How to apply for funding


The Specialist Disability Support in Schools (SDSS) Program is currently closed to new applications.

The new application process for 3-year funding is expected to open in July 2021.

Submissions from current SDSS organisations for the Specialised Equipment funding category are now open. 

The following attachments must be completed and emailed to to make a submission for the Specialised Equipment category in 2020:

SDSS Program terms and conditions

Approved applicants will receive an offer of program funding together with a Service agreement – Standard terms (PDF, 553KB).

The second part of the agreement, the Funding and Service Details, provides specific information about the funding, service provision and reporting requirements for individual government programs. Examples of these requirements for the SDSS Program include:

  • organisation funding and service details
  • educational and financial accountability and reporting requirements
  • protocols for school visits
  • school request for support form
  • audit statements
  • annual certificate of expenditure.

Frequently asked questions

What are the main differences between the Non-School Organisation (NSO) Program and the SDSS Program?

A summary of the primary differences include:

  • program guidelines established summarising program eligibility, assessment criteria, terms and conditions
  • funding categories consolidated into three categories
  • separate applications and reporting for each funding category
  • greater focus on outcomes aligned with program objectives
  • revised reporting requirements
  • school surveys no longer a requirement
  • reduction in the number of case studies required
  • revised service agreement and funding and service details.
When is the SDSS application submission deadline?

The deadline for applications for the current funding period (2019 to 2021) of the SDSS program was Wednesday 5 September 2018. New applications for three year funding is expected to open in July 2021.

Can I send an application by post?

We prefer not to accept applications submitted via post due to the information required to be assessed. If you think you will have difficulty submitting your application online, please contact the SDSS Secretariat.

Can I change my application once it has been submitted?

We do not amend, correct, update or change any part of your application once it has been submitted. If you wish to update your application once it has been submitted, but the closing date has not yet passed, you can submit a new, updated application and request to withdraw the original one by emailing

What if there is missing information after the closing date?

We will make contact if clarification or further information is required as part of the assessment process.

Can applications include seeking funding to support organisation operational costs (example: staffing, administration)?

Some operational costs directly related to the services being proposed will be considered for funding. Please refer to the SDSS Program guidelines and funding request templates for more information.

Is the projected student data information for the SDSS Application for a one-year period?

Yes, the student data is on a per annum basis which should align with your funding request template being funding on a per annum basis. If you are an existing organisation with NSO, your 2017 data (students and schools) will be taken into consideration.

Are letters of support required with the SDSS Application?

No, they are not a requirement. If you have letters of support you can mention you have them in your application or you can attach additional documents should you wish.

In making your decision about attaching letters of support, please consider whether the letters demonstrate anything further toward the assessment criteria detailed in the SDSS Program Guidelines.

Who can I speak to if I am unsure how to respond to any of the application questions?

Please make contact with us before the closing date and we can provide information on interpreting the SDSS Program guidelines and about the types of activities that are relevant to each of the funding categories.

However, we are not able to talk through the details of an application or to provide advice that may be perceived as providing an unfair advantage to one applicant over another.

SDSS Program contact details, email:, telephone: (07) 3513 6832 or (07) 3513 6743.

What happens once I submit my application?

You will receive an email notification that your application has been successfully submitted. If you do not receive the confirmation email within a few days, your application may not have been submitted successfully. Please check your junk mail or contact us to discuss.

Applications will be assessed on merit and scored against the criteria outlined in the SDSS Program guidelines.

When will I be notified about the outcome of my application?

Applicants will be notified of the outcome of their application approximately 12 weeks after the closing date. Please see the SDSS Program guidelines for an outline of the assessment process and timeframes.

When will the first funding payment be made if my application is successful?

The first funding payment is expected to be made in March 2019. Please see the Funding and reporting summary (PDF, 193KB) which outlines the timing for funding and reporting.

What are some tips for preparing my application?
  • The application forms set out the required information including required template documents for funding request and student data.
  • Be clear about the nature of your services and outcomes - lengthy applications may not score well when compared to other applications.
  • If we can't form a clear picture of what you plan to achieve, it will reduce your chance of success.
  • Have a person not involved in your services read your application before it is submitted to make sure they understand the services clearly.
  • Avoid acronyms.
  • Think about how you will measure and evaluate the services. Consider whether the methods are rigorous and will stand up to scrutiny.
  • Make a plan and don't leave it until the last minute.

Related links

The following websites offer general information about applying for grants and other funding sources:


Telephone: (07) 3513 6743

Last updated 27 August 2019