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 yearsMaleFemaleTotal
Sensory and speech4.62.33.4
Physical restriction2.41.82.1

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. 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:

AEIOUAsperger Services AustraliaIndependent Schools Queensland
Autism QueenslandAustism Spectrum AustraliaBrisbane Catholic Education
Catholic education commission of VictoriaCurtin universityDepartment of Education Queensland
Department of Education TasmaniaDepartment of Education VictoriaGriffith University
Queensland University of TechnologyUniversity of Queensland 

Educator Advisors:

Adam BirkbyJanette CullenLiz Stewart-Oliver
Afrodite TottenJanette CullenLouise Mammoliti
Alison LewisJason BoyceLyndal Bryant
Allison EdwardsJason BoydLynette Urquhart
Amanda McEwenJeanne  Pienaar  Maree  Maxfield
Amanda SharrockJennifer CavendishMary Hughes
Amanda PorterJennifer AbercrombyMeg Foley
Amanda WennJennifer EvenhuisMelanie Heyworth
Amanda (Mandy) TowleJennifer  Robin Melissa  Braddock
Amy BakerJesse RivettMichael Rowell
Amy McCullochJodie  MilneMichelle Hambly
Andrew Kerr-StevensJonathan CaseMichelle Maguire
Angela ConnorsJoy  RobsonNadine Russell
Anita YoungJudy GalosNichole Mellish
Anna  Varghese Julie-Anne  StainesNicole Inder
Anne McCullochKaren  CamplinNicole  Heathcote
Anne McKennyKaren  MacphersonNiomi Johnson
Ashe LanKarlee-Jean HaansbergenOlive Brittain
Belinda  KeamKate TroyahnPaula Norcott
Ben CallcottKate WilsonPeter Langdale
Bess   SellarsKate KearneyRachael Roberts
Carmel CooperKatey DaleyRachel  White
Casey KellyKatherine TaylorRebecca Cavanagh
Catherine JonesKatherine FowleRebekah Rashid
Christa Stone Kathryn Randall Rhiannon Kemp 
Danni-Leah  BysouthKathy WilliamsRoe Johnson 
Derek WoodKathy  IsaacsSally Ryan
Di Hatcher Katrina ButlerSamantha Rostenburg
Dorit Goren DanielKaye GahanSarah Meka
Elisabeth  LordKeira-June AlbertsSarah MacDonald
Elizabeth ScoullerKelli TurnbullSharon Volschenk
Elli DowleyKelli PortaSharon Oakes
Elyse ClarkeKelly YusufSharon Elvins
Emma BeynonKelly  PaveySharyn Findlay
Erin FrostKerri-Anne NolanSharyn Twig
Fiona BakerKristina (Tina) WogandtSheri Adams
Gabrielle HallKylie EllisTamara Mitchell
Georgina HalkerstonLara RichTanya  Taylor
Helen  McNamaraLaura GodfreyTeresa   Simmonds
Helen  McLennanLeesa BorradaileTerri-Ann Ferguson 
Isabella GoslingLeon MarsdenTheresa McCracken
Jackie  Cox-TaylorLibby BrainTrudy  Bartlett
Jacky  DawsonLinda  BrownVerona Ker
Jacqueline CraigieLisa PartridgeWendy  Hickson
Jade MaksanLisa MassieZoe Lang


School Photography:

StJamesGrantham SS
Gatton State School


Fig Tree Pocket



Production Partners:

Autism QueenslandCode 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.