Last year: Budget 2019 funding included an additional $549m for disability services, supports and work programmes across Education, Employment, Health and support for the Non-Government Organisations (NGO) Sector.
This year the Government is investing about $988.8 million into initiatives to support disabled people and disability service providers. This funding includes:
- Education: $58.6m Learning Support Package which includes:
- $38.9 million to adjust learning support funding for 20 to 25 percent of children in early childhood education and schooling who require additional support to fulfil their learning potential (the 20 to 25 percent quoted above includes a range of learning support needs and services such as support for new immigrants and refugees but a high proportion of the children receiving learning support have disabilities). This is a welcome new approach to learning support funding, as it acknowledges that as overall school rolls increase due to population growth, there will be an increase in the number of children with disabilities and learning support needs in education, therefore learning support funding and services should increase accordingly.
- $19.7 million increase for the School High Health Needs Fund (SHHNF) to support an increasing number of children and young people with high health needs who require support to manage those health needs while at school. This support is usually provided by teacher aides and is for children who require support to manage their medical condition so that they can be safely at school and learning alongside their peers. (*See below for further explanation.)
- Health: $849.4m for:
- Disability Support Services – $833 million to be invested into Disability Support Services over five years.
- $12 million to fund an additional year for the Enabling Good Lives pilots in Canterbury and the Waikato, and the Mana Whaikaha service prototype in the Mid-Central Region.
- $4.4 million to support disability carers for travel between their clients.
- Employment: $12.5m (over 2 years) to expand and strengthen disability employment services.
- Social: $43.3m (over 4 years) for keeping community-based services open for disabled people which support participation in, and contribution to, their wider community, enhancing their mana and quality of life.
- Arts and Culture: $25m for sustaining crucial media platforms to provide content to under-served audiences and includes support for providing captioning and audio descriptions for disabled people.
The School High Health Needs Fund provides teacher aide support for children/young people who need assistance to manage their medical conditions so that they can be safely at school and access the curriculum alongside their non-disabled peers.
It is expected that students will over time be able to manage their own needs without support. This will be dependent on:
- the nature of their need
- the level of mastery required
- the student’s capability to become independent
A. The student needs support during and after seizures, and after seizures that are severe and frequent and can't be effectively managed with medication.
The student’s individual care plan may describe the:
- need for the student to be removed to a quiet area to sleep and to be monitored for further seizure activity, vomiting or other post-seizure effects
- medication to be administered during or after the seizure
- toileting and showering following seizures
- supervision to prevent injury in all curriculum areas where safety issues would arise if a seizure occurred — for example, swimming, technology
- emergency response plan.
B. The student needs help with mobility, personal care or interventions because of needs that are directly related to a medical condition or treatment.
The student’s individual care plan may describe the support required for a student:
- with cancer who's undergoing therapy (such as radiotherapy or chemotherapy) and suffers from severe fatigue, headaches, nausea and vomiting
- who has a cardiac or lung condition who needs help to move around an education environment. Care is for pushing the student in a manual wheelchair and assistance with personal care and wellbeing, for example. toileting transfers and dressing
- with Type 1 Diabetes who requires assistance to learn how to manage the process of testing blood glucose levels, administration of insulin, carbohydrate counting, eating and drinking or fluids if indicated, and/or the management of an insulin pump
- who has severe breathing difficulties and requires chest therapy each day at school as part of their medical management programme
- who has severe eating and swallowing difficulties and has an eating and safety plan based on assessment information written and monitored by a Speech-Language Therapist.
C. The student needs support to protect them from (or manage the effects of) exposure to infection or allergen that would result in a medical crisis.
The student’s individual care plan may describe the student’s need for:
- supervision to monitor the environment and prevent contact with allergens and to follow the emergency treatment procedures when necessary
- assistance to manage the treatment protocol for severe eczema.
D. The student’s safety is dependent on specialised medical equipment, such as oxygen bottles, tracheostomy or feeding tubes. The equipment must be monitored for safety reasons in all environments, and requires an instant response if it fails.
The student’s individual care plan may describe the care needs of the student and the processes for the management and safe use of equipment such as:
- continuous oxygen connected by tube to an oxygen bottle
- tracheostomy or feeding tubes (enteral feeding) where the student may require several feeds during the course of a school day
- the regular removal of secretions from a tracheostomy tube to prevent blockages and to ensure the free passage of air. Care is for supervising breathing and preventing blockages especially when the student is eating.
E. The student has personal care needs in the school setting arising from an ongoing high health condition which they can't self-manage.
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