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The NDIS and My School

With many children returning to school this week, a common questions that occurs is - Can my child access Therapy at my school?

The Short answer is Yes, they can. As long as the right processes are followed.

The Education Department says "Schools and service providers have a shared interest in achieving positive educational outcomes for students with disability. Schools, families and service providers are committed to supporting students reach their potential, enjoy meaningful relationships and participate in their communities. You may engage external service providers to deliver services to your children when they require additional health, disability and wellbeing support"

This can be established by communicating with your school and working out an access or service schedule that works best for all involved.

.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . But, "the NDIS will not fund support for my child's education", you say?

Technically this is correct, as the education department has their own "bucket of funding"

Many families find this area very tricky to navigate, and completely overwhelming when advocating for their Childs needs. There are many grey areas within the "What support is my child entitled to at school?' conversation, however here's what we can share about the NDIS and Education funding systems.

The Education System The Education Department is responsible for supporting students with disability by: - Making changes to school buildings so that students can access the school, such as ramps, lifts and hearing loops - Providing fixed assistive technology that students may need in the school, such as hoists, and other items that can’t be moved around - Providing learning aids or electronic equipment needed for learning, such as modified computer hardware, education software and braille textbooks - Inclusion supports, such as an Auslan interpreter, that students need to help them learn - Teaching and learning assistance from teachers and other school staff in places other than school, such as alternative education and home-school settings - Changes to the curriculum to meet students’ learning needs - Day-to-day support and supervision of school-age participants, whether they are at school, excluded from school or attending school on reduced hours - General support, tools, training and awareness building for teachers and other school staff to support and engage students with a disability - Therapy delivered in schools for education purposes, such as allied health practitioners helping classroom teachers to make adjustments to the curriculum - Case coordination for a student’s educational supports - Reducing school fees for families with financial difficulties

The NDIS System The NDIS role in Education is, where needed, to provide funding for: - personal care and support at school - transport to and from school - specialist support you need to transition to higher education, training or work because of your disability.

The NDIS may also fund: - Assistive technology that students need no matter what activity they’re doing, such as hearing aids, wheelchairs, personal communications devices - Specialised support and training for school staff to help them understand and carry out a student’s specific support needs, such as specialised behaviour intervention and support - Therapies to help students improve what they can do, if the therapy isn’t related to education - Support to build a student’s capacity for independent living and self-care - Support to develop social and communication skills - Specialist behaviour management plans - Specialist help students need for their disability to transition to primary school or high school, where it’s more than the transition supports that schools must provide - Travel training so students can travel to school independently - Help to plan and coordinate the supports a student receives from the NDIS, from their school, and from other services - Help for students to find or keep a part-time job - School leaver employment supports to help students get ready for work when they leave school.

If you would like further guidance on what support is available for your child at your school, we recommend talking to your schools learning coordinator or NDIS Support coordinator for further guidance. If you would like additional support during these conversations, we recommend seeking your local Disability Advocate Western Australia - Advocacy | Disability Gateway For more information please visit the below links

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