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Minister's Policy: Criteria to Decide a Person is a "Person with a Disability" for the purpose of Enrolment in State Special Schools

s.165(2), Education (General Provisions) Act 2006

Minister's Criteria

The Minister's Policy for the criteria to decide whether a person is a person with a disability, for the purpose of enrolment in State Special Schools, is that the person must meet the following criteria:

The decision maker for the purposes of s.166 and s.167 of the Education (General Provisions) Act 2006, will, in their absolute discretion, determine whether a person satisfies the criteria outlined above.

Definitions for this Policy

Intellectual Disability

An intellectual disability is characterised by deficits in intellectual functioning and adaptive behaviour. The person's identified level of functioning results in activity limitations and participation restrictions at school requiring significant education adjustments.

Intellectual functioning

Intellectual functioning associated with intellectual disability is characterised by deficits in reasoning, problem solving, planning, abstract thinking, judgement, academic learning and learning from life experiences. This is typically associated with an Intelligence Quotient (IQ) score of approximately 70 or below.

Adaptive behaviour

Adaptive behaviour associated with intellectual disability is characterised by deficits that impair functioning in comparison to a person's age and cultural group in one or more aspects of daily living such as communication, social participation, functioning at school or work, or independence.


According to the Disability Standards for Education 2005, an adjustment is a measure or action taken to assist a student with a disability to participate on the same basis as other students.

It should be noted that for the purposes of verification, significant education adjustments:

A departmental verifier-intellectual disability will determine whether a person satisfies the criteria outlined above.

Severe Disability

'Severe Disability' means a disability where the impact of the intellectual disability, or multiple impairments (including an intellectual disability), results in the student requiring a highly individualised program to access and participate in education.

A highly individualised program includes the following:

Specialised health needs

Specialised health needs are defined as procedures/interventions that are essential to enable a student to access their educational program. They are requested, prescribed and/or established by an appropriate qualified health professional and incorporate routine and/or emergency procedures and interventions.

Specialised health procedures and interventions include, but are not limited to:

Special Education

Special education is defined in Schedule 4 of the Education (General Provisions) Act 2006 to mean the educational programs and services:

  1. appropriate to the needs of persons with a disability; and
  2. additional to, or otherwise different from, educational programs and services generally available to persons of the relevant age who are not persons with a disability.

Special School

Special school is defined in Schedule 4 of the Education (General Provisions) Act 2006 Act to mean a State school only providing special education.

Departmental Verifier - Intellectual Disability

A person employed by the department who must be a registered teacher and a registered psychologist.

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This page was last reviewed on 02 Jul 2013 at 11:38AM

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