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Occupational therapy service for ORS funded students


The National OT service provides support to Deaf/ hard of hearing (DHH) learners (5-21 years) enrolled in Ko Taku Reo under the Ongoing Resource Scheme (ORS). We aim to provide an equitable service to all DHH learners across the school.

The OT works in the school and focuses on learners’ access to the New Zealand curriculum with an emphasis on participation and engagement.

Scope of practice

Ko Taku Reo Occupational Therapists (OTs) undertake work that aims to support children to access their curriculum and fully participate in classroom life. The OT service has an early intervention focus and is priority based. This means that the learners and their teams with the highest needs will receive a more intensive service. 

OTs use a model of practice that considers the learner, their social, physical and cultural environments, as well as the specific tasks they are asked to do. An OT’s role is to remove barriers from these areas, to allow learners to do the things they want, need and are expected to do.  

We also practice within a Deaf educational environment that adheres to Deaf cultural norms. Within this, OTs will use a combination of spoken English and NZSL depending on the needs of learners and their whanau.

How to access this service

  • If anyone from a learner’s existing team has noticed that they need help to support the child’s physical, cognitive or sensory needs, then the learner can be referred to the OT service.

    The learner or Teacher of the Deaf can send the referral to us. This can be done by filling in the integrated services referral form.

    Referrals can only be accepted if whānau have given consent for the referral.

  • You will receive an email receipt of your referral and a team member may contact you to gather more information, if needed. The referral will be accepted or declined, and this will be communicated to the referrer and their team.

  • In Auckland, the OT will contact the learner’s team, including whānau, the learner, teachers and other professionals.

    In Christchurch, the contracted OT will contact the learner’s team, including whānau, the learner, teachers and other professionals.

    By connecting with whanau, the team member will gain consent and begin the assessment processes.

    At times there could be a waitlist for accepted referrals depending on availability of an OT. Wait times will be communicated with the learner’s team.

  • The learner’s needs will be assessed using formal (e.g. tests) and/or informal (e.g. observation) methods. Whānau and team members are central to this process. Assessment findings will be used to determine the level of support for the learner and their team.

  • At review meetings, the team will decide on criteria that will show that the learner’s Support Plan is complete.

    When the criteria have been met, or the team has agreed that the Support Plan is complete for a different reason, then the team will organise a Next Steps meeting.

    At the Next Steps meeting, progress will be reviewed, and final recommendations will be discussed before the learner’s Support Plan is closed.

    The learner may be re-referred to the Ko Taku Reo OT service in the future if anyone from the learner’s team (existing or new) identifies that they need help to support the child’s further physical, cognitive, or sensory needs.