Down Syndrome Inclusion Support Service (DSISS)
Outline of the Down Syndrome Inclusion Support Service (DSISS)
Down Syndrome Inclusion Support Service (DSISS) is a classroom based support service for teachers providing practical assistance and resources, improving learning outcomes for students with Down syndrome and their classmates.
The approach taken is always collaborative; the teacher is the expert in the individual classroom, whereas Down Syndrome Victoria has extensive expertise supporting students with Down syndrome. Although no two students with Down syndrome are alike, there are a range of teaching strategies and resources which have proven successful in meeting specific needs. The DSISS consultant works alongside the teacher to identify the resources and strategies that will best suit the particular needs of their student, the teaching style of the teacher, and the culture of the classroom.
Lack of previous experience with students with Down syndrome may highlight the need for curriculum modifications. Many teachers understandably feel apprehensive or overwhelmed when faced with the inclusion of a child with Down syndrome in their classroom. However, most teachers later report that addressing the learning needs of the student with Down syndrome proved to be less daunting than they had expected, and that in doing so other children in the classroom also benefited.
International research consistently demonstrates that the strategies developed and implemented to assist students with an intellectual disability benefit a broad range of learners in the classroom.
Down Syndrome Victoria is a community association made up of people with Down syndrome, their families and supporters. Down Syndrome Victoria has made the Down Syndrome Inclusion Support Service accessible to all Victorian schools by assigning a standard state-wide subscription fee. The service receives no ongoing government funding and community fundraising covers the significant travel and accommodation costs involved in delivering the service state-wide.
To ensure we can deliver the maximum benefit of the service, it is required that the family of the supported student are members of Down Syndrome Victoria.
"…PSD Guidelines 2010 states that it is important for Student Support Groups to consider specific, targeted strategies that will have lasting and long term benefit for the student, as well as building the capacity of the school to provide an effective, inclusive curriculum for students with additional learning needs’. The DSISS aligns perfectly with the PSD’s objectives by providing schools with access to specialist knowledge and expertise to build the capacity of the school and teaching staff to support the learning, engagement and wellbeing of students with Down syndrome. The DEECD is sufficiently impressed with the DSISS that it has provided Down Syndrome Victoria with funding to offer free access to the service to prep students in 2013."
(To learn more have a look at some of the related Downloads further down the page)
Some of the DSISS services included in an annual subscription:
1. Three school visits (or 9 hours) per year
2. Email & phone consultation as required
3. Use of specialist DSISS classroom resources
4. Assistance in a range of areas such as:
• Curriculum modification
• Demonstration teaching
• Positive behaviour development
• Assistance at SSG/strategy sessions
• Assistance sourcing specialist resources
• Assistance with individual learning plan development.
5. Subscription to the Journal, a valued resource
6. Use of the Down Syndrome Victoria resource library
7. Reduced rates at Down Syndrome Victoria professional development events
8. Reduced price on Down Syndrome Victoria materials and publications
9. Copy of Learners With Down Syndrome, and Down Syndrome Today.
Down Syndrome Victoria also offers a range of additional education services including:
• Workshops for parents
• Individual consultancy
• Transition programs
• Professional development programs
Downloads and related links:
DSISS annual subscription form (pdf)
Frequently Asked Questions (pdf)
DSISS brochure (pdf)
Plenty more on education from our online information library
DSISS Fee structure 2013
$1,800 / year (see brochure for details)
No-cost Prep student or transition student subscription
Provided at no cost (DEECD funded) to government schools (click here for details and to register)
$300 / hour plus travel costs - available to members of Down Syndrome Victoria
OR $600 per half day
Note that a discount of 5% for each student applies for schools where there are multiple students accessing the DSISS and meetings are scheduled on the same day.
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org or 1300 658 873 for more information.