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A chronology of special education in Queensland

1875-1900 | 1900-1925 | 1925-1950 | 1950-1975 | 1975-2000 | 2000-2009



  • Backward classes became Opportunity classes, as recommended by Kathleen Sheehy.


  • Administrative control of the Blind, Deaf and Dumb Institution (Juvenile Section) was transferred from the Department of Home Affairs to the Department of Public Instruction.


  • Dutton Park Opportunity School was established with Kathleen Sheehy as the first head teacher, following the closure of the South Brisbane Opportunity Classes.


  • The first group hearing aid equipment was provided at the Queensland School for the Deaf.
  • Under the Backward Persons Act of 1938, backward children were now seen as the responsibility of the Department of Health and Home Affairs, and were placed in mental health institutions.


  • A psychologist J J Pratt was appointed Educational Guidance Officer.


  • As a result of the survival of children with cerebral palsy, the Queensland Spastic Welfare League was formed. The Department of Public Instruction established a school within this institution.
  • Individual hearing aids are provided to deaf students at the Queensland School for the Deaf.


  • Research and Guidance Branch established, with William Wood as Principal Research and Guidance Officer

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Last reviewed
10 January 2013
Last updated
10 January 2013