without being required to provide them to students who do not have a disability:

  • specialised support, including equipment such as adaptive technology and assistive devices
  • appropriately trained support staff, such as specialist teachers, interpreters, note-takers and teacher aides.

Students with disability have the right to access general and specialised services they need


Kathryn receiving literacy support

Kathryn is a Year 8 student with language and learning difficulties. As a result, she needs additional support with her literacy to learn on the same basis as other students. Which of the following are examples of support services that would be appropriate for Kathryn to access?

This is appropriate. It is an example of a general support service that is available to all students and will support Kathryn's learning.

This is appropriate. It is an example of specialised equipment that will support Kathryn's learning.


Amy revises for exams

Amy uses a wheelchair for mobility and cannot access the rooms upstairs at her high school. After consulting with Amy and her parents the school has organised its timetable to ensure that all of Amy’s Year 12 classes are held on the ground floor. However when the school employs a language tutor to assist students in preparing for their oral examinations in French, she is located in a spare room on the top floor of the building. When Amy brings this to the attention of her regular French teacher, the language tutor is promptly relocated to a room on the ground floor, so Amy is able to access this service on the same basis as other students.


Schools provide a variety of support services to their students. They provide general support services for all students, and it may be necessary to make adjustments to ensure that students with disability can have access to these services. When students have special needs, schools can also provide specialised support services or can arrange for someone else to provide them. These specialised support services are provided to students who need them in order to participate in school and learning, and schools are not required to make them available to all students.