This policy explains how schools can access the Accessible Buildings Program to make reasonable to school facilities for eligible members of the school community with disability, and to purchase hearing equipment for students with hearing loss.
- Schools may apply to the Victorian School Building Authority for assistance to make reasonable adjustments to school facilities for students and staff with disability, and in some circumstances, parents/cares with disability.
- Before making an application to the VSBA, schools must exhaust all alternative solutions for low-and-no-cost operational and timetabling to make the reasonable adjustments, as required under the Disability Discrimination Act 1992 and the Disability Standards for Education 2005 .
- The cost of works funded by the Accessible Buildings Program must exceed $5,000 (GST inclusive), any works required that are less than this amount will need to be paid by the school. An exception to this minimum cost is for applications for hearing equipment. Where possible, the school should provide a quote for works to be undertaken.
- This policy falls within the ‘manage’ stage of the school asset lifecycle.
The Accessible Buildings Program (ABP) supports government schools to create inclusive school environments and meet legal obligations under anti-discrimination laws.
Adjustments to buildings must be cost effective and flexible to allow for changes in demographics and medical and technological developments.
Through the ABP, the VSBA assists schools to make reasonable to school facilities to enable students and staff with disability to participate in regular school activities. This includes students and staff with pre-existing disability, as well as disabilities that arise during enrolment (or employment) as a result of accident or deterioration of existing conditions.
In some circumstances, schools may also access the ABP to make reasonable adjustments to school facilities for parents and carers with disability, to enable them to access key areas of the school where they will need to attend, for example, theatres, assembly halls, the office and pick up/drop off points.
Refer to the Guidance tab for further details about eligibility criteria:
Applications to the ABP are assessed on a case-by-case basis due to the varied nature of accessibility requirements for eligible members of the school community with disability. Applications must be specific to the needs of the person.
Before lodging an ABP application, schools must exhaust all alternative low and no cost operational and timetabling solutions. Schools can contact their regional provision and planning manager for assistance with developing these solutions. For information and resources to support students with disability, refer to Support students with additional .
The cost of works delivered through the ABP must exceed $5,000 (GST inclusive), except for applications for hearing equipment. Where possible, the school should provide a quote for the works as part of their ABP application.
Schools seeking to submit an application for the ABP must comply with the requirements, eligibility criteria and exclusions set out in the Guidance tab.
Schools must maintain all modifications and additions funded by the ABP in good working order.
For the purposes of the Accessible Buildings Program, a reasonable is determined by the VSBA, working with the school, through consideration of factors including:
- an individual’s circumstances and adjustments required
- health professional reports and advice
- school circumstances and accessibility of existing facilities
- effects on other users of the facilities
- the costs and benefits of making the adjustment.
Relevant legislation, codes and standards
- AS 1428 – Design for access and
- Australian Standards
- Building Code of Australia
- Building Quality Standards Handbook (latest edition) (staff login required)
- Disability Access to Premises Building Standards 2010
- Disability Discrimination Act 1992
- Disability Standards for Education 2005
- Equal Opportunity Act 2010
- Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004
Reviewed 08 December 2022