Advocates divided over the return of students with disability to the classroom

Disability advocates are concerned by the Victorian government’s plan to allow students with disability to return to school, with fears this will put vulnerable children in greater danger of contracting COVID-19. The Victorian government has announced that students from Prep to Year 10 at government schools in metropolitan Melbourne and the Mitchell Shire will learn from home from 20 July until at least 19 August.

Violence, abuse, neglect’: three Melbourne special schools in probe

Three special schools in Melbourne will be investigated over a series of allegations of “violence, abuse and serious neglect” of students with disabilities over the past 10 years. Victoria’s Department of Education and Training has launched an investigation into multiple claims of mistreatment of vulnerable children at Marnebek School in Cranbourne East, Jackson School in St Albans and Southern Autistic School in Bentleigh East.

Parents of children with disabilities are struggling to teach their children during COVID-19

Homeschooling is difficult enough for most families, but parents of students with disabilities say they urgently need more support to help educate their kids. Fiona Sharkie, CEO of Victorian peak body for autism Amaze, said students with disabilities and their families had been forced to scramble for their own solutions to homeschooling. “The silence is really deafening from the [Education] Department,” she said.

It’s not all sunshine and rainbows

Times are hard right now. For everyone. And if you’re a parent of a child with a disability, being off school isn’t as ‘cute’ and ‘pretty’ as it may seem across social media.  I’m not saying every minute of every day is hard, but it’s not all fun crafts and cookie baking either. 

We all contributed to the bullying of Quaden Bayles

Nine-year-old Quaden Bayles gained global fame in a viral video after he was bullied at school for his dwarfism. Disability advocate Stephanie Gotlib writes it is the attitudes and actions of our community that perpetuate this discrimination, abuse and low expectations experienced by children with disability.