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The functional impact of a student’s disability in relation to education includes the impact on curriculum access and participation, communication, mobility, personal care and social participation. Other areas that might be considered for some students are safety, motor development, emotional wellbeing, sensory needs and transitions.
Functional needs refers to a student’s educational and support needs across a range of domains which may include, but are not limited to:
- key learning areas: changes required in curriculum and teaching practices to enable a student to achieve the learning outcomes described in syllabus documents
- communication: a student’s ability to receive and understand information being conveyed by others (receptive language) and a student’s ability to convey a message to others (expressive language)
- participation: a student’s ability to engage in successful interactions and participate effectively in the full school program (social competence) and the management strategies required to ensure a student’s safety (safety and wellbeing)
- personal care: essential hygiene routines that require intensive individual management to support participation (hygiene), eating/drinking/dietary needs which require individual management (eating and dietary), and the procedures specified in an individual health care plan that require specialised support (health care procedures)
- movement: a student’s level of functional independence in mobility and positioning (mobility and positioning) and a student’s ability to use the hand motor skills required to participate in learning activities (hand motor skills).