The Australian Disability Clearinghouse on Education and Training (ADCET) has a range of resources and activities that are well worth a look.
Three important projects are also in the works that will hopefully assist VET providers who have students with a disability.
What’s ADCET’s mission?
Based at the University of Tasmania “ADCET’s mission is to contribute to the improvement of the educational experiences and to the successful outcomes for students with disability in post-secondary education.”
They do this by “providing information and practical guidelines to support disability practitioners, teachers and students” and “facilitating information exchange by disseminating relevant information on adjustments, inclusive teaching and assessment strategies.” This includes disseminating information on good practice and encouraging the “sharing of information among practitioners which will allow people with common interests and purposes.”
What’s on ADCET’s site?
Going to their site you can find resources that enable you to understand disability, look at specific disabilities and think about issues related to working with students as well as teaching and assessment issues. There are VET educator pages too. It’s well worth a look around if you need more help in working with students with a disability.
Some new work!
Recently, ADCET has been funded by the Department of Education, Skills and Employment (DESE) to undertake three new projects. The projects will:
Develop resources to build RTO capability to support students with disability with a focus on advising, reviewing and developing “a variety of resources to assist and build RTO capability to support students with disability to engage with and undertake training in the VET sector.” (Project 1)
Develop resources for course designers to support removing unnecessary barriers within training packages and accredited courses for students with disability. This work will “provide advice on, and develop resources, guidance and best practice examples for qualification and course developers to ensure training packages and accredited courses are designed without posing a barrier for students with disability undertaking VET.” (Project 2)
Review and analyse enrolment practices for students with disability “to identify best practice and explore how self-identification of a disability at enrolment informs RTO practices to supporting students throughout their engagement with VET.” (Project 3)
The projects are ‘on the go’ and you can get updates here. VDC will also keep an eye on this work too.
Then there’s the data!
NCVER has just released VET disability stats, which you can access here. In summary, those with a disability are underrepresented in VET at 5% of students. In contrast, those with a disability are 18% of the Australian population and 9% of the workforce.
Nearly 171,500 VET students were identified as having a disability while just over 3.25 million did not. Most with a disability (62%) were aged under 40 years and just over half (54%) were undertaking government funded training (in contrast only 33% of non-disability students were in this category) and were studying a qualification (70%). There is other useful information on NCVER’s site, including information on relative achievements and outcomes.
The NCVER site also contains data on other equity groups, including those in remote areas, those of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander background as well as for people from non-English speaking or low socio-economic status backgrounds. You can download a PDF of the report here, as well as access data tables.