Support Continuum

There are seven general types of support options in the inclusion continuum that schools utilise, depending on individual student needs.

1. Full inclusion in the regular program with some initial consideration or adjustment

The student may require a lap top computer to keep up with peers or modified equipment, such as a cut out desk to fit a wheelchair or block mounted scissors. A student with a physical disability may require more room between classroom furniture to manoeuvre a wheel chair or walker, ramps at doorways, a wheelchair tray to move belongings from room to room, extra time to move to different activities or classes and the wheelchair battery recharging each evening. Once initial considerations are made, the student is able to operate as independently as class peers.

2. Full participation in the regular program with on-going minor modifications or adjustment

Students with a hearing impairment generally need to be seated at the front of the room to see the teacher’s lips. They may require an FM microphone system. Students with vision impairment may need to be seated close to the board to use aids to see board work. They may need magnifiers or enlarged print. Some students may need to be seated next to a ‘competent buddy.’ Students with a physical disability may require particular considerations for regularised medical or health care services such as toileting, intermittent catheterisation or insulin treatment for diabetes. Some may need peer or teacher support to access or set up equipment.

3. Full participation in the regular curriculum with some assistance provided

Tasks need to be modified, explanations and directions need to be simplified, reiterated or rephrased and checked for understanding. Some adult support may be required for the student to attend to or stay on task. Some students may require physical assistance to access and/or manipulate materials or to move from one part of the school to another. Some students may require assistance for non-regularised personal health care services.

4. Partial participation in the regular program with reduced curriculum and assessment requirements

A student with a visual impairment or a physical disability, who works more slowly than others, may require reduced tasks, work output or assessment provisions or use specialised technological aids. A student with an intellectual disability may work at the same learning areas as peers but tasks are simplified or set at a lower academic level than peers with fewer demands. The student may be involved in small group intensive literacy/numeracy learning activities. Some teaching assistant time may be required.

5. Modified curriculum provisions with different content and volume of work with little if any additional assistance

All curriculum tasks and activities are modified/adapted to the student’s level of ability. The student works on an individualised program but once set to task does not need additional adult assistance beyond that of the teacher, to complete the tasks.

6. Parallel participation with an individualised program with varying levels of adult assistance

The student works alongside peers on a separate individual program directed to his/her ability level. The student requires adult assistance to understand, stay on and complete tasks. A student with a physical disability may be involved in the same activities as peers but requires adult assistance for physical or safety reasons, e.g. cutting activities, woodwork, cooking, phys-ed etc.

7. Alternative provisions and alternative curriculum for most of the school day

The student’s learning needs, abilities and adaptive behaviour is significantly different to peers. The program may be directed towards functional literacy and numeracy or living skills, which is better delivered on a one to one or small group basis in an alternative setting. The student may work with peers during less academic activities or for socialisation.