Students with disability program


All Queensland schools are required to adhere to the Disability Discrimination Act 1992 and the Disability Standards for Education 2005. All schools must therefore make reasonable adjustments to ensure students with disability are able to participate in education on the same basis as students without disability.


The purpose and objectives of the program are to:

  • improve access to and participation in curriculum for students with disability in non-state schools through implementation of appropriate adjustments in the areas of:
    • curriculum
    • communication
    • social participation/emotional wellbeing
    • health and personal care
    • safety
    • learning environment/access.
  • support the educational outcomes of eligible students with disability by:
    • ensuring teachers have the support and training they need to plan, implement, review and monitor educational adjustments that promote access to and participation in the life of the school and individual curriculum planning
    • supporting teachers and school leaders to implement strategies that proactively engage all students in all aspects of schooling, including students who require specific strategies to support their participation
    • respecting and embracing parents and families as partners in their child/ren's education
    • using technology and existing networks to share good practice
    • considering the needs of students with disability in any reviews of school resourcing.

Target group – eligibility

Students with disability who are eligible for support under the program are those who meet t​he Queensland criteria, as detailed in the Education Adjustment Program Handbook​ for non-state schools, including students with:

  • autism spectrum disorder (ASD)
  • hearing impairment (HI)
  • intellectual disability (ID)
  • physical impairment (PI)
  • speech–language impairment (SLI)
  • vision impairment (VI).

An additional category of disability is also eligible for support in non-state schools only:

  • social emotional disorder (SED)

Students with temporary medical conditions, or long-term episodic conditions such as epilepsy, are not eligible to receive support under this program.

Use of funds

The funds are to be used to support eligible students through:

  • the improvement of in school resourcing for students with disability. In school support may include: teacher aide time, professional development for teachers working with eligible students with disability, purchase of external support services (including therapists and other specialist support), the purchase of specialised equipment and resources for the student and/or their teachers
  • the provision of centralised or regionalised services to support eligible students with disability.

Administration of the program

The program is administered for each non-state sector by 2 approved authorities—Queensland Catholic Education Commission (QCEC) and Independent Schools Queensland (ISQ)—under a 3-year service agreement.

Allocation of funds

The distribution of funds between the 2 approved authorities for any financial year will be based on the number of students with disability identified in the most recent enrolment census of non-state schools, conducted annually in February by the Non-State Schools Accreditation Board. The total number of students with disability enrolled at schools affiliated with each authority forms the basis for the distribution of funds.

QCEC and ISQ must employ allocative methodologies to disburse the funds in accordance with the purpose and objectives of the Students with disability in non-state schools program.

Accountability overview

The State Government requires QCEC and ISQ to account for the allocation and use of the funds and therefore requires the collection of information from relevant authorities and/or schools to facilitate this requirement.

Schools are required to:

  • hold relevant documentation that verifies the impairment and educational adjustments in place for each eligible student
  • develop, implement and review education plans for each eligible student, which includes any adjustments required to support improved educational outcomes
  • provide audited statements to their respective authority verifying that the funds were expended to support the educational adjustments in place for the eligible student.

Accountability information submitted by QCEC and ISQ for the previous year must be approved by the State Government prior to a scheduled funding payment occurring.

Approved policy

Students with Disability in Non-State Schools Policy

Review of the policy

To maintain relevance, the policy is reviewed every 3 years or as required. The policy was last reviewed in November 2020.

Last updated 28 February 2023