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Students with a disability

Quality of life for students with a disability 
We believe that all students with disabilities should be able to lead quality lives. All of the work performed by teachers in the special education program at any point in the school year can be traced back to one or more of the following quality of life goals.
For students:
·         To become productive members of society
·         To maintain meaningful relationships
·         To enjoy a hobby or leisure pursuit
·         To be able to have at least some say in major life decisions
For students to become productive members of society it is important that teachers help to improve their literacy and numeracy levels, and provide them with a curriculum that is challenging but is also one which they can be successful in. This is achieved by providing an education program for our students which ensures that adjustments are being made for the students that will allow them to participate in the curriculum on the same basis as other students. Adjustments are determined by consultation between teachers and parents based on an in depth knowledge of the student. These adjustments can vary from some extra time for a student to complete an assignment; to hiring a special wheelchair so that a student can attend a beach excursion.  


 
 These adjustments are a requirement of the law (Disability Standards for Education) and also of policy (A Whole School Approach to Support Student Learning).
Adjustments to teaching and learning
Currently many students with disabilities participate in the curriculum at levels different to that of their age peers and work in those subjects in the SEP classrooms with other students on a similar level. This is also an adjustment, and is an option open to any student in the school whose need for this adjustment has been established by a thorough review of their data and after consultation with parents, carers and the students themselves. The aim of all teachers in the SEP is to progress students working at lower year levels through to year levels closer to their chronological age.  Focussed and intensive teaching programs are essential components of any lower year level curriculum.
Students with a disability can take advantage of individual access in their classes to the latest technology in iPads and laptops. On these devices students can access focussed teaching programs in literacy and numeracy such as    
·         RAZ Kids                                                                         
·         Mathletics
·         Words Their Way
·         Cars and Stars
 Intensive teaching involves specially trained teacher aides working with individuals or very small groups of students for short periods of time, several times a week on drills that aim at correcting specific barriers that they have to their learning. For example, a student might have been found to be confusing vowel sounds in their reading. A teacher aide would then work with them at allotted times for intensive teaching sessions around vowels until the problem was corrected.
School to Work
Students with a disability also participate in a subject called School to Work. This subject covers Years 7-12 and teaches social and communication skills to students through an outdoor education program. In this subject students learn to operate a canoe and each year they improve their skills by going on various canoe trips and expeditions on the local waterways. Camping, mountain bike riding and competing in the annual pedal prix race at Willowbank are also activities that students engage in in this subject. Towards the end of Year 9 the focus of the subject begins to include preparing for the work place. Students attend excursions to different industries and may begin short work experience placements. These lead into the Totally Employed Program which can be seen in the Support and Programs part of this website.