NDIS Capacity Building: Improved Learning

NDIS Improved LearningImproved Learning is an important and often overlooked part of your NDIS Capacity Building budget. It is designed to help you further your education, achieve a qualification, or learn a new skill. The extra support you may need because of your disability, to be successful in reaching your educational goals. Improved Learning supports can give you the tools you need to keep learning, open new job opportunities, and achieve your full potential in life. 

This Capacity Building category provides a framework of services to assist you with furthering your education. Assistance that is not provided through mainstream services available to all Australians, not just those with disabilities. Many mainstream services are available to help you with your work and study plans. Talk to your NDIS support coordinator or local area coordinator to explore the services available in your area. Many universities and TAFE colleges have mentors to better support students with disabilities. NDIS study supports refer to the extra help you may need due to your disability. Extra help needed at school, when studying at university or TAFE college, or while trying volunteer work experience or apprenticeships.

Improved Learning Supports NDIS Can Offer

  • Building basic work skills
  • Additional tutorials building literacy and basic mathematical competencies 
  • Assistance transitioning from school to further education, training, or work experience
  • Training for your teachers or employers about your disability needs
  • Personal care during work or study
  • Completing and submitting applications
  • Planning and management of study workload
  • Improving study techniques
  • Specialized transportation needs to and from classes
  • Arranging student living accommodations
  • Budgeting for your education plans
  • Support through orientation and navigating campus

Your Educational Path Is As Unique As You Are

The purpose of Capacity Building in Improved Learning is to support you as a lifelong learner and to help you along your journey in higher education. Funds can be used to pay for courses, training programs, and advice from professionals to help your transition into higher education. Your path may lead you to a university, TAFE college, trade school, or workplace apprenticeship. Improved Learning supports will enrich your life and teach you the skills you need to succeed. Everyone has their own skills, strengths, and interests that will help you find your unique educational path. Higher education teaches you new skills and provides the vital qualifications you need to find and keep future employment. 

Tertiary Education Assistance

The third level of your education is called tertiary education and includes both government and privately run universities, TAFE colleges, trade schools, vocational programs, and workplace apprenticeships. Your NDIS Improved Learning plan can provide the necessary services and supports to be successful in your education, training, and employment. This funding provides the extra help you need due to your disability to live and study more independently.


University education provides academic courses focused on theory, research, and traditional learning. Each university offers a wide range of courses and qualification levels, providing a mix of Bachelor’s, Master’s, and Doctoral degrees. Degree programs can span from three to six years, or even more. 54% of university graduates take more than four years to complete their degree. University programs prepare students to work in a variety of professional careers and offer the highest level of qualification. There are currently 43 government and privately-funded universities in Australia. University education is an obvious choice for those seeking a career in a regulated or licensed profession such as law, nursing, dentistry, medicine, architecture, or engineering. Universities can offer a wide range of degrees in general study areas such as biology, health science, business, and the arts or specialized degrees such as journalism, environmental studies, or psychology.


TAFE stands for Technical and Further Education. TAFE is Australia’s largest technical and vocational education and training provider in Australia. TAFE college programs focus on practical industry experience and skill development. Lower entry requirements, lower cost, and shorter completion times offer 4 times more access to Australians seeking higher education than traditional universities. TAFE courses tend to be fast-paced, completing study in six months to two years. Attending a TAFE college also provides a great pathway to higher education, providing a specific qualification, and often with credit.

Technical and Further Education (TAFE) | Study in Australia

Apprenticeships Or Traineeships

Australian apprenticeships are available to all Australians of working age and provide a good career-building option. A secondary school certificate is not required. You can be in years 11 or 12 of school, a school-leaver, re-entering the workforce, or changing jobs. Apprenticeships allow you to combine work and training on a part-time or full-time basis. School-based apprenticeships mix academic and vocational training with paid employment while still attending school. 

Additional Assistance For Australian Apprentices With Disabilities:

NDIS Will Provide Additional Improved Learning Supports IF…

  • The need is directly related to your disability 
  • You have an educational goal stated in your NDIS plan
  • You are learning skills to help you reach your goals in living a more independent life
  • All state and territory laws are followed and safety is ensured
  • Other supports would not provide the same service more cost-effectively
  • Mainstream services or funding options do not apply
  • Your school, university, TAFE, vocational college, or employer is not responsible for providing the service or adjustment
  • The help cannot be provided by family, friends, or the community

NDIS Improved Learning Budget Includes A Wide Range Of Services

  • Help to complete and submit applications
  • Help moving to your new school or work location
  • Assistance with time management
  • Arranging student living accommodations
  • Resourcing other mainstream support services
  • Personal care support while attending classes, including personal hygiene and eating
  • Training teaching staff, administrators, and employers about your specific support needs
  • Transport to and from classes if other suitable transportation is not available 
  • Development of social skills and working in groups
  • Anxiety and stress support services

NDIS will only fund support services that are directly related to your disability and not provided through other mainstream programs or services. The supports must be considered reasonable and necessary, and effective in helping you reach your NDIS plan goals. The courses or training you attend are to be provided by a qualified institution such as a university or TAFE and you must maintain satisfactory progress in your studies. All approved educational paths will help you reach your NDIS educational and employment goals. Success in education builds confidence and self-reliance, empowering you in determining your own future.

What Isn’t Included In Your Improved Learning Supports

  • Course fees
  • Textbooks and other general study equipment
  • Membership fees
  • Physical changes to buildings
  • After school care
  • Meals
  • Excursion expenses
  • Phone calls and stationery supplies
  • Expenses everyone pays for

If there is an additional cost in accessing course material due to your disability, such as audiobooks, your NDIS plan may cover the additional cost.

Many helpful services may be provided by your university, TAFE, or vocational school

University and TAFE colleges have a Student Service Department to help with your special access and inclusion needs. All information shared with Student Services is confidential. Contact their office before your course starts if you feel you need adjustments to meet your disability needs. You may need to negotiate reasonable adjustments due to disability with your academic and administrative staff.  Education providers are required to take steps to assist students with disabilities to participate in education on the same basis as all other students. They have a legal obligation to consult with you, make reasonable adjustments, and eliminate harassment and victimization.

By Australian law, your place of study is required to remove reasonable barriers to prospective and current students with disabilities being equally included in all areas of the educational experience. 

This Includes:

  • Ensuring handicap access in and around your place of education
  • Equal opportunities to participate in classes and activities as all other students
  • Furnishing information resources in a way you understand
  • Providing all parts of education and learning, including support for remote learning

If you are thinking about continuing your education by attending a university, TAFE college, trade school, or vocational program, you need to know what supports and funding are available to help you meet your educational goals. The CareSide can help you to better understand your needs and plan for an educational experience full of knowledge, opportunities, and fun. If you are looking to study at a university, train at a TAFE facility, or gain valuable work experience through an apprenticeship, this funding can help you along your way.  Call the CareSide for a plan management consultation today!


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