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Targeted teaching

My colleagues and I employ teaching strategies which are the most effective researched teaching methods for a person with an intellectual disability

Recently the Grattan Institute published a report that recommends "greater use of proven programs that lead to better targeted teaching." The National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER) has published its quarterly data for government-funded students in Vocational Education and it states that 9% of the students enrolled have a disability.

I would like to use this opportunity to give recognition to the work done by disability teachers and support staff who work alongside the vocational teachers to ensure the learning needs of students with disabilities are met.

Our labour market is undergoing a great deal of structural change. Industries that employed unskilled labour are now in decline.  People with disabilities are pushed further into poverty and marginalised as they aren't able to access the necessary skillsets and qualifications without appropriate teaching. Training providers have a responsibility to consider this when assessing their provision of quality service and training. As well as ensuring quality service provision, disability teachers ensure compliance with the Disability Discrimination Act 1992.

People with intellectual disabilities are further marginalised as they encounter very specific and different challenges compared to other disability groups at TAFE. These students have individual needs and learning characteristics. Disability teachers have the expertise and knowledge to provide differentiated instruction for these students.

There is a common misconception that simply providing extra time for students with an intellectual disability is enough to fulfil their learning needs. However, this one-size-fits-all approach to teaching is not good enough for most of these students. My colleagues and I employ teaching strategies which are the most effective researched teaching methods for a person with an intellectual disability. Anecdotal evidence collected in my section indicates high rates of completion and attrition to higher level courses.

Vocational sections working in partnership with disability teachers have led to successful outcomes. The disability teacher has the expertise and knowledge to determine the types of reasonable adjustments required and is able to evaluate their effectiveness. This way, all students with disabilities have better outcomes.