Supporting applications for the PSD in Victoria
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The Program for Students with Disabilities (PSD) is designed to support schools as they endeavour to provide high quality education to students with disabilities. The PSD is funded by the Department of Education and Training (DET) in Victoria.
Assessments Australia is an independent service conducting assessments on behalf of DET for schools who wish to apply for PSD support for their students.
We conduct assessments in the categories of:
- Intellectual Disability (ID)
- Severe Language Disorder with Critical Educational Needs (SLD-CEN) including Childhood Apraxia of Speech.
Whether you are from a mainstream or specialist Victorian Government school, if you believe there is evidence to support a student meeting the PSD application criteria for ID or SLD-CEN, you can make a referral to us.
Call us to make a referral
To make a referral or speak to the team, please call:
Applying for a cognitive or language assessment through the PSD Assessment Service
Eligibility for ID and SLD-CEN assessments
Assessments Australia can conduct cognitive and language assessments for current students and students seeking enrolment, in Victorian Department of Education schools, who may be eligible for individualised support through the PSD in the categories of ID and SLD-CEN.
Schools can contact us to make a referral if there is evidence to suggest a student may fall into one of these categories.
You will need to obtain verbal permission from a parent/guardian before disclosing details to us.
Referrals can only be made by schools, and parents and kindergartens are encouraged to discuss the process with their school. You can make a referral by calling 03 9678 5100.
We will discuss the student’s history, current needs and presentation with you. If there is sufficient evidence, we will email you a referral pack.
Please note that Assessments Australia does not conduct assessments for students within other PSD categories including Severe Behaviour Disorder and Autism Spectrum Disorder. To find out more about applications in these categories, visit the DET website.
Call us to make a referral
To make a referral you will need to call us to discuss your referral with our team. Verbal permission to discuss the student must be gained from a parent/guardian before calling to speak to us. Eligible referrals will then be sent a referral pack.
When you receive the referral forms, you will need to complete and return all supplied documentation before your referral can be processed.
Missing or outdated documentation will lead to delays in the screening of your referral.
The completed documents, including Vineland (where applicable), and any other supporting documents should be emailed back to us at PSD-AS@assessments.com.au.
Referrals are screened to determine whether there is sufficient evidence to progress to assessment (i.e. whether the student is likely to meet eligibility requirements for PSD).
If your referral does not proceed to assessment, we will send you an email outlining the reasons. You are welcome to contact us to discuss this outcome further.
Understand the process
If your referral proceeds to assessment, one of our assessors will be in touch within a week to arrange a mutually agreeable time for the assessment to occur. Assessments usually occur within three weeks of all documentation being received by our office.
We will ask you to contact the family to inform them of the assessment date. It is important to ensure an adequate space is available.
For SLD-CEN referrals, a cognitive assessment is conducted first. If the results of this meet PSD requirements, there will then be a language assessment at a later date.
Our team is made up of highly trained Psychologists and Speech Pathologists specialising in assessments of this nature.
Assessment feedback session
Following the assessment, we will provide feedback to both you and the student’s parent/guardian. Face to face feedback is preferable.
The school PSD representative should make themselves available and also contact the parents/guardians to invite them to attend the feedback session.
If parents/guardians are unable to attend face to face feedback on the day of assessment, we will make reasonable attempts to contact them by phone to provide feedback. There may be some occasions when every attempt has been made to contact guardians without success. We record these attempts on the dashboard and you are welcome to contact us for further information.
Narrative and attachment reports
Following the feedback session, you will receive a comprehensive narrative report. This is to be passed on to the student’s parents/guardian and teachers. This report includes: the student’s background, previous assessments, current presentation, test behaviour and observations, assessment results and discussion, and targeted recommendations.
Students who meet the eligibility requirements to apply to the PSD will also receive an attachment report(s), to be submitted with their PSD application. We will send the report within three weeks of the assessment date.
It is the school’s responsibility to finalise the application process by submitting the application to the Resources Co-ordination Group. Details around this are provided in the Operational Guidelines published by DET. Schools should also contact their Regional Disability Coordinator for further submission advice, if needed.
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A collection of resources to support your understanding of intellectual disabilities.
There is a range of information that can help you broaden your knowledge of supporting children whose ability to produce speech has been affected.
Here are some other links you may find useful:
All Play Learn - A great website for teachers and families, helping to create inclusive education environments.
Inclusive Teaching for Students with Disability - A document that provides ideas and strategies for inclusive education.
The Specific Language Impairment Handbook - a guide for parents to language and communication impairments in children.
Information to help you understand the impact on a child, how it might affect development and how to support them.
Parent and Teacher Resources
Plain English documents that can help with the process.
- 27th June 2020: Term 2 ends.
- 1st July 2020: Assessments Australia start accepting 2021 Prep and other new student referrals.
- 13th July 2020: Term 3 starts.
- 24th July 2020: Submission date for new applications for existing students, and Year 6-7 and Short Term Funding reviews, in order to be notified of outcome by 11th September 2020.