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IN DEPTH - Support services for the inclusion of students with disabilities - 2017/2018

The Lombardy Region recently issued (with DGR 6832 of 30 June 2017) the new guidelines for the provision of support services for the inclusion of students with disabilities.

Through these guidelines, the Region wanted to implement the recent regulatory changes made necessary by the national reform of provincial competences.

With the Regional Law no. 15 of May 26, 2017, changes have been introduced to the Regional Law no. 19 of August 6, 2007, (Standards on the Education and Training System of the Lombardy Region).


By virtue of these changes, the Lombardy Region has taken on the responsibility of ensuring the provision of support services for school inclusion:

  • for students with disabilities attending Secondary Schools (high schools) and vocational training courses (Article 5, paragraph 1, letter f ter. of Regional Law 19/2007);
  • for students with sensory disabilities who attend all schools and vocational training courses, except for transportation to nursery, primary, secondary and lower secondary schools, which remains the responsibility of the municipalities (Article 5, paragraph 1, letter f bis. of the Regional Law 19/2007).


Municipalities are therefore the competent bodies providing support services for school inclusion (personal assistance and school transport) to students with physical, mental and intellectual / relational disabilities attending primary and lower secondary schools. Municipalities are also responsible for providing transport services for pupils with sensory disabilities (Article 6, paragraph 1a, Regional Law 19/2007).


With the issuing of the Guidelines of June 30, 2016, the Lombardy Region has clarified how to implement and carry out its duties concretely.


With regard to the duties concerning support services (personal assistance and school transport) to all students with disabilities (of any type, including sensory) who attend high schools or vocational training courses, the Region has decided to transfer to the municipalities the actual performance and management of such services, leaving the task of promoting and supporting (and thus guaranteeing) their delivery.

In conclusion, for all types of disabilities and any order and grade of school, the services listed below will be provided by the Municipality:

  • school transport;
  • autonomy and communication assistance (assistance on an individual basis).

Families of students with disabilities attending high schools will have to have the municipality as a reference body.


In order to obtain the necessary support services (transport and assistance on an individual basis) however, you must submit a written statement to the School. The institution, having received the application, will then transmit it to the municipality. The municipality will then submit the application for a contribution to the Region.

The application must be accompanied by documentation (functional diagnosis) which highlights the need for the school transport service and / or assistance for autonomy and communication (referred to as assistance on an individual basis).

Both the transport service and the individual basis service can be managed directly by the municipality or can be entrusted to qualified third parties. There is also a possibility for families to manage school transport autonomously (with their own means), asking the Municipality for a refund.

The guidelines provide for maximum amounts for regional contributions, both for school transport and for personal assistance.

For school transport, the contribution is based on the home-school distance.


KM Milestone (round trip) 

Maximum approved contribution

Up to 10 km

€ 1.500.00

Over 10 km and up to 20 km

€ 2.500,00

Over 20 km and up to 30 km

€ 3.500,00

Over 30 km

€ 4.000,00


For assistance on an individual basis, the contribution is related to the level of care required, or to the number of hours of assistance needed.


Level of need

Amount of contribution

from 8 to 10 hours

da € 5.712,00 a € 7.140,00

from 6 to 7 hours

da € 4.284,00 a € 4.998,00

up to 5 hours

Max € 3.570,00


The number of hours of assistance required will be communicated, following the receipt of the request submitted by the parents, from the School to the Municipality, based on the assessment made by GLHO (work group for individual needs students) when drafting the PEI (personalised education programme). There is the possibility for municipalities to enter into territorial agreements with the School.

The chance to request and obtain a greater number of hours of assistance is forecast in cases of complex disability or in situations of particular need. Again, the GLHO's task is to highlight this need.


As for the support services for school inclusion (at all levels of school) for students with sensory disabilities, the region (Competent Authority) has decided to make them effectively managed by the ATS ( Territorial Health Company), through qualified operators. These types of services include:

  • communication assistance (for students with visual and / or auditory disabilities);
  • service for the blind ;
  • the provision of special educational materials and other teaching materials.

Also for this type of service, the family will have to submit a request to the school, accompanied by documentation (functional diagnosis) from which the service needs emerge. The school will then send the application to the Municipality of residence, which will then send it to the competent ATS. The ATS identifies and publishes a list of qualified operators (deemed eligible after a demonstration of interest), from which families can make their choice.

Also in relation to this type of service there is a time limit for communication assistance (10 hours per week) and for assistance for the blind (4/6 annual meetings of 4 hours each). An assessment of requirements is made, in this case, by the GLHO.

You can also ask for additional hours where necessary, for assistance during state exams.

With regard to the provision of special educational material and textbooks, the maximum eligible amount is € 500.00 for pupils from nursery and € 1.500,00 for primary, secondary and high school students and for students of vocational education and training.