Funding and Educational Support for Students with Vision Impairments

Several of the sources of additional funding and educational support outlined below are available for students attending Department of Education and Training (DET) schools. Similar funding may be available for students who attend Catholic or independent schools.

Accessible Buildings Program (DET)

http://www.education.vic.gov.au/about/programs/needs/pages/programsupp.aspx

The Department undertakes an annual program to provide facilities that will enable students, parents and teachers with injuries or disabilities to access mainstream schools. It provides funding for projects to:

  • meet the needs of new students at a school
  • meet the needs resulting from deterioration of a student’s condition
  • expand existing facilities to cater for the curriculum requirements of the student.

Better Start for Children with Disability

http://www.betterstart.net.au/

Children with a significant vision impairment along with other children with disabilities may be eligible for this funding. As the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) is rolled out across Australia, children supported through Better Start will transition to the NDIS.

Equipment Grants for Students with Vision Impairments (DET)

http://www.education.vic.gov.au/about/programs/needs/pages/programsupp.aspx

Equipment grants are available to assist Victorian government schools to purchase major items of essential, specialised equipment for students with vision impairments who do not meet the eligibility requirements for the Program for Students with Disabilities.

National Disability Insurance Scheme

http://www.ndis.gov.au/

NDIS is in the process of being rolled out across Australia and may be available to Australian residents who are under the age of 65 years and usually need support from a person or equipment to do everyday things because of an impairment or condition that is likely to be permanent.

Program for Students with Disabilities (DET)

http://www.education.vic.gov.au/about/programs/needs/Pages/disabilityprogram.aspx

The Department is committed to delivering an inclusive education system that ensures all students have access to a quality education that meets their diverse needs.

The Department provides a range of policies, programs and resources for schools to support the delivery of high-quality schooling for all students, including students with disabilities.

Special Provision for VCE

http://www.vcaa.vic.edu.au/Pages/vce/exams/specialprovision/specialprovision.aspx

The Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority offer special provisions to eligible students studying VCE including:

  • alternative arrangements to school-based assessment
  • special examination arrangements for external examinations
  • derived examination scores

Statewide Vision Resource Centre

http://www.svrc.vic.edu.au

Located in Donvale, the SVRC provides professional development, materials in alternative format, educational programs; and aims to promote an understanding of the educational needs of students who are blind or who have low vision.

Student Support Officers (DET)

http://www.education.vic.gov.au/school/principals/health/Pages/ssso.aspx

Student Support Services Officers assist children and young people with learning barriers to achieve their educational and developmental potential. They provide strategies and specialised support at individual, group, school and network levels. Student Support Services comprise a broad range of professionals including psychologists, guidance officers, speech pathologists, social workers and Visiting Teachers.

Vision Australia Further Education Bursary

http://www.visionaustralia.org/living-with-low-vision/learning-to-live-independently/further-education-support/vision-australia-further-education-bursary

These bursaries provide adaptive technology to help students with vision impairments fully participate in their chosen post-school studies.

Visiting Teachers (DET)

http://www.education.vic.gov.au/school/principals/spag/safety/Pages/studentsupport.aspx

Visiting Teachers are members of the Student Support Services and provide direct teaching, high-level advice and a range of supports to classroom teachers, education support staff, students, families and the wider school community. Visiting Teachers often provide region-wide support to students, working with eligible students in three streams: vision impaired, physical/health impaired, and hearing impaired.

See also Concessions and Allowances for People with Vision Impairments.