3.2 Education

During 2012-16, in any given three-month period disability advocates, on average, assisted 160 people with education issues.

Disability advocacy Issue Education
Number 160 people on average per quarter
Trend fluctuating, no trend
Rights under the UNCRPD Governments will ensure:

  • persons with disabilities are not excluded from the general education system on the basis of disability
  • persons with disabilities can access an inclusive, quality and free primary education and secondary education on an equal basis with others in the communities in which they live
  • reasonable accommodation of the individual’s requirements is provided
  • persons with disabilities receive the support required, within the general education system, to facilitate their effective education
  • effective individualised support measures are provided in environments that maximise academic and social development, consistent with the goal of full inclusion
  • persons with disabilities are able to access general tertiary education, vocational training, adult education and lifelong learning without discrimination and on an equal basis with others (Article 24)
Commitments in the State Disability Plan
  • Victorian early childhood, schools, training and TAFE facilities will be supported to be fully inclusive of learners with a disability (Key Priority 9)
  • From 2017, all newly built government schools and schools undertaking significant building projects will need to accommodate the needs of students with a disability (p.25)



The data series is fluctuating with no pattern discernible (figure 9).

The recent review of the Program for Students with Disabilities identified limitations to the current program model and approach to supporting Victorian students with disability. The Victorian government has accepted 21 of the 25 review recommendations, but the remaining recommendations under consideration are the most crucial. These relate to redesigning the Program for Students with Disability (PSD) funding model to a strengths-based functional needs approach.


Figure 9: Reports of education issues


Case study: Accessing specialist education support

Easton* is vision impaired and attends school with a visiting teacher. When Easton was allocated a visiting teacher with no experience in Braille, his mother approached the school principal to raise concerns about the quality and level of support the visiting teacher could provide. After being informed the existing teacher was the “most appropriate for the job” Easton’s mother engaged an independent advocate.

The advocate phoned the Statewide Vision Resource Centre for advice regarding visiting teachers. The advocate then assisted Easton’s mother to develop a formal letter to the Department of Education and Training (DEECD at the time) outlining the importance of Braille for a child’s future employment outcomes and life skills. The advocate also provided Easton’s mother with relevant resources to use in the letter, such as the Disability Standards for Education and the Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission’s report Held back: the experiences of students with disabilities in Victorian schools.

The Department of Education and Training successfully allocated Easton another visiting teacher who was more experienced in Braille and in working with children with a vision impairment.

* names have been changed to protect the privacy of individuals