Education professionals

Why is inclusion so important?

Why is inclusion so important?
All families have the option to select a well supported placement in a local, inclusive mainstream school.
All published and international research demonstrates that not only do Students with Down syndrome do better in inclusive settings, but all other students, teachers and the community benefit from their inclusion in the general classroom.
Students with Down syndrome who are educated in mainstream schools:
• Have higher academic achievements in reading writing and mathematics
• Have better social inclusion (more friends, more activities)
• Are more likely to gain (open) employment when they leave school
The right to an inclusive mainstream education is currently supported by the following legislation and standards:

• Disability Discrimination Act 1992
• DEECD Victoria Disability Action Plan 2013-2016
• Disability Standards for Education 2005

With the right accommodations and dedicated teachers, students with intellectual disabilities can thrive in mainstream classrooms.

The Down Syndrome Victoria Down Syndrome Inclusion Support Service provides school leadership and teachers with specialist information that assists school to deliver appropriate pedagogy and curriculum for students at mainstream government preschool or schools.

References and Links: 

Why include? - by Bob Jackson (

‘Children with Disabilities Benefit from Classroom Inclusion’

10 Keys to Successful Inclusion

CEA article ‘School Inclusion’ 

DS Ed International website  

Education Professional Day 

We're here to help....Down Syndrome Victoria conducts an annual Education┬áProfessional Day early each year. Topics at our one day workshop vary each year but may include an overview of Down syndrome, learner profile, behaviour etc and guest speakers on various topics. The 2015 workshop will be held in March. For more information contact Ian or Joanne at

Down Syndrome Inclusion Support Service (DSISS)

Down Syndrome Victoria offers a DSISS for students with Down syndrome, their schools and families. Click here for more information.

DSISS Award - Down Syndrome Victoria's DSISS was recognised at the 2013 National Disability Awards. Assistant Minister for Social Services, Senator Mitch Fifield presented Ian Cook from Down Syndrome Victoria with the Excellence in Improving Education Outcomes Award in recognition of the Inclusion Support Service. 

Information for classmates

Down Syndrome Victoria has produced a 'self-run' PowerPoint presentation which can be used with staff (or students) to give an overview of Down syndrome. It is used like a book. There are four versions to cover all school ages and teachers.
We also have ideas for diversity activities, books, brochures and other handouts that can be useful when explaining Down syndrome to students.
Contact us for more information.


Boardmaker is a communication and learning tool containing Picture Communication Symbols (PCS) to enhance learning and communication for individuals with intellectual disability. Boardmaker resources are available to members from Down Syndrome Victoria.

Childcare, playgroups and kindergarten

Children with Down syndrome, like all children, need to form friendships, explore their environments, to gain confidence and self esteem, and to learn.
Childcare and Kindergarten provide excellent preparation for the integration of children with Down syndrome into local schools. Along with other information on this page, you may like to see our Childcare, playgroups and kindergarten page under the 'for families>early years' tab.

School aged children with Down syndrome

Our information professionals have compiled information on School age children with Down syndrome suitable for professionals and families alike.