The inclusive classroom

Individual support

Our ESS consultants work 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.


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.


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.

Best Practice

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 Education Support Service accessible to all Victorian schools by assigning a standard state-wide subscription fee.

Including and accommodating students with Down Syndrome
Resource guide

ESS wins National Disability Award (2013)

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. You can watch a video of the presentation here

Classroom based support for teachers providing practical assistance and resources, improving learning outcomes for students with Down syndrome and their classmates.