Specialist Disability Support in Schools Program



The Specialist Disability Support in Schools (SDSS) Program supports schools by providing funding to approved organisations to deliver services to improve access to and participation in curriculum and the educational outcomes for eligible school-aged students with disability.

Organisations are funded under 3-year agreements for the funding categories (1) school support services and (2) resource centre services and 1-year agreements for (3) specialised equipment.

Information regarding the application process for funding can be found at the how to apply for funding page.


An eligible applicant must:

  1. be a registered charity or incorporated not-for-profit entity or local government entity
  2. provide programs or activities designed specifically for students with disability
  3. not be a school unless accredited to provide special education.

Student eligibility

To be eligible to receive a SDSS service, a student must be enrolled in a Queensland school (state or non-state) and be identified in 1 of the following ways.

  • A student who was recorded in the latest submission of the Nationally Consistent Collection of Data on School Students with Disability (NCCD) as receiving supplementary, substantial or extensive adjustments.
  • A student where the school requires assistance to address a barrier to the student’s physical access to the school environment.
  • A student who is new to the school (including Prep students), where the school has evidence of a diagnosed disability and has confirmed by the end of Term 1 that the adjustments provided are consistent with any of these descriptors in the NCCD guidelines (please refer to the 'NCCD selecting the level of adjustment' matrix)​
    • Supplementary: The student receives adjustments supplementary to the strategies and resources already available for all students within the school for particular activities at specific times throughout the week.
    • Substantial: The student has substantial support needs and receives essential adjustments and requires considerable assistance to the usual educational program at most times, on most days.
    • Extensive: The student has very high support needs and is provided with extensive targeted measures and sustained levels of intensive support at all times.

It is recognised that a small number of students with disability require support to access and participate in education on the same basis as their peers without disability as soon as they commence school.

For Prep students or new students to a school, where the student has a diagnosed disability and documented ongoing complex needs, schools can apply for SDSS Program services to commence at the start of the school year if the student requires immediate support to access and participate in learning and/or for their safe attendance at school.

The important distinctions between the department's SDSS Program and the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) are available in the schools, the SDSS Program and the NDIS video – ​ transcript​​.​

Please note the Non School Organisations (NSO) Program was replaced by the SDSS P​rogram. The same distinctions apply regarding the NDIS.​

Find out more about the program


SDSS program contacts


Phone: (07) 3513 6743

Last updated 11 December 2023