ABLEWA Support Materials

The School Curriculum and Standards Authority is committed to providing a curriculum that is inclusive of students' individual strengths and needs in order for every child in Western Australian schools to achieve their full potential.

To assist this goal, the Abilities Based Learning Education, Western Australia (ABLEWA) resources support the teaching and learning of students with disability and additional needs who are unable to access the P-10 curriculum.  The ABLEWA curriculum for all learning areas, other than Languages, is integrated into the Western Australian Curriculum and Assessment Outline as Stages A to D. ABLEWA is not mandated.

Stages A to D focus on progressing students from a pre-intentional to intentional engagement in learning. They support students to develop their independence as they explore, participate and engage in the world around them. As students’ progress through these stages, the amount of support decreases as they proceed towards becoming independent learners.

Stages A to D are not associated with any set age or year level that links chronological age to cognitive progress; rather, the learning descriptions for Stages A to D are structured by the following continuum:

Stage A: Beginning to Explore

At this stage students experience a range of learning activities that will assist them to attend to and explore the world around them with as much independence as possible. Experiences are designed to move students from a pre-intentional level or responding to a level where the response indicates beginning intention. Students need high levels of coactive support and focused attention from the teacher to help them initiate and refine their responses. Students demonstrate some awareness and recognition of familiar people and routine activities.

Stage B: Active Exploration

Students at this stage become less reliant on high levels of coactive support and become more reliant on verbal prompts and gestures to facilitate their learning. They begin to explore their world independently and engage in single cause-and-effect play activities. Students are able to focus on structured learning activities for short periods of time. They respond to familiar people and events and begin to use 'yes/no' responses.

Stage C: Intentional Participation

Students at this stage are less dependent on coactive support and respond more consistently to prompts and simple clear directions from the teacher to support them in their learning. They are displaying the first signs of independence and becoming more peer focused. Students participate in structured learning activities with others and they begin to use pictures, photos and objects to communicate personal interests and experiences. They start to use and link some familiar words and images to construct a meaningful communication.

Stage D: Building Independence

With teacher support and curriculum scaffolding, students at this stage participate cooperatively in group learning activities. They express their feelings, needs and choices in increasingly appropriate ways and combine and sequence key words and images to communicate personal interests and to recount significant experiences. They indicate beginning understanding of social rules and expectations and are beginning to reflect on their own behaviour.

ABLEWA provides assessment and reporting resources and professional learning modules to assist teachers in recognising and responding to the diverse learning needs of all students, and in assessing and reporting student learning, monitoring student progress and providing accurate intervention advice. These resources are available on the ABLEWA page.

The School Curriculum and Standards Authority acknowledges the development of the ABLES Assessment Tool by the University of Melbourne and the Department of Education and Training, Victoria and the Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority for their development and publication of the ABLES Curriculum and Support Materials.