What's new in Inclusive education and training

  • ADCET webinar: Supporting students with ADHD in the tertiary sector [2022] [added 7 April, 2022]
    This ADCET webinar presented relevant facts and figures about ADHD. Michele Toner outlined common challenges faced by students in the tertiary sector, and provided practical strategies for supporting students to overcome these challenges and achieve their academic goals.
  • Online access for tertiary students who are blind or vision impaired [free online course, 2022] [added 7 April, 2022]
    Increasingly there are demands on educators to integrate technology into tertiary education and training to support the development of 21st-century competencies, however the technology must be both accessible and inclusive to create equitable learning experiences, particularly when the learning is provided online.
    The National Disability Coordination Officer Program and the Australian Disability Clearinghouse on Education and Training have developed this e-learning program focusing on a range of practical solutions and strategies to address access barriers experienced by learners who are blind or vision impaired studying in tertiary education in Australia. The course aims to increase your understanding of  developing and facilitating  teaching practice. This course is free for individuals to undertake online and can be accessed at the bottom of the web page.
    Associated resources:
  • Practising inclusion: working and teaching for social justice [microcredential, 2022] [added 7 April, 2022]
    (Source: UTS Open)
    This interactive microcredential delivered by UTS Open will introduce you to the fundamentals of equity, human rights and social justice and their role in shaping the higher education space. You will reflect on student and staff experiences, your own values and practices, and explore practical solutions and strategies that you will be able to integrate into your professional and social practices.
    NOTE: For purchase; inclusion does not signify endorsement by NCVER.

Students with a disability

Overview

Free resources

Research

  • Breaking down the barriers: strategies to assist apprentices with a learning disability [2010]
    (Source: NCVER)
    Apprentices with a learning disability can face significant barriers to completing their training. This paper explores what these apprentices, their lecturers and disability support staff see as the most effective strategies for helping them to overcome these difficulties.
  • Disability and learning outcomes: how much does the disability really matter? [2008]
    (Source: NCVER)
    On the whole, educational achievements and outcomes from vocational education and training (VET) are relatively poor for students reporting a disability. This paper sought to isolate the direct effect of being a member of a particular disability group. It found that the direct effect of the disability differs between groups, and is highest for those with a mental illness, a medical condition or a physical disability.
  • Researching VET and disability: at a glance [2011]
    (Source: NCVER)
    The challenges in undertaking research in the VET and disability area include the limitations of the available data, accessing people with a disability and the diversity of disability type and severity. This paper discusses these issues and also presents a snapshot of recent data and a summary of recent research in this area.
  • Supporting tertiary students with disabilities: individualised and institution-level approaches in practice [2015]
    (Source: NCVER)
    This research explores the complex factors affecting the implementation of learning supports to assist students with disabilities or ongoing health conditions. It focuses on two types of learning support: individualised reasonable adjustments; and institution-level learning supports, the latter being available to all students. The report provides examples of best practice for the provision of both types of learning supports and notes that often a combination of these may be appropriate.
  • The attitudes of people with a disability to undertaking VET training [2011]
    (Source: NCVER)
    This research used a survey to investigate the attitudes of people with a disability towards undertaking training. The findings show very positive attitudes towards training by participants and, although the ability to generalise to the wider population is limited, one thing is clear: generally, people with a disability are willing to undertake VET and consider it a good option in helping them find employment.
  • Unfinished business: student perspectives on disclosure of mental illness and success in VET [2012]
    (Source: NCVER)
    This report explores the factors that contribute to successful course completion for students with a mental illness, with a particular focus on the role of disclosure.
  • Vocational education and training and people with a disability: a review of the research [2008]
    (Source: NCVER)
    This paper summarises what we know about VET participation, education and employment outcomes, and the costs and benefits of vocational education and training for people with a disability.
  • Who's supporting us? TAFE staff perspectives on supporting students with mental illnesses [2008]
    (Source: NCVER)
    Teachers and support staff are at the frontline in responding to the needs of these students and this research explored staff perspectives on how TAFE institutes in Australia are supporting students with mental illnesses.

Focus on practice

  • Australian Disability Clearinghouse on Education and Training (ADCET)
    ADCET provides information and practical guidelines to support disability practitioners, teachers and students to support the improvement of the educational experiences and successful outcomes for students with disability in post-secondary education.
  • disABILITY AWAREness
    • Supporting Students with Disability in VET e-learning programs
      (Source: NDCO/ADCET)
      This series of free training has been developed by the National Disability Co-ordination Officer (NDCO) Program and the Australian Disability Clearinghouse on Education and Training (ADCET) to explore 'disability'. On successful completion of the eLearning participants will receive a Certificate of Completion.
      • The first program, Introduction to Disability Awareness, focuses on promoting an awareness of disability and the impact that societal attitudes and inherent stigma and discrimination have on the lives of people with disability.
      • The second program, VET Staff Supporting Students with Disability, is designed specifically for staff who work in the VET Sector and focuses on promoting awareness about the rights of students with disability, the needs and requirements of students, and responsibilities of registered training organisations. Approximately 45 minutes.
      • The third program, VET Educators Supporting Students with Disability is designed specifically for VET Educators and focuses on promoting a range of practices such as universal design for learning and reasonable adjustments, to support the development and implementation of inclusive delivery and assessment strategies, responsive to the needs and requirements of students with disability. Approximately 90 minutes.
    • Supporting Students in VET Program SCORM files for your Learning Management System
      These SCORM files will enable monitoring of the professional development of staff in relation to building their confidence in communicating and interacting with people with disability.
    • Supporting Students in VET: SCORM file media kit
  • Disability Standards for Education 2005: practice exemplars [2016]
    (Source: Australian Government Department of Education, Skills and Employment)
    These exemplars demonstrate how the standards can be used to support better learning outcomes and educational experiences for students in early learning, schools, vocational education, and higher education settings.
  • Disability toolkit: a leading practice guide to supporting students with a disability in vocational education and training [2005]
    (Source: Equity Research Centre)
  • Helping students with mental illness: lessons from TAFE classrooms [2008]
    (Source: NCVER)
    Aimed at TAFE staff, this brief report provides a summary of the key findings of the report, including lessons from participants about strategies to help students with mental illness, and useful resources.
  • Inclusive education for people with disabilities (PWD): examples of international best practice [2020]
    (Author: Lola Nicolouleas; Publisher: International Specialised Skills Institute, Melbourne)
    Currently in Australia people with disabilities are often discouraged from studying the Certificate IV in disability due to not being able to undertake the placement (120 hours in a support worker role). This may prevent a person with a disability from being able to work within their industry, particularly in NDIS roles. Key objectives of this Fellowship were to understand what other countries [US, Ireland, Belgium and France] are doing to support the education of people with disabilities and then to advocate for change in the Victorian/Australian VET sector. [Edited excerpts from publication]
  • Inclusive practices
    (Source: University of Tasmania)
  • Information should be visual: new and emerging technologies and their application in the VET sector for students who are Deaf and hard of hearing [2001]
    (Source: NCVER)
    This project explored the use of a range of learning technologies by TAFE students who are Deaf and hard of hearing. Infrastructure requirements, such as access to interpreters skilled in Auslan signing for the profoundly Deaf, were also explored.
  • National Disability Coordination Officer (NDCO) Program
    The Australian Government's National Disability Coordination Officer (NDCO) Program works strategically to assist people with disability access and participate in tertiary education and subsequent employment, through a national network of regionally based NDCOs.
  • Return to campus planning
    (Source: ADCET, July 2020)
    The 'Guidelines: responding to the needs of staff and students with disability in COVID-19 return-to-campus planning for Australia's tertiary institutions' aim to complement each institution's general approach to return to campus and enhance existing resources by ensuring that return-to-campus plans are viewed through a 'disability lens'. They provide considerations and practical recommendations to support the safe return of staff and students with disability back onto campus when they are comfortable and able to do so.
  • Staying the course: a guide to working with students with mental illness [2nd edition, 2012]
    (Source: Western Australian Department of Training and Workforce Development)
  • Staying the course: a guide to working with students with mental illness: facilitator's guide [2nd edition, 2012]
    (Source: Western Australian Department of Training and Workforce Development)
  • Supporting Deaf and hard of hearing students online [2020]
    (Source: Australian Disability Clearinghouse on Education and Training)
    These guidelines have been written by a team of disability, accessibility and education design specialists, many of whom are Deaf and hard of hearing themselves, to address the challenges around the provision of inclusive online education exacerbated by COVID-19.
    Topics covered include: Supporting deaf and hard of hearing students; Online learning impacts and challenges; Using captions and transcripts for online delivery; Videoconferencing applications that support captions and transcripts; Lecture capture technology that supports captions and transcripts; Free captioning and transcription online service; Speech-to-text and mobile translation applications; Adaptive technology and equipment; Other tools and considerations; Sign language and interpreters; Teaching etiquette, tips and tricks; Event planning guidelines; Other recommendations including National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) funding support for students, face masks, and self-advocacy.
  • Supporting dyslexic trainees in classroom and workplace environments [NZ, 2016]
    (Source: Ako Aotearoa)
  • Supporting tertiary students with a disability or mental illness: good practice guide [2015]
    (Source: NCVER)
  • Universal Design for Learning in tertiary education: a scoping review and recommendations for implementation in Australia [2022]
    (Source: Australian Disability Clearinghouse on Education and Training)
    Universal Design for Learning (UDL) is a learning design approach that recognises there is no 'average' learner. UDL reduces the need for reasonable adjustments and enhances the experience of all learners, including those with disability. This scoping review provides a systematic comparison of the application of UDL in Australian and international tertiary education systems. This work has been used by the Australian Disability Clearinghouse on Education and Training (ADCET) and the National Disability Coordination Officer (NDCO) Program to inform the development of Australia's first free online UDL training for tertiary educators.

Adaptive/assistive technologies - focus on practice

Reasonable adjustment

Overview

  • Reasonable adjustment is a legislative term that, for VET, refers to a measure or action taken by an education provider to enable learners with disability to participate in education and training on the same basis as learners without disability.
  • All RTOs are obliged to provide reasonable adjustment to ensure maximum participation of learners with disability. Its purpose is to make it possible for learners with disability:

Focus on practice

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Students with culturally diverse backgrounds

Indigenous students

Free resources

Research

Focus on practice

  • Literacy support for Indigenous people: current systems and practices in Queensland [2006]
    (Source: NCVER)
    This study explored the literacy and numeracy support systems available to Indigenous VET students and determined which systems work for both students and teachers and produce positive outcomes for Indigenous students, including successful completion. This has resulted in a set of best practice guidelines for designing and developing literacy and numeracy support systems for Indigenous students.
  • Literacy support for Indigenous VET students: good practice guide [2006]
    (Source: NCVER)
    This guide aims to assist teachers by providing a set of 'good practice' strategies for designing effective literacy and numeracy programs for Indigenous VET students, and for building effective literacy and numeracy support into existing VET courses.
  • LLNP Resource Project: resource for LLNP teachers working with Indigenous learners [2012]
    (Source: Linda Wyse and Associates)This project seeks to improve clients' language, literacy and/or numeracy (LLN) with the expectation that such improvements will enable them to participate more effectively in training or in the labour force and lead to greater gains for society in the longer term. Access to quality teaching resources is a challenge faced by registered training organisations (RTOs) in the delivery of the LLNP to Indigenous learners. The purpose of this resource is to introduce the LLNP to RTOs; outline key protocols regarding engagement with Indigenous communities; suggest teaching practices and methodologies; provide practical assistance and support for LLNP teachers; and provide culturally appropriate LLNP tailored resources for classroom use.
  • Ready for work: stories of innovative vocational education and training for regional and remote Indigenous students at Charles Darwin University [2019]
    (Source: Charles Darwin University)
    This review investigated the specific factors that are contributing to the success of CDU's regional and remote Indigenous VET programs and how the programs can be improved into the future. This report provides a series of case studies of VET programs at CDU that are recognised for delivering positive outcomes for regional and remote Indigenous students in the Northern Territory (NT).
  • VET retention in remote Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities [2017]
    (Source: NCVER)
    This good practice guides synthesises the findings of the five case studies and looks at the factors that are important in enabling retention and ensuring good practice.
  • Working with diversity [2004]
    (Source: Australian National Training Authority)
    This three-part kit covers three areas: (1) Working with diversity: quality training for Indigenous Australians; (2) Working with diversity: quality training for people with a disability; and (3) Working with diversity: a guide to equity and the Australian Quality Training Framework (AQTF).

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  • Australian Journal of Indigenous Education
    (Source: Cambridge University Press and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies Unit, The University of Queensland)
  • Indigenous vocational education and training [archived, 2013]
    (Source: NCVER)
    Created and presented by NCVER, the purpose of the resource was to provide a simple summary of NCVER's statistics and research on Indigenous Australians (including both Torres Strait Islanders and Aboriginal people) and VET. The resource was decommissioned in November 2013. This document provides archival access to the contents of the resource prior to its decommissioning.
  • Podlet - Indigenous

Students with other cultural backgrounds

Free resources

Research

  • Finding the right time and place: exploring post-compulsory education and training pathways for young people from refugee backgrounds in NSW [2010]
    (Source: Refugee Council of Australia)
    The aim of this research is to bring together evidence of good practice in the provision of education and training that meet the needs of refugee young people (16-24 years old) who settle in Australia with a history of disrupted education, as well as proposing ways forward in addressing identified gaps. One aspect was to research 'models of excellence' for how different programs and education providers are providing pathways into education and training that meet the needs of this group of young people.
  • Refugee access and participation in tertiary education and training [2008]
    (Source: Institute for Community, Ethnicity and Policy Alternatives,  Victoria University)
    This research was undertaken to identify best practice in refugee access to education and training. The research focused on Victorian tertiary institutions (TAFE and higher education) that had demonstrable experience in providing targeted programs for refugee students. The research focused on two dual-sector higher education bodies (Victoria University and RMIT) and two standalone TAFE institutes (Northern Melbourne Institute of TAFE and Goulburn Ovens Valley TAFE, Shepparton), with data being collected in both TAFE and higher education divisions.
  • Vocational education and training for people from non-English-speaking backgrounds: review of research [1998]
    (Source: NCVER)
    Provides a summary of the major research conducted into the issue of the participation in VET programs by those with a non-English-speaking background. It covers who they are, the policy agenda, their participation in programs, the outcomes achieved and factors influencing both participation and outcomes.

Focus on practice

For purchase

This is an example only of a commercially available product. Inclusion on this list does not signify endorsement by NCVER.

  • Teaching international students in vocational education: new pedagogical approaches [2013]
    (Source: ACER Press)
    This book is designed to support vocational education teachers in both addressing the distinctive learning characteristics of international students and preparing domestic students for global skills mobility in the 'Asian Century'. Grounded in theories about teaching and learning in vocational and international education, and supported by empirical data drawn from interviews with teachers and program managers, the book expounds several evidence-based, highly effective, pedagogical approaches within the context of competency-based training.

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Students from disadvantaged backgrounds

Free resources

Research

  • Disadvantaged learners and VET to higher education transitions [2014]
    (Source: NCVER)
    Based on a review of the literature, this paper synthesises what is currently known about these transitions for disadvantaged learners.
  • Effective teaching and support of students from low socioeconomic status backgrounds: resources for Australian higher education [2012]
    (Source: Department of Industry, Innovation, Science, Research and Tertiary Education)
    Synthesis and analysis of the interview data revealed four key themes to which institutions and staff need to attend to ensure the effective teaching and support of students from low socioeconomic status (LSES) backgrounds: employing inclusive teaching characteristics and strategies; enabling student agency; facilitating life and learning support; and taking into account students’ financial challenges.
  • Impact of TAFE inclusiveness strategies [2008]
    (Source: NCVER)
    This report examines the nature and effectiveness of 'inclusiveness' strategies implemented by TAFE institutes in Australia. The research identified three approaches to inclusiveness: compliance, existing cohort and community obligation. It is accompanied by case studies.
  • Improving participation and success in VET for disadvantaged learners [2018]
    (Source: NCVER)
    Identified through the analysis of a number of data sources, this research explores the strategies and practices in place at TAFE, private and community education providers who achieve high participation and completion rates with disadvantaged learners.
  • Making training work for women [2000]
    (Source: NCVER)
    This study examined women's experiences in the VET system at the time derived from a qualitative focus group study with extensive use of participants' own voices. The report identifies some critical factors for women's success and suggests strategies for training providers and brokers in relation to these. Implications for new training arrangements, including New Apprenticeships and user choice, and for further policy development, are also discussed.
  • Men's sheds in Australia: Learning through community contexts [2007]
    (Source: NCVER)
    Community-run men's sheds have recently developed and proliferated, mainly across parts of southern Australia and with higher proportions of older men not in work. This study examines their role as a place for older men to learn informally. It concludes that such sheds have important wellbeing and health benefits, primarily for older and retired men.
  • National report on social equity in VET 2013
    (Source: National VET Equity Advisory Council)
    This report provides comprehensive information and analysis on the participation, achievement and transitions from the Australian vocational education and training (VET) system for learner groups which have been identified as at risk of disadvantage.
  • Re-engaging disadvantaged learners in education, training and employment [2016]
    (Source: Jesuit Social Services)
    This paper articulates how more support can be put in place for vulnerable people to better engage in education and training, and to have effective pathways to sustainable employment.
  • Reluctant learners: their identities and educational experiences [2008]
    (Source: NCVER)
    Drawing on interviews with students in regional and rural areas of the Northern Territory, this paper looks at their participation in education and training. The paper suggests that learning strategies which acknowledge rural learners' identities may be successful in engaging regional and remote learners in education and training.

Focus on practice

  • A pedagogic framework for socially inclusive VET: principles, strategies and capabilities [2012]
    (Source: National VET Equity Advisory Council)
    This report identifies a common set of pedagogic principles, strategies and capabilities for teaching and training disadvantaged learners to enable them to successfully participate in and complete Australian VET programs. The principles, strategies and capabilities are collectively referred to as the Pedagogic Framework for Socially Inclusive VET (Pedagogic Framework).
  • Good e-practice guidelines for disadvantaged learners in VET [2013]
  • (Source: Flexible Learning Advisory Group)
    Four themes emerged that are critical to address when implementing e-learning strategies: a learner-centred approach; support strategies; blended delivery models; and accessibility.
  • Inclusive Learning Framework
    (Source: Queensland Department of Employment, Small Business and Training)

For purchase

This is an example only of a commercially available product. Inclusion on this list does not signify endorsement by NCVER.

  • Practising inclusion: working and teaching for social justice [microcredential, 2022]
    (Source: UTS Open)
    This interactive microcredential delivered by UTS Open will introduce you to the fundamentals of equity, human rights and social justice and their role in shaping the higher education space. You will reflect on student and staff experiences, your own values and practices, and explore practical solutions and strategies that you will be able to integrate into your professional and social practices.

Access more items in VOCEDplus

Related VOCEDplus resources