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CASE STUDY Talia, Supplementary, Cognitive

Year level
Educational setting
Mainstream school

Level of adjustment
Category of disability
Included in data collection

Talia's story

Talia is a 13-year-old girl in Year 7 who has been enrolled in a regional secondary school for six months. When Talia arrived at the school, her family was unable to provide any prior school reports or other external assessments, but said she had struggled in primary school. As part of the enrolment process, with her parent’s consent, the principal contacted Talia’s previous school who advised that she appeared to have significant learning issues despite the provision of supports and adjustments. Talia’s attendance had become a problem during Year 6. 

Initial screening by the learning support teacher at Talia’s new school found gaps in her literacy and numeracy. In consultation with Talia and her family, a personalised learning plan was developed and provided to Talia's teachers, identifying her strengths and the areas impacting on her academic functional abilities.

Talia’s teachers indicate she has difficulty following complex spoken instructions and reading and comprehending longer texts. Talia has been provided with a tablet device for some activities, which enables her to use the accessibility features to support her reading. Talia’s teachers provide a digital version of some assessment tasks that she accesses using the tablet device. Teachers also check the readability levels of class texts, and provide scaffolds for written work. In some learning areas, Talia is provided with alternative options for texts and handouts. 

The school’s ICT teacher meets weekly with Talia to provide additional instruction on technology options in subjects with a literacy and numeracy focus. He also emails her family about ways to consolidate technology skills at home. Talia has responded well to the use of assistive technology and her teachers have noted an improvement in her ability to demonstrate her knowledge.

In a recent email to the school, Talia’s family indicated she is on a waiting list for a psychometric assessment and paediatric consultation.

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

  • Step 1. Is there an adjustment to address disability? 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, Talia has an imputed disability. Based on teacher professional judgement, it is believed that Talia has a disorder or malfunction that results in the person learning differently from a person without the disorder or malfunction. 

  • Do you have evidence? Yes

    • Enrolment meeting notes and phone records between the Principal and the previous school 
    • Initial literacy and numeracy screening conducted by the learning support teacher
    • Personalised learning plan provided to all subject teachers 
    • Meeting notes with the Learning Support teacher, Talia and her family 
    • Annotations of adjustments provided to Talia in teacher programs 
    • Work samples showing scaffolded materials, alternative tasks and assessments
    • ICT teacher’s schedule for technology support
    • Email correspondence between Talia’s family and the computer teacher
    • Email correspondence between Talia’s family and the school about a psychometric assessment and paediatric consultation 
  • Step 2. What is the level of adjustment? Supplementary

    Talia requires adjustments for particular activities in many learning areas at specific times throughout the week including:

    • adapted and additional instruction 
    • personalised and additional instruction 
    • access to learning through specialised technology
    • weekly meetings with the computer teacher about accessing technology.
  • Step 3. What is the category of disability? Cognitive

    In the absence of a formal diagnosis, the school has identified that Talia should be included under the cognitive category. This is based on the adjustments that are being provided to support Talia for an imputed disability. 

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

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