Classroom Adjustments podcast tile

We spoke to students, parents, experts and teachers to identify classroom adjustments that enable students with disability to learn alongside their peers.

The challenge

The Australian Government Department of Education identified that schools, staff, teachers and students needed a greater understanding of students with disability.

They wanted to target primary school and secondary school teachers specifically and talk to them about classroom adjustments that would enable students with disability to access and participate in education on the same basis as their peers. 

It’s difficult to reach time poor teachers. Plus, this is a sensitive topic not able to be addressed with ‘cookie cutter’ or ‘off-the-shelf’ solutions. The communication channel needed to be engaging to get buy in from teachers. 

For these reasons, they wanted to make a podcast.

The solution

Written & Recorded created an original concept and soundscape for a 20-part podcast series for the Nationally Consistent Collection of Data on School Students with Disability (NCCD) Portal.

We have conducted over 80 interviews working closely with experts, teachers, families and more than 50 stakeholders. To achieve this we researched and identified talent Australia-wide, interviewing the strongest voices. 

Through an ongoing review process, we refined the storytelling and painted a captivating picture of the educational challenges faced by students with disability. Every step of the way we drew on evidence-based robust research, while bringing to life the individual personalities of students living with a disability. 

Episodes of the podcast series are deliberately timed between 20–30 minutes in duration, allowing teachers to listen during a regular commute or lunch break. 

Each episode highlights a different disability and the challenges that students with disability face in their learning on a day-to-day basis. The interviews also reveal that with the right support and an inclusive approach to education, students can grow, learn and develop. 

The series offers practical tips and advice on strategies teachers can develop to help students with disability access education. It also busts some of the common myths about the capabilities of students with disability, as well as demonstrating that no two learners with disability are alike. 

Featuring interviews with teachers, experts, parents and the voices of primary and secondary school students, the podcast series highlights the importance of providing better opportunities for learning.

Episodes include:

  • Muscular Dystrophy
  • Hearing loss
  • Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder
  • Dyslexia
  • Dysgraphia
  • Down Syndrome
  • Developmental language disorder
  • Vision Impairment
  • Tourette Syndrome
  • Mental Health
  • Cerebral Palsy
  • Autism
  • ADHD
  • Epilepsy
  • Acquired Brain Injury (ABI) 
  • Spina Bifida
  • Fragile X Syndrome
  • Central Auditory Processing Disorder (CAPD); and
  • Sport. 

You can listen to all the episodes via the NCCD Portal or through Apple Podcasts

The outcome

Since the series was launched by the Minister for Education in February 2019, the episodes have become an essential resource for teachers across Australia. The podcast download figures show high levels of teacher engagement, with almost three-thousand listens to the ADHD episode alone. Additionally, the series has been shared across not-for-profit disability support services such as the Cerebral Palsy Alliance. 

All episodes were quickly approved by the 50 stakeholders and an expert in each field of disability. The Australian Government Department of Education is now considering adding further episodes to the podcast series to focus on additional disabilities.