For creating an inclusive environment for disabled learners.
A fully inclusive vocational education system recognises and values disabled learners by:
Staff at all levels taking responsibility for providing learning support for disabled learners.
Creating a system-wide approach to supporting disabled learners. This includes inclusive policies, procedures and practices, endorsed by senior leadership that remove barriers in the environment. Disabled learners are ‘disabled’ by their environment.
Building the infrastructure that enables all staff to become ‘disability confident’ and makes it easy for teaching and other staff to support disabled learners. For example, procedures for providing accessible lecture notes, arranging tests, exams and other assessments.
Providing the resources for disability support staff (DSS) to assist teaching and other staff to implement inclusive practices. This will enable these DSS staff to focus on supporting disabled learners with more complex needs. Support of disabled learners should not just be the responsibility of DSS staff.
Building a partnership with disabled learners with different impairments in planning and design through mandated representative disabled student associations and groups.
Developing system-wide training and resources to build the ‘disability confidence’ of all staff involved with supporting disabled learners. This should cover how to provide accessible information, communication and learning support for disabled learners with different impairments. Invite disabled learners to co-design these training programmes and resources focusing on inclusive practices.
Providing guidance and training on the use of non-discriminatory practices. All staff can be involved with supporting disabled learners and should be aware of their legal obligations under the Human Rights and Privacy Act, Code of Health and Disability Services Consumers' Rights and other relevant legislation.
Using the Principles of Universal Design in Education (UDL) in all course design, curriculum, delivery, assessment, learning support strategies, information and communication processes and the design of buildings and access routes. Fundamentally UDL requires flexible learning support (reasonable accommodations) with all teaching, classes, workplace learning, field trips, tests, exams and other assessments. It must consider disabled learners with different impairments and allow them to achieve their academic potential.
Reviewing and analysing the outcomes and satisfaction of disabled learners in an ongoing review, reflect and response cycle. This should occur at both national and local levels.
Planning ahead assuming the numbers of disabled learners will continue to increase. All planning should consider the learning support needs of future disabled learners with different impairments, rather than waiting for them to arrive.