teacher and students

About inclusionED

What is inclusionED?

inclusionED  is a suite of evidence-based and research-informed teaching practices and resources co-designed with educators, for educators to support inclusive classrooms.

The teaching practices in inclusionED are underpinned by the 3 underlying principles of Universal Design for Learning:

  • engaging students in multiple ways,
  • representing knowledge and skills in multiple ways, and
  • allowing students to provide evidence of their learning in multiple ways.

Our practices and tools are designed to support you to support your students. Each of the practices provides information about the practice strategy and how to implement this in the classroom. 

What is inclusion?

“Inclusive education means that all students are welcomed by their school in age-appropriate settings and are supported to learn, contribute and participate in all aspects of school. Inclusive education is about how schools are developed and designed, including classrooms, programmes and activities so that all students learn and participate together” (DET 2015, p 2)

Did you know that in the average Australian classroom at least three children have a learning difficulty or neurodevelopmental disability? Supporting and scaffolding these students in the classroom can set the trajectory for the rest of their lives.


Table 1 2018 Survey of Disability Ageing and Carers: Children with Disability
5 to 14 years Male Female Total
Intellectual 7.9 4.3 6.1
Sensory and speech 4.6 2.3 3.4
Physical restriction 2.4 1.8 2.1
Psychosocial 4.7 2.7 3.7

Within your classroom there will be a range of students who have different sensory needs.  Some are impacted by the lighting or sounds, others may need movement to help them focus. There are also students who respond best to consistent structure and organisation and who may become anxious when things change or when the parameters are unclear.  Understanding  your students needs and utilising inclusive practices within the classroom benefits all students.

Some key terms

  • Neurotype  - the way someone’s brain is wired, how they respond to and interpret information
  • Neurotypical - a person who has a typical brain neurology.  They do not have a developmental or learning disability
  • Neurodiverse  - used to describe a group of people who have different neurotypes
  • Neurodivergent  - a person whose brain neurology is different from the norm.  Usually used in reference to people with developmental or learning disabilities. Neurodivergent  people include  - Autism, ADHD, Dyslexia etc
  • A person is neurodivergent and a group is neurodiverse.

Using inclusionED

Not all children learn in the same way, and not all children process information in the same way.  Utilising inclusive practices that support all students makes a difference to the classroom environment.   A great example is using visual schedules in the classroom.  You probably do this in some form already.  It could be the list of activities for the day on the side of the board,  or an overview that is displayed in a PowerPoint.  Understanding why and how these practices make a difference, and then using them consistently and intentionally will support all your students.

Providing a sequence and structure can reduce anxiety and enable students to focus on the task rather than remembering what to do and when. 

Where do I start?

The practices are divided into 7 categories.

  • Classroom management
  • Sensory considerations
  • Social/emotional wellbeing
  • Career and Self-Discovery
  • Adjustments and scaffolds
  • Behavioural support
  • School connectedness.

Each category contains several practices.  Each practice contains information on how the practice helps the teacher and how it helps the students, as well as a summary of what the practice is about. 

The practice content is divided into 2 areas 

  • Preparing to teach – this section contains the background information, so you better understand what the practice is about and how it works; and
  • In the classroom,  which contains information on how to implement the practice in the classroom.

You will also find resources to help you implement the practice as well as links to further readings and resources.

You can search via category or view all practices.  Alternatively, you can use the search function to search via keywords.


In 2016, Autism CRC finalised a national study to understand the educational needs of students on the spectrum, surveying 1,500 educators, parents and students. The study participants told us that we needed to develop evidence-based resources and teaching practices and to upskill educators, to provide more inclusive environments for students with diverse learning needs, including those on the spectrum.

The teaching practices on inclusionED are underpinned by the principles of Universal Design for Learning. They don't provide a single one-size-fits-all solution but rather flexible approaches that can be customised for individualized learning. The platform also facilitates a national community of practice, enabling social sharing, comments and reviews of the experience implementing specific practices. During the co-design and development of inclusionED, educators reflected on the value of being part of an active, ongoing conversation to share good ideas that work in real classrooms.

More than 200 teachers, parents, young people on the autism spectrum and professionals have been involved in the co-design, development and evaluation of the inclusionED platform.


inclusionED has been delivered through a collaboration between Autism CRC and Queensland University of Technology (QUT).

inclusionED was developed in consultation with teachers, policy makers, parents and students around Australia. The design and development was led by Associate Professor Michael Whelan, Dr Keely Harper-Hill, Dr Jeremy Kerr, Dr Oksana Zelenko, Professor Suzanne Carrington (from QUT), Dr Wendi Beamish (from Griffith University) and Brendan James, Cally Jackson and Cheryl Mangan (from Autism CRC).

We would also like to acknowledge the support of the broader research team members Caitlin Hultgren, Clare Vilalba, Jacqueline Dunne and Jessica Cheers (from QUT).

inclusionED combines the outputs of more than 25 research and development projects carried out through Autism CRC's School Years Program in more than 300 Australian schools over the past six years.

We thank the many hundreds of schools across Australia, their students, teachers and other school personnel, parent communities, and autistic people who have been part of our journey.

Supporting organisations:

Evidence 4 Learning




Positive Partnerships



AITSL was formed to provide national leadership for the Commonwealth, State and Territory Governments in promoting excellence in the profession of teaching and school leadership with funding provided by the Australian Government.

Researchers and research partners:

AEIOU Asperger Services Australia Independent Schools Queensland
Autism Queensland Austism Spectrum Australia Brisbane Catholic Education
Catholic education commission of Victoria Curtin university Department of Education Queensland
Department of Education Tasmania Department of Education Victoria Griffith University
Queensland University of Technology University of Queensland  

Educator Advisors:

Adam Birkby Janette Cullen Liz Stewart-Oliver
Afrodite Totten Janette Cullen Louise Mammoliti
Alison Lewis Jason Boyce Lyndal Bryant
Allison Edwards Jason Boyd Lynette Urquhart
Amanda McEwen Jeanne  Pienaar   Maree  Maxfield
Amanda Sharrock Jennifer Cavendish Mary Hughes
Amanda Porter Jennifer Abercromby Meg Foley
Amanda Wenn Jennifer Evenhuis Melanie Heyworth
Amanda (Mandy) Towle Jennifer  Robin  Melissa  Braddock
Amy Baker Jesse Rivett Michael Rowell
Amy McCulloch Jodie  Milne Michelle Hambly
Andrew Kerr-Stevens Jonathan Case Michelle Maguire
Angela Connors Joy  Robson Nadine Russell
Anita Young Judy Galos Nichole Mellish
Anna  Varghese  Julie-Anne  Staines Nicole Inder
Anne McCulloch Karen  Camplin Nicole  Heathcote
Anne McKenny Karen  Macpherson Niomi Johnson
Ashe Lan Karlee-Jean Haansbergen Olive Brittain
Belinda  Keam Kate Troyahn Paula Norcott
Ben Callcott Kate Wilson Peter Langdale
Bess   Sellars Kate Kearney Rachael Roberts
Carmel Cooper Katey Daley Rachel  White
Casey Kelly Katherine Taylor Rebecca Cavanagh
Catherine Jones Katherine Fowle Rebekah Rashid
Christa Stone  Kathryn Randall  Rhiannon Kemp 
Danni-Leah  Bysouth Kathy Williams Roe Johnson 
Derek Wood Kathy  Isaacs Sally Ryan
Di Hatcher  Katrina Butler Samantha Rostenburg
Dorit Goren Daniel Kaye Gahan Sarah Meka
Elisabeth  Lord Keira-June Alberts Sarah MacDonald
Elizabeth Scouller Kelli Turnbull Sharon Volschenk
Elli Dowley Kelli Porta Sharon Oakes
Elyse Clarke Kelly Yusuf Sharon Elvins
Emma Beynon Kelly  Pavey Sharyn Findlay
Erin Frost Kerri-Anne Nolan Sharyn Twig
Fiona Baker Kristina (Tina) Wogandt Sheri Adams
Gabrielle Hall Kylie Ellis Tamara Mitchell
Georgina Halkerston Lara Rich Tanya  Taylor
Helen  McNamara Laura Godfrey Teresa   Simmonds
Helen  McLennan Leesa Borradaile Terri-Ann Ferguson 
Isabella Gosling Leon Marsden Theresa McCracken
Jackie  Cox-Taylor Libby Brain Trudy  Bartlett
Jacky  Dawson Linda  Brown Verona Ker
Jacqueline Craigie Lisa Partridge Wendy  Hickson
Jade Maksan Lisa Massie Zoe Lang


School Photography:

StJames Grantham SS
Gatton State School


Fig Tree Pocket



Production Partners:

Autism Queensland

Code Blue for Autism Logo

Web Development:

Thinking Cap Consulting


Multimedia production:

TPD Media


If you participated in any stage of inclusionED’s development and are not currently listed above, please contact us.