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ACECQA's new Disability Discrimination Act Resources

Have you considered how the Disability Discrimination Act is relevant to your service? ACECQA have recently released a suite of simple, practical resources specifically developed for educators in early childhood and OSHC services.

To find out more, click here to access the resources from ACECQA , or make contact with your Inclusion Professional.

The NSW/ACT Inclusion Agency

Specialist Equipment Library

The Specialist Equipment Library (SEL) provides eligible early childhood education and care services (ECEC) with access to a range of resources, free of charge, to increase their capacity and capability to provide quality inclusive practices and address participation barriers.

The Specialist Equipment Library supports children with additional needs to be included alongside their typically developing peers.

Please note: Specialist equipment resources cannot be used for therapy purposes.

Borrowing Specialist Equipment

To borrow specialist equipment a service must:

  • Discuss their need for specialist equipment with their Inclusion Professional
  • Identify the need for specialist equipment through developing or updating their Strategic Inclusion Plan, within a set timeframe, with their Inclusion Professional
  • Complete the SEL Loan Request form with their Inclusion Professional

If specialist equipment is recommended by a relevant professional (e.g. occupational therapist or physiotherapist), the recommendation must be:

  • Endorsed and agreed to by an Inclusion Professional before a request to access specialist equipment is submitted and
  • Supported by the service’s Strategic Inclusion Plan, when finalised

When a service’s need for specialist equipment to facilitate and support the inclusion of a child (or children) is identified, the Inclusion Professional will:

  • Discuss the SEL loan process
  • Discuss the practicalities and responsibilities of accessing and using equipment
  • Support educators to identify how they can use the equipment in inclusive ways
  • Assist educators to identify and plan for ways the equipment can be used to support the child/ren’s participation alongside their typically developing peers
  • Support the service to complete the SEL Loan Request form and gain input from the child/ren’s family and relevant therapists
  • Submit the request form to the SEL on the service’s behalf

The SEL team will contact the service to discuss and process the request

Types of equipment

Types of equipment available from the Specialist Equipment Library may include:

  • Portable ramps to create access to the environment
  • Standing frames and full support swings to allow a child with physical support needs to participate in the daily program and activities
  • Specialised furniture such as chairs, tables, and positioning equipment to allow a child with physical needs to participate in all experiences
  • Hoists, slings, harnesses, hydraulic change tables, toilet sets or steps, potty chairs, and seating or posture aids to assist educators to respond to children’s personal care needs

Please note: Specialist equipment resources cannot be used for therapy purposes.

Specialist Equipment Library Catalogue

The Specialist Equipment Library provides educators with access to range of resources to assist them to increase their capacity and capability to provide quality inclusive practices and address participation barriers.

Our online catalogue provides an opportunity to explore the extensive range of resources on offer. The availability of each resource can be seen just below each item and further information, including inclusion possibilities, can be viewed by clicking on the image.

If a resource is listed as unavailable, please contact the Inclusion Professional supporting the service.

Information for Families

A service’s need for specialist equipment to facilitate and support the inclusion of a child (or children) is identified, through conversations and collaboration between educators, families, therapists and Inclusion Professionals.

Access to specialist equipment can support your child to:

  • Join in games with friends
  • Stand or sit at a table activity alongside other children
    • Encouraging shared interactions
    • Turn taking
    • Shared fun
  • Access a variety of activities provided by the program for all children including:
    • Fine motor experiences
    • Sensory activities such as sand and water play
    • Creative and art opportunities
    • Cognitive challenges and learning
    • Group activities

How can you assist your early childhood education and care service to support the inclusion of your child through accessing specialist equipment?

  • Provide the contact details of therapists/specialists (such as occupational therapist or physiotherapist) working with your child to the service
  • Participate in ongoing conversations with the service educators and your child’s therapists to determine:
    • the challenges for your child’s participation
    • A vision of the possibilities for inclusion and
    • The equipment required to best facilitate this vision for inclusion and your child’s engagement and social interactions with their peers and the program
  • Sign a Permission to Share Personal Information form provided to you by your child’s service
  • Sign the Specialist Equipment Library Loan Request Form

Information for Therapists

A service’s need for specialist equipment must be identified in their Strategic Inclusion Plan and be recommended by a relevant professional, such as an occupational therapist or physiotherapist who has knowledge of the child’s biomechanical functional needs.

The service, in conjunction with the child’s allied health professional, will ensure that the equipment requested will best overcome the identified barrier to inclusion and will be suited to the child’s needs within the early childhood and child care environment.

Once equipment is recommended, the Inclusion Professional must endorse and agree to the recommendation prior to a service submitting a SEL application.

Points to consider when recommending specialist equipment:

  • What are the specific inclusion barriers that the specialist equipment will be utilised to overcome?
  • Will educators be able to use the equipment in a safe way?
  • Is training needed and are there any risks to educators regarding storage/setup/adjustments of equipment?
  • Does the recommended specialist equipment support the inclusion of children to engage with typically developing peers?
  • What impact will the equipment have on the existing environment?
  • Provide clear and detailed information on the Specialist Equipment Library Item Request Form so the correct equipment is accessed. For example, size of equipment and the size of area the equipment will be going into, such as toilet space.
  • Are there photographs available of the proposed equipment that can be shared with educators to ensure that they understand the suitability/size/complexity of the equipment before it is requested?

Please note: Specialist equipment resources cannot be used for therapy services

NSW ACT IA Specialist Equipment Library Brochure for Services 2021
1.66 MiB [pdf]
NSWACT IA Specialist Equipment Library Brochure Therapists
1.93 MiB [pdf]

Inclusion in Action

Inclusion image

Inclusive Outcomes through Specialist Equipment

Lucas started his journey at Cubby House for Kids, Townsend, when he was a baby. When it became evident that he would require support to develop the physical skills to be autonomous and independent, we worked with our Inclusion Professional to develop a Strategic Inclusion Plan and accessed equipment from the Specialist Equipment Library.