Kymberly Martin

New national online platform to support inclusive classrooms

In what is  an Australian first, inclusionED, an online platform that assists educators to support students at school or learning from home,  has been launched by Education Minister Dan Tehan, (pictured).  The new resource is intended to be a vital step to creating inclusive classrooms for students with learning difficulties or neurodevelopmental disabilities and is a collaboration between the Autism Cooperative Research Centre (CRC) and the Queensland University of Technology (QUT),

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inclusionED will play an important role in the national approach to addressing these challenges, Autism CRC program director and QUT Faculty of Education associate  dean, Professor Suzanne Carrington said.

“It will be a hugely valuable resource for teachers across the nation, supporting them to make education inclusive for all learners, including those with learning difficulties or neurodevelopmental disabilities. I encourage Australia’s educators to get online and explore the site,” she said.

The platform provides evidence-based and research informed teaching practices, videos, printable templates and other resources. Parents can also utilise the free tools to support their children to learn from home.

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“The research underpinning inclusionED’s practices has been undertaken through 25 Autism CRC projects over six years,” CEO Andrew Davis said.

Autism Queensland contributed to the research underpinning inclusionEd, that included projects that focused on strategies to help students to stay on task and express themselves in writing, research and development manager, Dr Jill Ashburner said.

“Participation in busy mainstream classrooms can be highly challenging and at times overwhelming for many students on the autism spectrum,” she said. “Our research focused on strategies and supports that could be seamlessly embedded into everyday classroom practice, benefiting not only students on the spectrum but also other students with additional learning needs.

“For example, we conducted research into a range of visual supports to make it easier for students to transition from one task to another, and technologies to improve their capacity to express themselves in writing.”

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