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CASE STUDY Nozomi, Supplementary, Physical

Year level
Educational setting
Mainstream school

Level of adjustment
Category of disability
Included in data collection

Nozomi's story

Nozomi is in Year 4 at a school of approximately 400 students in the outer suburbs of the city. She has a physical impairment affecting her left leg and gait.

Nozomi is a happy, independent student with a small circle of friends. She is achieving at a sound level in all curriculum areas and favours outdoor learning tasks and activities.

Nozomi wears an orthosis (splint) on her left foot to support her ankle. She does not require assistance to put her orthosis on or take it off. While her physical impairment is not obvious, its impact is apparent in different situations. The school landscape is hilly, with high-set buildings accessible only by stairs. When enrolling her at the school, Nozomi's parents and the school team acknowledged that this may create challenges, but felt her mobility skills and independent nature did not warrant changes to the school's physical environment. A risk management assessment was conducted and a plan written about Nozomi’s mobility and movement around the school environment; including at break times, and during physical education and emergencies.

Nozomi's teacher has made adjustments to the classroom layout (including seating) to facilitate navigation, and is vigilant about the presence of trip hazards. At times, Nozomi experiences fatigue when moving between different school environments, such as from the classroom to the play area. She is reluctant to accept assistance from staff, but will take short breaks on outdoor seating when she tires. These breaks are usually prompted by staff, particularly when stair climbing is involved.

Nozomi has a good relationship with her physical education teacher, who actively collaborates with her and other members of the school team to ensure Nozomi can participate fully in all activities. Nozomi's parents have signed an agreement allowing her to travel to the school pool in a taxi with a staff member and a buddy once a week during swim season.

Nozomi experiences intermittent pain and requires medication administered by staff approximately once per fortnight as recorded in a medical management plan. She also has difficulty with balance when fatigued and is at risk of falling over. Nozomi's pain management and risk of falling are monitored by the school team (including a physiotherapist) who have been trained to provide this support. Nozomi’s parents phone or meet with relevant members of the school team approximately once per term to address arising needs.

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 by the Disability Discrimination Act 1992, Nozomi has a total or partial loss of her bodily or mental functions and a malfunction, malformation or disfigurement of a part of her body.

  • Do you have evidence? Yes

    • Doctor's report about Nozomi's physical impairment
    • Information about Nozomi's self-management of her orthosis
    • Health plan including information about medication, pain management, fatigue, risk of falling
    • Education adjustments implemented, eg by physical education teacher
    • Notes of phone conversations and meetings involving Nozomi, her parents and staff (including the physiotherapist)
    • Parental consent allowing accompanied taxi travel to the school pool
    • Risk assessment and management plan for Nozomi’s transitions in the school environment
  • Step 2. What is the level of adjustment? Supplementary

    • Classroom layout (including seating)
    • Verbal safety prompts when moving between different school environments
    • Short breaks to manage fatigue when moving between different school environments
    • Support to ensure full access to buildings and facilities
    • Collaboration with staff to ensure full participation in physical education activities
    • Accompanied taxi travel to the school pool
    • Pain management medication administered by staff
    • Health and safety monitoring by the school team (including a physiotherapist)
    • Support service provided by the education authority (physiotherapist)
  • Step 3. What is the category of disability? Physical

    Nozomi's physical impairment supports her inclusion in the NCCD category of physical disability.

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

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