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Supporting Students with Disability in VET

The Australian Disability Clearinghouse on Education and Training (ADCET) has been funded by the Department of Education, Skills and Employment to undertake three projects as a program of works to transform the capacity of and provide support to the wide range of Vocational Education and Training (VET) providers to assist them in supporting students with disability.

This program of work has been developed in response to the 2020 review of the Disability Standards for Education 2005 (The Standards). The Standards seek to ensure that students with disability can access and participate in education on the same basis as students without disability. The Standards do not create new obligations but seek to clarify education providers’ obligations under the Disability Discrimination Act 1992.

Throughout 2020, the Department of Education, Skills and Employment undertook a review of the Standards. The review’s final report was released on 12 March 2021 and included 13 recommendations which reflect four reform directions and will be developed/progressed in consultation with States and Territories and Vocational Education and Training VET stakeholders:  

  • empowering and supporting students with disability and their families 
  • strengthening the knowledge and capability of educators and providers 
  • embedding accountability for the Standards throughout the education system 
  • building awareness and capability in the early childhood education and care sector.

In relation to VET, the review of the Standards found that currently the VET sector has limited resources available to support RTO capability and an understanding of best practice in providing reasonable adjustments, high quality training, assessment and support to students with disability to participate in training on the same basis as students without a disability. In addition, training package and accredited course developers need to ensure training products developed do not impose barriers for students with disability. 

In addition, as part of the skills reform agenda, state and territory governments have agreed to undertake immediate quality reforms to ensure high quality vocational education and training (VET) delivery. The reform work includes building registered training organisation (RTO) capability.  

ADCET is leading this program of work to advise on and develop resources for the VET sector which will build RTO capability to support students with disability undertaking VET.

Three projects for this program of work:

Develop resources to build Registered Training Organisation (RTO) capability to support students with disability

The focus of this work is to advise on, review and develop a variety of resources to assist and build RTO capability to support students with disability to engage with and undertake training in the VET sector, to support understanding of their obligations under the Disability Standards for Education 2005 and the rights of students with disability.

Develop resources for course designers to support removing unnecessary barriers within training packages and accredited courses for students with disability

The focus of this work is to provide advice on, and develop resources, guidance and best practice examples for qualification and course developers to ensure training packages and accredited courses are designed without posing a barrier for students with disability undertaking VET and meet the requirements of the Disability Standards for Education 2005. 

Review enrolment practices for students with disability

The focus of this work is to review and analyse enrolment practices for students with disability to identify best practice and explore how self-identification of a disability at enrolment informs RTO practices to supporting students throughout their engagement with VET. 

More information to follow.