Appendix 5 - State Government funding eligibility criteria

Appendix 5 - State Government funding eligibility criteria

New South Wales [1]


Eligibility Criteria


Students who have an intellectual disability have significantly greater difficulty learning than the majority of students of the same age.
IM: mild intellectual disability, IQ range of 56-75
IO: moderate intellectual disability, IQ range of 31-55
IS: severe intellectual disability, IQ range of < 30[2]


A current permanent vision loss that is 6/24 or less in the better eye corrected, or less than 20 degrees field of vision.


A current sensori-neural or permanent conductive hearing loss of 30 decibels or more in both ears.

Physical/health impairment

A current physical condition involving the motor system that significantly limits the student's level of functioning and independence in mobility, personal care, or ability to physically undertake essential learning tasks.


Students with autism usually have a developmental disability affecting verbal and non-verbal communication and social interaction that significantly affects their ability to learn.

Mental health problems:
Students exhibit behaviour(s) that is characteristic of mental health problems at a level of frequency, duration and intensity that seriously affects their educational functioning and emotional well-being.


A current diagnosed vision impairment with a permanent vision loss of 6/60 or less in the better eye corrected, or less than 20 degrees field of vision with a sensori-neural or permanent conductive hearing loss of greater than 90 decibels in both ears. The dual sensory impairment uniquely impacts on learning and communicating.

Language disorder

Students must have an assessed receptive or expressive language disorder documented within a current speech pathologist's report. The report would include a relevant standardised language test that indicates receptive and expressive language skills. At least one of the scales (either receptive or expressive) must indicate that the disorder significantly affects communication and diminishes the capacity to achieve academically. Difficulties in communication and academic achievement must be the direct result of the disorder.




Eligibility Criteria

Physical disability

A significant physical disability and/or a significant health impairment which requires regular paramedical support.

As evidenced by a paediatrician’s statement detailing the disability or health impairment AND a statement detailing paramedical service requirements from a registered physiotherapist or occupational therapist.

Severe language disorder

A score of two or more standard deviations below the mean for the student’s age in expressive and/or receptive language skills and the severity cannot be accounted for by hearing impairment, social emotional factors, low intellectual functioning or cultural factors and there is a history of an ongoing problem with an expectation of continuation during the school years; a score at or above minus one standard deviation on one additional non verbal test of cognitive functioning.

Severe behaviour disorder

Student displays disturbed behaviour to a point where special support in a withdrawal group or special unit is required and the student displays behaviour so deviant as to require regular psychological or psychiatric diagnosis or monitoring as evidenced by a formal assessment.

Hearing impairment

A bi-lateral sensori-neural hearing loss that is moderate /severe/profound and where the student requires intervention or assistance to communicate

Visual impairment

Note: Partial sighted students [<6/18 acuity or < 20 degrees visual fields] may obtain some assistance 

Intellectual disability


Significant deficits in adaptive behaviour established by a composite score of two standard deviations or more below the mean on an approved standardised test of adaptive behaviours.


A score of two or more standard deviations below the mean for the student’s age in expressive and receptive language skills.


The severity of the language disorder cannot be accounted for by hearing impairment, social emotional factors, general intellectual disability or cultural factors.


A score above the cut-off for diagnosis of autistic features on an approved standardised test (CARS) for the presence of autistic features in current behaviour.


Moderate and severe abnormalities in items 1, 3, 5 and 6 on an approved standardised test (CARS) for the presence of autistic features in current behaviour.




Eligibility Criteria

Autism Spectrum Disorder

Severe and pervasive deficits in social behaviour, attachment patterns and two-way social interactions


Impairment in communication.

Hearing Impairment

Hearing impairment exists when pure tone thresholds fall outside the normal range (i.e. 20dB HL at any frequency)


Student requires regular specialised support

Intellectual Impairment

Significantly sub-average intellectual functioning [two standard deviations or more below the mean score, as measured by appropriate standardised individual test(s) of general intelligence]


Significant limitations in two or more related adaptive skill areas: communication; self-care; home living; social skills; community use; self-direction; health and safety; functional academics; leisure; work.

Physical Impairment

Significant physical impairment


Student requires regular specialised support for access and participation in schooling.

Speech language impairment

Significant impairment of expressive and/or receptive language development


The severity and/or nature of the impairment cannot be accounted for by the other Education Queensland Disability Categories or socio-cultural factors.

Note: Significant impairment is demonstrated by scores on standardised, individually administered assessment measures, which are two or more standard deviations below the mean.


Severe functional difficulty in the ability to respond to auditory and visual stimuli


Student requires additional information from alternative means of communication and/or the use of other senses (e.g. tactile) or aids


Student requires a program beyond that solely for deaf/hearing impaired or blind/low vision.

Vision impairment

Visual acuity that is 6/18 or less after correction


Field loss that significantly impairs visual functioning


Degenerative visual condition which requires specialised ongoing support.


Tasmanian[4] - Category A register


Eligibility Criteria


Display functional skills and adaptive behaviours consistent with a moderate to severe/profound intellectual disability; and

Have a measured intelligence greater than three standard below the mean

Autism Spectrum Disorder

A confirmed diagnosis of autism in the upper moderate/severe range and demonstrated functional abilities consistent with diagnosis

Physical Disability

An identifiable, severe physical disability which has highly significant implications for a student’s learning abilities; and an identifiable, severe medical condition or health impairment which has highly significant learning/educational implications eg severe uncontrolled epilepsy, severe head injury.

The high level of educational need characterising these students is based on their physical dependence relating to movement and position, communication, eating and drinking, toileting and their ability to perform or participate in basic educational activities.

Psychiatric Disorder

Have a confirmed psychiatric diagnosis form a qualified psychiatrist; and

Have highly significant educational implications resulting from the psychiatric disorder; and

Be receiving ongoing physchiatric treatment

Vision Impairment

Have severe vision impairment as measured through appropriate assessment by an ophthalmologist, optometrist or orthoptist. This means a visual acuity of less than 6/48 or a visual field of 20 degrees or less (after best possible correction and surgical intervention).

Deaf and Hearing Impairment

A hearing loss of greater than 60dB in their better ear as measured by an audiologist at 500, 1000 and 2000 hertz.

Multiple Disabilities


South Australia


Eligibility Criteria


Intellectual Impairment[6]

Hearing Impairment[7]

A loss of 20db or greater in the speech range in the better ear

Communication and language disability[8]

Vision Impaired[9]

A restricted visual field.[10]


Western Australia


Eligibility Criteria

Intellectual Impairment[11]

These students demonstrate significant deficits in:

Placement may also be offered to those students with a less significant deficit in intellectual functioning in the order of a standardised score of 75 plus or minus 5 on an approved measure of cognitive functioning.

Physical Impairment[12]

Medical reports, parent and school observations

Vision impairment[13]

Eligibility is established through ophthalmological examination. It is considered that a student with a visual acuity of 6/18 or less in the better eye, after appropriate correction, requires educational assistance. Visual field restrictions are also considered.


Eligibility is established through referral to the Central Diagnostic Panel at the Princess Margaret Hospital for Children.

Students with an autistic disorder but with non-verbal intellectual functioning above the range associated with intellectual disability are supported in a regular school.

Other students with an autistic disorder are offered placement in a facility for students with disabilities in accordance with their non-verbal ability, adaptive behaviour and academic achievement.

Hearing impairment[15]

Based on assessment from the Hearing Assessment Centre

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