Visiting teachers are specialist teachers with expertise and experience in specific disabilities and impairments. They give schools and teachers guidance in supporting engagement and participation of students with disabilities and additional needs.
They work in the areas of:
- physical disability
- health impairment
- hearing loss
- vision impairment
The role of visiting teachers
Visiting teachers work to:
- promote and support inclusion in schools
- build the capacity of teachers to provide for their students with disabilities and additional needs
- help teachers make adjustments to the curriculum and learning environment, including special provision for VCE.
- help teachers create individual plans and recognise the unique needs of each student
- monitor and report on student progress
- provide information and professional learning about disability and how disabilities may affect a student’s learning
- participate in student support group meetings if requested
- give advice and reports for applications, if necessary.
Eligibility for the visiting teacher service
In order for a school to be eligible for the support of a visiting teacher, there is a range of criteria relating to the student's disability that must be met.
Physical disability or health impairment
The disability or health care needs must:
- significantly impact the student's academic, physical, social or emotional development
- require more than four weeks of hospitalisation and convalescence - these students receive an automatic allocation upon request for service
- be confirmed by a recent medical report from a specialist physician.
The hearing loss must be confirmed by a current audiogram and audiologist report. There are some additional factors that may affect the level of support provided. These include:
- degree and type of hearing loss
- age of the student at diagnosis
- effect of hearing loss on the student’s acquisition of speech and language, academic performance and social or emotional wellbeing
- requirements and success of audiological management.
The vision impairment must be confirmed by the Educational Vision Assessment Clinic (EVAC)(opens in a new window) to determine eligibility and provide information about the vision impairment.
Referrals to the visiting teacher service
Referrals to the service are made, by the school, through the Student Online Cases System (SOCS) (SOCS is only available from computers on the department's network). The student’s parent or carer must give consent and fill out the consent form. The form can be found on SOCS and must be submitted with the referral.
Who to contact
In most cases your local regional office is your first point of contact for help, questions or feedback if your school, early childhood service or training service cannot help.