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CASE STUDY Isla, Substantial, Physical

Year level
Educational setting
Mainstream school

Level of adjustment
Category of disability
Included in data collection

Isla's story

Isla is in Year 10 at a metropolitan secondary school. She has mild spina bifida and dyslexia (which particularly affects her writing). She also has difficulties with sleep and lives with generalised anxiety, which relates to her physical condition.

Isla’s teachers and parents believe that her physical condition has the greatest impact on her ability to access and participate in learning. For the past year, Isla has worn a splint to assist her movement in different contexts.

Isla's experience of high levels of fatigue and sporadic physical discomfort have impacted her engagement and attendance. Isla's parents collaborate monthly with her teachers and the school counsellor.

Because of her disability, Isla needs additional time to access and participate in her learning program and requires physical support from an adult at all times. She receives direct support from an education assistant who assists her transition between school environments and provides support in physical education classes, including swimming.

Isla receives support from a school counsellor to manage anxiety related to negative self-perception. The counsellor is working with Isla to build her self-confidence in preparation for work experience later in the year.

Information that supports inclusion in the NCCD What's this?

  • Step 1. Is there an adjustment to address disability? Yes

    Yes, adjustments are provided to enable a student with disability to access education on the same basis as other students.

    As defined in the Disability Discrimination Act 1992, Isla has a malfunction, malformation or disfigurement of a part of her body.

  • Do you have evidence? Yes

    • Personalised learning plan
    • Records of phone and email contact with parents
    • Counsellor notes
    • Registration notes from teacher and education assistant on details of support provided daily
    • Learning support team notes
  • Step 2. What is the level of adjustment? Substantial

    • Adjustments throughout the week to ensure Isla is able to access and participate in particular school activities
    • Assistance getting in and out of the swimming pool
    • Personal adult assistance at all times to transition between school environments
    • Counsellor support sessions to manage anxiety associated with physical condition
    • Work experience planning with school counsellor and support staff (eg transitions to and from a workplace)
  • Step 3. What is the category of disability? Physical

    Even though she also has a learning disability and a social/emotional disability, Isla’s primary disability is categorised as physical. This category was chosen because it is the main driver of Isla’s adjustments.

  • Step 4. Record and submit the data Yes (Student is included)

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