Victoria University (VU) Polytechnic, the University’s TAFE division, was honoured as the State’s Inclusive Training Provider of the Year in the 2022 Victorian Training Awards.
The $5,000 Award is given to a Victorian training organisation demonstrating innovation, improvement and engagement for students with additional or special needs.
Examples include VU Polytechnic’s award-winning learning model that combines face-to-face education with e-learning, and offering students individual learning plans that can include specialist software, Auslan interpreters or note-takers.
These, and a wide range of other strategies and supports, ensure students with disabilities can participate equitably.
Vice-Chancellor Professor Adam Shoemaker noted diversity was at the heart of VU as it actively promoted justice, advocacy, and awareness of every student’s distinct needs.
“While we celebrate unemployment in Australia being at a 40-year-low, we often forget that a significant portion of Australians live with a disability.
“There is a huge wellspring of talent and opportunity among them, and one of our jobs is to ensure they have access to life-changing skills and further education.”
VU Polytechnic well-known for inclusive education
VU Deputy Vice-Chancellor Vocational Education Dianne Semmens said VU Polytechnic has long been a leader in the transformational power of education with students from all backgrounds, including those with additional or special needs.
“We have a very deep and long history of empowering these students through education and training, and decades of success increasing their employment opportunities, which enriches the workforce for all of us.”
In addition to industry-relevant courses, VU Polytechnic collaborates with local industries and local government councils on work placement programs for students with additional and special needs, which can lead to continuing employment.