Welcome to the summer edition of the NDCO program newsletter for region 14 Southern Melbourne. If you would like information about special projects, networks and professional development opportunities in relation to education & employment for people with disability please contact the NDCO program.
NDCO Program Evaluation
The Australian Government Department of Education engaged ACIL Allen Consulting (ACIL Allen) to undertake an evaluation of the NDCO program in 2016. The scope of the evaluation was to examine the policy rationale for the NDCO Program, its operation to date, and make recommendations for the future operation of the program. This included examining the appropriateness, effectiveness and efficiency of the NDCO Program, and its intersection with the Australian Government policy and other government programs, particularly the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).
This evaluation found that the NDCO Program provides a valuable resource and range of activities at a local area that help service providers to improve education and employment outcomes for people with disability. Additionally, the NDCO Program is unique in its mandate to provide ‘whole-of-system’ expertise across different sectors. We can now confirm that the NDCO program has been funded to June 2022.
The evaluation report and the Australian Government response to the report are available at the links below:
Reforms to strengthen the capacity of the education system to support students with disabilities and additional needs
Victorian Government Schools are currently undertaking reforms to strengthen the capacity of the education system to support students with disabilities and additional needs, and to facilitate the full and active participation of all children and young people, through the inclusive education reform agenda. The agenda builds on the 2014 Special Needs Plan for Victorian Schools which sets out a nine-step plan to maximise outcomes for students with disabilities, and the Government's commitment to deliver recommendations from the Review of the Program for Students with Disabilities (PSD), outlined in its response: Inclusive education for all students with disabilities and additional needs.
For more information, see:
Special Needs Plan for Victorian Schools
Implementation of the Inclusive Education Agenda reforms is underway.
Supporting Victorians Living With Autism
The Andrews Labor Government will invest more than $22 million as an immediate response to the Inquiry into Services for People with Autism Spectrum Disorder. More than $19 million has been set aside for education initiatives, including: Further training and scholarships through the Autism Teaching Institute for government teachers / Piloting a new funding model for schools to meet the needs of students with disabilities / A boost to all Victorian specialist schools to better support children with autism.
Additional oversight powers to improve the safety and wellbeing of Victorians with a disability
From 16th August 2017, the Disability Services Commissioner (DSC) has been empowered with additional oversight powers to improve the safety and wellbeing of Victorians with a disability. “These enhanced oversight powers for my office will help to strengthen safeguards for people with a disability and improve their safety and wellbeing.”
Australian Government Plan to Improve Outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People with Disability
The Plan outlines actions the Australian Government is and can take to provide sustainable mainstream and disability services, delivered within a cultural framework for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people with disability, their families and carers.
Research and Reports
Higher Education Participation and Partnerships Program: Seven Years On
The third case study publication in the NCSEHE series tracks the diverse activities, partnerships, positive outcomes, and sustainable impacts of Higher Education Participation and Partnerships Program (HEPPP) programs over time.
Held Back: The experiences of students with disabilities in Victorian Schools
In the interest of understanding the effect of Held back and the progress on a range of recommendations, the Commission has completed a five-year analysis. This paper includes observations on what is needed to build on existing policy gains to achieve genuine change for students with disabilities in Victorian schools.
Intellectual Disability Mental Health Core Competency Framework
A Manual for Mental Health Professionals which outlines the necessary approaches to clinical practice when working with people with an intellectual disability and identifies the core competencies that mental health professionals require to work in this area.
Not working: Experiences of Refugees and Migrants with JobActive
This report focuses on the barriers faced by refugees and migrants imposed by the main federal employment program, JobActive.
Recruiting participants for the Australian Longitudinal Study of School Leavers with Autism study
Alex Haschek is a Research Officer with the Olga Tennison Autism Research Centre at La Trobe University, Alex is currently recruiting participants for the Australian Longitudinal Study of School Leavers with Autism study. The research seeks assistance from young people with or without Autism and the carers/family members of young people with Autism who may be interested in participating in a survey based study. Participants are asked to complete surveys at baseline, 12 months and 24 months. Participants will receive a $30 voucher after completing the 24-month survey. If you are interested in being involved or have any additional questions, please contact SASLA@latrobe.edu.au
The Australian Industry Skills Committee (AISC) working to improve the training outcomes of people with a disability in vocational education and training (VET)
The AISC oversees the review and development of training packages to ensure Australian workers are provided with industry-relevant skills that meet the current and future needs of employers. Recently, the AISC noted that more could be done within the VET system to better support the inclusion of students with disability and agreed to:
- adapt existing resources for use in VET institutions to raise awareness about inclusion and raise the awareness of VET practitioners about their obligations under the Disability Standards for Education
- ensure that the 2018 review of the TAE Training Package incorporates skills for trainers on consultation, reasonable adjustment and individualised planning for students with disability
- commission a cross sector project to develop a bank of units of competency on disability related issues to be used across different industries in a wide range of Training Package qualifications https://www.skillsforaustralia.com/cross-sector-projects/inclusion-of-people-with-disability-in-vet/
In the meantime if you have any questions or suggestions about the project, please contact Catherine Ryan (email: Catherine.firstname.lastname@example.org ).
Investigation of the Estimates of Children’s Cognitive Abilities (ECCA) scale
The aim of this project is to develop a teacher-report questionnaire that can provide insight into a student’s cognitive ability profile important for academic achievement.
We are seeking registered teachers with the Victorian Institute of teaching who are currently teaching a school-aged child (5 to 18 years old) to participate in this research.
If you would like to participate, you can complete the survey (which should take about 10 minutes) here: https://monash.az1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_d7gWg6781ZaT2x7
Participants will have the option to enter the draw for a $50 Coles/Myer gift card.
This project is being conducted by Lydia Soh, under the supervision of Dr Kate Jacobs, as part of her PhD in Educational & Developmental Psychology at Monash University. The study has ethics approval from Monash University Human Research Ethics Committee.
Recognising Ability: Business and the Employment of People with Disability
Business Council of Australia
This report summarises the results of a survey conducted by the Business Council aimed at generating baseline data and insights about disability employment practices and experiences among member companies. This is the first time the Business Council has conducted a survey on approaches to disability employment.
Conferences and Workshops
NDCO Inclusive Learning Conference
Keynote Presenter Sarah Barton
Award winning producer of ‘Defiant lives’ a documentary that explores the history of the Disability Rights Movement https://defiantlives.com/
Date: Friday 1 June 2018
Target: Professionals with an interest in inclusive education and employment for people with complex learning needs and disability aged 15 years and over.
Venue: Monash University Peninsula, Campus McMahons Rd, Frankston
- Educational Inclusion Theory and Practice
- Educational Inclusion Pathways
Call for Presentation Papers Open 15 January 2018
Early Bird Registrations open 15 January 2018
Call for Presentation Papers Close 29 March 2018
Early Bird Registrations Close 30 April 2018
Registrations Close 7 May 2018
Participant Registration Early Bird Registrations $100, full fee $150
Stallholder Registration (Stalls will be open during lunch break) $50
To purchase tickets go to:
Call for Presentations
Presentation proposals must be submitted by close of business Thursday 29 March 2018.
The contact on the submission will be notified if the proposal has been accepted by Monday 16 April 2018
For more information go to
or contact Sally Bailey on (03) 9784 0400 or email email@example.com
Personhood, decision making and choice: Frameworks for upholding rights with people with disabilities
Time: 9.00am – 4.00pm
Date: 1 March 2018
Venue: Deakin Downtown, Level 12, Tower 2, 727 Collins Street, Melbourne VIC 3008
What does it mean to be a PERSON with a disability in Australia? How can human rights be used to inform approaches to support? What does supported decision making mean and how can it be applied in supporting choice and control? How does the idea of ‘belonging’ change the way we see community inclusion?
Give your community a voice at the next election
Book a free information session with the Victorian Electoral Commission’s Education and Inclusion Team for your community group.
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Phone: 131 832
Other languages: (03) 9209 0111
Or contact us through the National Relay Service then ask for 03 8620 1100
We work with:
· Disability groups, carers and support staff
· Homelessness services
· Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities
· Migrant groups
· Schools and youth services
· Community services staff.
Find out more about our Education and Inclusion work
Follow us: facebook.com/electionsvic
Berry Street Education Model
Berry Street’s innovative model of education that provides schools with a whole-school approach to meet the developmental strengths and needs of students, teachers, and leaders. The Berry Street Education Model is based on classroom strategies informed by Berry Street's approaches to trauma-informed learning and the science of wellbeing. These student-centred strategies provide teachers, leaders, and allied education professionals with the knowledge of how to foster student willingness and capacity for school achievement.
To express your interest please email Advance College (email@example.com) before Tuesday October 17 as the booking needs to be confirmed asap. For enquiries, please call Steve Wright on 0418 564 738.
Resources and Tools
ADCET webinar recording: 'Enhancing self-disclosure of equity group membership'
The recording is now available from a webinar on 22 August, presented by Rita Kusevskis-Hayes, Dr Colin Clark and Matthew Wilkinson – University of New South Wales project team for the Enhancing Self-Disclosure Project. The aim of the project is to investigate why members of equity groups choose not to self-identify to their universities, either upon enrolment or later.
The following comprehensive and informative article by Genevieve MacArthur and Anne Castles from the Department of Cognitive Science, ARC Centre of Excellence in Cognition and its Disorders at Macquarie University is highly recommended reading:
Dyslexia, Language and Learning to Read
Those who have not yet listened to her presentation would do well to access the recent lecture by Professor Maggie Snowling, President of St John's College Oxford and Professor of Psychology at the University of Oxford, who recently visited Australia and spoke at the Australian National University on ‘Dyslexia, Language and Learning to Read’. She outlined the history of the term dyslexia, and provided an overview of studies of those at risk for dyslexia. It was a fascinating and highly relevant presentation. The audio can be accessed or downloaded from the LDA website homepage.
Both literacy and numeracy difficulties require comprehensive support, and the latest issue of the LDA Bulletin focuses on strategies to assist students experiencing dyscalculia. Members of LDA can link directly to the articles below via the LDA website so long as they are logged in.
Ronit Bird, a teacher and author from England with extensive experience supporting students with dyscalculia, contributed an article on ‘The Counting Trap’, in which she describes the folly of allowing students to rely on one-by-one counting to solve arithmetic calculations.
Popular presenter Dr Paul Swan outlines difficulties that students may face in Solving Mathematical Word Problems. Articles by Tanya Forbes, Ann Williams, Rhonda Farkota and Steve Chinn outline the extent of the problem and the dangers of not addressing the needs of students experiencing dyscalculia.
Jeremy the Dud
Jeremy the Dud is a new comedy set in a world where everyone has a disability, and those that don't are treated with the prejudice and condescending attitudes people with disabilities sometimes face in our own society. Jeremy (Nick Boshier - Soulmates, Bondi Hipsters, Trent from Punchy) is a dud, or "without specialty". He has been living in assisted government housing his whole life after the death of his parents when he was young. Now, too old for assisted living, he is off to live with his auntie and cousins, and ready to make something of himself. The only trouble is the outside world isn't very accepting of "Duds".
NDS Workforce Essentials e-Learning Library
NDS Learn & Develop is pleased to announce a new online content package: NDS Workforce Essentials e-Learning Library ('Workforce Essentials').
Workforce Essentials provides access to a wide range of e-Learning programs, with new learning assets to be added to the library each year. We also commit to the ongoing maintenance of current programs. We aim to ensure that disability service providers have access to flexible and cost effective training in core areas
For individual access
For an organisational licence arrangement
Reasonable Adjustments in Online Learning
Online learning can provide many benefits to students with disability, particularly for those who may prefer not to disclose their disability, such as those with a fluctuating mental health or medical condition. Online learning can also allow students to access teaching and learning at a time that best suits them, and for students with mobility disability, can allow them to engage with learning at a location of their choice, without the need to attend campus.
Student Volunteer Workbook
The Hands Up! volunteer program workbook has been designed specifically for the use of young people with varying degrees of intellectual disabilities and learning differences. This workbook provides (in easy to read language and the use of visual cues) an opportunity for users to explore their interests, passions and skills whilst also participating in activities that introduce and consolidate learnings around how to source a volunteer opportunity and workplace safety. This workbook also includes a very simple practise volunteer registration form, that when completed, may assist a young person in future, to complete real life volunteer registration forms, using the practise form as a reference.
Webinar: Juggling feeling capable and different: A grounded theory of studying at university while living with mental ill-health
This presentation reports on a grounded theory study that used a participatory framework to explore the experiences of university students experiencing mental ill-health. While between 20 and 25% of university students are estimated to experience mental ill-health, little has been understood from the perspectives of students themselves about their experiences and the impacts of their ill-health on their studies. https://www.adcet.edu.au/resource/9710/webinar-juggling-feeling-capable-and-different-a-grounded-theory-of-studying-at-university-while-living-with-mental-ill-health/
Understood for learning and attention issues
15 non-profit organizations have joined forces to support parents of the one in five children with learning and attention issues throughout their journey. With the right support, parents can help children unlock their strengths and reach their full potential. With state-of-the-art technology, personalized resources, free daily access to experts, a secure online community, practical tips and more, Understood aims to be that support.
Watch a JobAccess/ NDCO webinar - starting a conversation with employers
JobAccess recently worked with the National Disability Co-ordination Officer Program to run a webinar - “How to start the conversation: Working with employers” the webinar offers an insight into what employers are telling JobAccess professional advisors about inclusive employment practices, and what they are looking for in candidates.
The Map Your Future
The Map Your Future project is designed to start building, or further develop advocacy skills in students (15 – 25 years old) - to improve participation in, and ownership over, their NDIS plans.
NEW STRIDE CAREERS PROGRAM - STEPS now being offered as a Workshop or PD
STEPS is a well-researched, comprehensive careers readiness training program. Now available as a Workshop at your school or as a one day Professional Development. It covers:-
- Careers and pathways options
- Interview skills
- Job search skills / employer expectations
- Resume writing / cover letters
- Preparing for work experience
- Career and industry exploration
Full workbook provided with over 40 ready to run fun and engaging activities
To find out more or make a booking call 03 8354 0829, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Brotherhood Local Area Establishment team
The Brotherhood of St Laurence has commenced the establishment of Local Area Coordination Services in the Bayside Peninsula area which includes the LGA's of Port Phillip, Bayside, Glen Eira, Kingston, Stonnington, Frankston and Mornington Peninsula. They are now available to assist people with a disability with NDIS queries or access requests. Between now and April next year new offices will be established in Windsor, Elsternwick, Cheltenham area, Frankston and Rosebud. The establishment team is currently based at 26 Station Street, Moorabbin. Contact 1300 BSL NDIS (1300 275 634 ext4)
Bourke and Beyond
5 services offered post compulsory for students with intellectual disability suitable for high functioning students not ready for TAFE. Not related to FFYA, students must be 18 years and over, has been running in Blackburn for 8 years, now opening in Walker Street Dandenong on 18 January offering Cert 1 Work education and Cleaning, students can express interest in courses they would like the program to deliver, students can participate in music and culture program within the industry.
Contact Deanne Ray, Community Services Manager, Burke and Beyond, 114 Fulton Road, Blackburn South, VIC 3130
Phone: 9886 1111, Mobile: 0421 007 082, Fax: 9886 3411, Email: email@example.com, www.burkeandbeyond.org.au
National Food instituteNFI is offering horticulture SBAT’s in Clarinda this year 11’s are preferable but can be offered to year 12’s who can complete in the year.
RESET is a partnership program between Brotherhood of St Laurence and Monterey Secondary College, for young people from Grade 6 to 14 years of age who are at risk of or are currently disengaged from school. It aims to re-engage students back into mainstream education or alternate learning pathways through intensive therapeutic and learning support.
The program offers support for approximately 12 months through:
- small group sizes
- providing breakfast, morning tea and lunches
- providing all education resources
- dog therapy
- a school based environment – Monterey Secondary College
- a dedicated staffing group: education, youth development and wellbeing support with a youth and family therapist
- onsite and external engagement with the family
Each student has his or her own individual learning and transition plan that is designed to overcome many of the barriers known to exclude vulnerable young people from school.
In addition to their education, young people are assisted to develop interpersonal problem solving and life skills,that support a positive experience within a learning environment.
Whilst the students have their RESET personal learning and transition plans, all are enrolled at Monterey Secondary College.
The program has its own dedicated building onsite at Monterey Secondary College, in Frankston North.
Referral criteria - the young person is:
- disengaged from school: inconsistent or inactive participation
- from Frankston & Mornington Peninsula region (this can be negotiated)
- In the middle years - from grade 6 up to 14 years of age at date of referral
- Able to get to and from RESET
Please contact us for an application or for further enquiries:
RESET Program Manager - Jane Chia Ph: 0404 093 065
Have you heard about Coles quiet hour?
Grocery shopping can be a daunting experience for people who live with autism or who have family members on the spectrum. The bright lights, constant music and noise from trolley collections can be a sensory overload, but Coles supermarkets will now offer a "quiet hour" for just such customers. From 10.30am to 11.30am on Tuesdays, store lights in 18 supermarkets in Victoria and 68 nationally will be dimmed 50 per cent, the radio will be switched off and the volumes of registers and scanners will be reduced to a minimum.
Trolley collections will halt and roll cages will be removed from the shop floor, while announcements will be made only in emergencies. Additional staff will be rostered on to support customers. The rollout comes after the supermarket chain, in partnership with Autism Spectrum Australia (Aspect), ran a successful trial in August of a "quiet hour" at two Victorian stores. The Victorian supermarkets taking part range from inner city to regional areas.