Standard Contrast Version | High Contrast Version

Registration for CYDA E-News enables you to receive CYDA newsletters, updates and other correspondence by email. This subscription does not include membership to CYDA or the additional benefits that membership provides. For membership enquiries please visit our Membership page.

Change text size: Click on this icon to change the text size to the smallest text size Click on this icon to change the text size to the medium or default text size Click on this icon to change the text size to the biggest text size which is twice as large as the default or medium text size

Disability Standards for Education More Information 

The Disability Standards for Education (the Standards) are part of Australia's Disability Discrimination Act 1992, and serve to set out expectations and obligations of schools and other education providers in ensuring that students with disabilities are able to access and participate in education and training on the same basis as their peers without disability.

Schools and other education providers need to comply with these standards when they deliver their programs. The Standards were introduced in 2005 and have recently been reviewed by the Australian Government.

For schools, the Standards apply whether or not individual support funding is available for a student or not. They cover the following areas:

  • Enrolment
  • Participation in education programs
  • Curriculum development, accreditation and delivery
  • Student support services
  • Elimination of harassment and victimisation

Each part of the Standards sets out the:

  • Rights of students with disability in relation to education and training to help people understand what is fair and reasonable under the Standards.
  • Legal obligations or responsibilities of education providers.
  • Measures that may be implemented to comply with the requirements of the Standards.

The Standards were reviewed in 2012 and while the intent of the Standards was found to be still sound, there were gaps in the general awareness and understanding of their operation and effect by both parents and educators. The Review found that there is much greater participation by students with a disability since 2005 when the Standards were introduced.

Some of the key findings of the review were that:

  • General awareness about the standards is low across the community, including within schools, universities and other education sectors.
  • Practical understanding of concepts such as 'reasonable adjustment', 'unjustifiable hardship', need to be more clearly defined.
  • It is difficult to obtain professional advice about the Standards.
  • The process for students to make complaints is complex and cumbersome and there are few consequences for education providers that breach the Standards or fail to act on complaints.
  • The lack of resources for individual support for students across all sectors makes it difficult for the Standards to be effectively implemented.

Recommendations were made by the Review in a number of areas - the key ones being:

  • Increase awareness through training and information for education providers.
  • Improve the understanding of the language in the standards by producing specific guidance notes.
  • Add a requirement in the Standards for the development of an individual education plan for each student with disability.
  • Embed the Standards in the regulatory frameworks that govern the various education sectors so as to make them more visible and relevant.

To read the full review and the Government's response:

Review and Response to the Disability Standards for Education