Disability conversations: Imputed disability - School perspectives
This second season of NCCD Portal podcasts focuses on how schools can support students with either a diagnosed disability or an imputed disability so they can be successful learners across different education settings.
In this episode, we focus on how schools can impute a disability. This is when a student is considered to have an undiagnosed disability that has a functional impact on their learning. Schools use evidence and data they have collected to inform their decision to impute a disability. This information is then used to shape reasonable adjustments to enable them to learn and participate in schooling alongside their classmates.
You’ll meet, Principal Rebecca Fahey who explains what kinds of indicators to look for and the various categories of evidence to collect. Head of Diverse Learning Helen Thomas discusses the benefits students experience once a disability is imputed and the appropriate adjustments are put in place. And inclusive practice consultant Saisha Khanna reminds us of the importance of cultural context when having conversations with parents around imputing disability.
Top five takeaways
Carefully collect and retain evidence and data based on the student’s need for classroom adjustments.
Before imputing a disability exists it is important to rule out any other factors that may be impacting a student’s school performance that aren’t related to disability.
Put a considered plan in place as to where and how you will communicate with families and listen to their concerns, depending on their needs.
Recognise that cultural context plays an important role in imputing a disability. So, be prepared to frame conversations that are constructive and culturally appropriate.
Build a relationship of collaboration with families by leveraging existing connections.
What types of evidence and data do I need to impute a disability?
What questions do I have to ask to distinguish between a learning difference and a learning disability?
What’s the best way to prepare to have conversations with parents, and what do I need to consider?
What steps do I need to take to remove the stigma that can be associated with disability when framing conversations with families?
How can I best communicate with families within the context of their own cultural differences and needs?
Rebecca Fahey, Principal, St Joseph’s School, Peterborough, SA
Helen Thomas, Head of Diverse Learning, Brigidine College, St Ives, NSW
Saisha Khanna, Consultant – Inclusive practice, Early Years and Education Services (EYES), Department of Education, NT
Listen on the go
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