Parents and carers of students with disability were invited to attend our Parent Forums held in 2023
Hosted by the Department for Education, the Parent Forums are to inform and engage with parents or carers about the services and supports available for children and young people with disability.
Our TERM 1 Forum commenced with a welcome by our Director, Rhoni McFarlane, who provided an update of the work happening in Inclusive Teaching and Learning and introduced Nat Atkinson, Executive Director Support & Inclusion. Nat and Rhoni both participated in the table talk throughout the day and as usual Rhoni made herself available for allocated one on one conversations.
Amanda Michalanney, Senior Advisor and Project Lead provided an update on the Autism Inclusion Teacher Initiative followed by introductions to the newly formed Autism Inclusion Multidisciplinary team, who provided information on Autism, the Initiative, and their roles. Participants had the opportunity to ask question and the valuable feedback provided during the session will help inform the Project moving forward.
Nik Skrob, Assistant Principal/Wellbeing and Learning Support presented what the role of an AIT looks like at Lockleys North Primary School and how it has been incorporated into his role.
The afternoon session by Rachel Scheuboeck and Hermione Farmer, moved the Parent Engagement Project further along with the aim of producing formal documentation to better support communication and connections between families and schools.
Participants left with positive feedback and smiles all-round as the day ended with a little light relief to promote wellbeing and provide a positive end to a full day.
The TERM 2 Forum commenced with a welcome by our Director, Rhoni McFarlane, who provided an update of the work happening in Inclusive Teaching and Learning. She introduced Darren Humphrys as our Acting Executive Director and provided an update on
- the Autism Inclusion Teacher Initiative
- how ITL are supporting schools
- process changes for IESP
- the SA Autism Strategy
- personalised learning co-design process
And as usual Rhoni made herself available for allocated one on one conversations.
A Special Options presentation followed by Sally Shearing and Cinzia Grego. Sally And Cinzia discussed the process for special options placements and made themselves available to participants for one on one conversations.
The first afternoon session, by Bronnie Whitelaw, Senior Advisor Inclusive Practice, offered the group an opportunity to learn more about what SIES has to offer in resources and supports and how easy it is to access our services and online resources. The second presentation, by Hermione Farmer, Senior Advisor Inclusive Practice, provided participants information regarding Post School: Transitions Planning. Leading into Student Pathway and Careers Awareness month, Hermione discussed the taxonomy of transition planning, how you can help your child, where to get support and upcoming events and training opportunities.
And the day closed with a self-regulation session by Kate Mudge, OT Autism Inclusion Multidisciplinary Team.
In TERM 3, we welcomed Acting Assistant Director, Amanda Michalanney, who provided an update of the work happening in Inclusive Teaching and Learning and made herself available for allocated one on one conversations.
A presentation by Kindship followed. Liz O’Connell and her team provided an overview of what Kindship is; a free social networking app for parents raising children with delays, neurodivergence and disabilities. Liz provided a comprehensive presentation about why connection is so important and confirmed their success by their data and feedback, highlighting that YOU matter.
Leading into lunch, Sara Hains, Senior Advisor Inclusive Practice presented a summary of the work being done in the Personalised Learning space, offering participants the opportunity to join her in a formal codesign workshop, where their feedback on a new model is being sought.
In the afternoon Sarah Hennesy, presented on the work of Siblings Australia. Sarah discussed who they are, their history and services. She talked about the challenges and stressors siblings face over their lifetime and how they can be supported. She highlighted their programs SiBwise and SiBworks.
The day closed with a new way for us to collect feedback on the forums, a live survey that provided some light relief and an insight into who we support and how that support is valued.