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30 November 2016
December 3 is the International Day of People with Disability. The day was set by the United Nations to increase public awareness, understanding and acceptance of people with disability, as well as celebrate the achievements and contributions of people with disability.
In Australia, most school-aged children with a disability (89%) attend a mainstream school. Yet, 63% of these students have been found to experience difficulties at school, while only some receive additional support.  
KidsMatter Primary enables schools to better support students with disability by creating a positive and inclusive school community; building the social and emotional learning skills of children with disabilities, supporting families and carers and helping children with mental health difficulties.  
As a school staff member, you can better support children with disabilities by:
  • Being informed and doing your own research  knowing about a disability will help create an inclusive environment and meet the student’s needs. Seek advice and support from special education services or from health professionals, or seek evidence-based resources from relevant information services.  
  • Building the strengths of the student  students with disabilities require a curriculum that is tailored to their needs. Working collaboratively with the student to identify learning strengths and interests is important for building engagement in learning and matching needs.
  • Working collaboratively with parents and carers – collaborate with parents and carers to develop individual learning plans and meet the complex needs of students with disabilities.
  • Promoting acceptance and caring  promote respect and inclusion by acknowledging that we are all ‘differently abled’, and through emphasising cooperative and caring relationships.  
  • Providing opportunities for social support  social relationships can be difficult for students with disabilities. Provide structured support by teaching social and emotional skills, setting up a buddy system, and providing for peer tutoring in structured classroom activities.  
  • Providing opportunities for active participation in school  children with disabilities need to be able to participate in everyday school activities along with their peers. Identify and adapt  teaching methods, curriculum and the school’s physical environment so that children with disabilities can actively participate. 
To learn more about supporting students with disability, download the Component 1 information sheets