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School operations

Accessible Buildings Program

Policy

This policy explains the process that schools must follow to make reasonable adjustments to school facilities for students and staff with disabilities, and in some circumstances, parents with disabilities.

Summary

Details

The Accessible Buildings Program (ABP) is designed to support inclusive government school environments and meet legal obligations under anti-discrimination laws.

Through the ABP, the VSBA assists schools to make ‘reasonable adjustments’ to school facilities for students and staff with a disability. This includes pre-existing disabilities, as well as disabilities that arise during enrolment (or employment) as a result of accident or deterioration of existing conditions.

In some circumstances, applications may also be made through the ABP to make modifications so that parents with a disability can 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.

Adjustments to buildings must be cost effective and flexible to allow for changes in demographics, complex behavioural issues, and medical and technological developments.

Application considerations

Applications to the ABP are assessed on a case-by-case basis due to the varied nature of accessibility requirements for individual students, parents and staff members. Applications are to be be specific to the needs of the student or staff member.

Before lodging an ABP application, schools must exhaust all alternative low and no cost operational and timetabling solutions. Schools can contact their regional provision planning manager for assistance with developing these solutions. For information and resources to help support students with disability, refer to Support students with additional needs.

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 by the Accessible Building Program Guidelines.

Ongoing considerations

Schools must maintain all modifications and additions in good working order.

Definitions

Reasonable adjustments
A ‘reasonable adjustment’ 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

Department policy on making reasonable adjustments to school facilities for students and staff with a disability

Reviewed 28 September 2021

Policy last updated

22 June 2021

Scope

  • Schools

Contact

Victorian School Building Authority For more Contacts refer to Guidance tab

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