10-year-old girl with Asperger’s was hit across the head, pushed from a pier and had to hide in a rubbish bin to escape harsh taunting by classmates, the disability royal commission has heard.
third of all children with disability have been restrained or secluded at school while half have been bullied in the past year, according to a government-funded report that reveals “severe neglect and abuse” of young people and calls for “special schools” to be phased out.
Felix’s mother Chloe Letica believed some of her son’s behaviours might have been avoided if he was offered more support. She is now home-schooling him. “It is infuriating,” she said. “He has a legal human right to an inclusive education.”
This advocate redesigned the Disability Royal Commission website so people with disability can actually use it
“There were a lot of bureaucratic words, a lot of information about things like ‘letters patent’, which is legal jargonese which people don’t necessarily understand, or need to know. What they need to know is how they can tell their story, how they can be supported to tell their story, what they need to do, and what’s going to happen when they do it.”
The Children and Young People with Disability Australia organisation said its findings show young people with disabilities are being failed by the education system, and called for special schools and separate classrooms to be phased out.
More than a fifth of disabled young people have been subjected to some form of restraint at school in the past year, new research shows.
“The commission is confident that the issues that have been raised are ones that can be resolved in time for the first hearing,” Ms Pirani said.
Despite advocates fighting for decades to have a royal commission, Children and Young People with Disability Australia chief executive Mary Sayers said the process since it was announced in April has been “rushed”. “What’s a stake is we’ve got a once-in-a-generation opportunity. We know that students with disability have a really rough time in school … and they start behind and don’t catch up,” Ms Sayers said.
Well-intentioned people are failing to see the entire child and that child’s immense potential because they see the child’s disability first, according to an inclusive education researcher.
Newcastle University education lecturer David Roy said the way state’s schools dealt with disabled children was sometimes haphazard, and could be further exacerbated by the new approach.
For many families of children with disabilities, their first encounter with a Victorian state school is marked by “gatekeeping”. They might be encouraged to enrol their child elsewhere or told a school has reached its capacity to accommodate kids with disabilities. Maybe they’re informed of zoning issues. Obtaining the contact details for key staff and signing up for school tours might be inexplicably difficult.
Closing date: September 6, 2019
Swinburne University wants to hear from parent of children with autism spectrum disorder in mainstream primary schools about how satisfied they are with their child’s education. You can have your say in this 30 minute online survey. All data provided is confidential, anonymous and not traceable. The results will be used to better inform educators, parents and policymakers.
Many tertiary institutions employ own disability liaison officers. Other DLOs are employed regionally and shared across campuses, especially in the TAFE sector.
Schools are set up for students who can see. But around 3,000 school-aged children in Australia have a vision impairment – 300 of these have a severe vision impairment or are blind. These children are generally educated in mainstream schools, sometimes with little support for their needs.
The authors interviewed 15 students aged 7-14 with a vision impairment attending state, Catholic, and independent schools. They also interviewed their parents and teachers.
While many Australian universities offer onsite support for students with disabilities, more needs to be done to ensure all Australians have access to higher education.
One of the best ways to do this is to readily offer accessible online education.