Research project on integrated effective service provision for children and young people with physical disabilities: Two part research project

Publication Details

The research reports from both projects will be valuable for everyone involved in striving towards integrated effective practice for students with physical disabilities. The research captures day-to-day challenges and achievements.

Author(s): Phillipa Clark, University of Auckland; Jude MacArthur, Donald Beasley Institute; Trevor McDonald, Education Associates Limited; Carolyn Simmons Carlsson, and Pat Caswell, Special Education, Ministry of Education.

Date Published: November 2007

Please consider the environment before printing the contents of this report.

This report is available as a download (please refer to the 'Downloads' inset box).  For links to related publications/ information that may be of interest please refer to the 'Where to Find Out More' inset box.

Two Part Research Project 

Part 1: Database Project

The purpose of this research project was to obtain and synthesise the available information on the distribution of resources and funding streams for children and young people with physical disabilities, and the quantum of resourcing on a national and regional basis. This section gives an overview of the project’s aims and methods, including data sources.

The aims of the research were to:

  1. identify the number of New Zealand children and young people with physical disabilities
  2. identify how many school-age children and young people were receiving therapy and through which funding streams
  3. examine the quantum of therapy provided
  4. find out how easy or difficult it is to extract data from local therapy provider databases
  5. look for evidence of unmet need
  6. relate the findings to the outcomes of the case study research (see Part 2).

Part 2: Case Studies

The purpose of the case study research was to contribute to improving service provision for students with physical disabilities, their families and whānau by informing both policy development and decisions about resourcing. The Ministry of Education and its Advisory Reference Group for Students with Physical Disabilities (the Reference Group) commissioned a scoping project, Integrated effective service provision for children and young people with physical disabilities: Report to the Ministry of Education’s Reference Group on Physical Disability (McDonald et al., 2001),  to design a research programme that would answer questions in two key areas:

  1. What is the current range and level of therapy and other services provided to overcome barriers to learning for students with physical disabilities in New Zealand? What are the characteristics of current users and what are the perceived levels of ‘unmet’ need?
  2. What would coherent and effective models of therapy and other service provision for students in the compulsory school sector look like? What would such integrated models, with the student at the centre, look like across a spectrum of services, settings and locations (home/school, health/education/welfare/ACC)? The Ministry of Education’s Reference Group was particularly concerned to ensure that these models reflected an holistic view of outcomes, focusing on life outcomes rather than just disability.

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