Speech Pathology Australia has proposed that the Federal Government should include a national “disability inclusion measure” on its MySchool website to allow parents who have children with a disability to identify the schools which best suit the individual child’s needs.
This “disability inclusion measure” would aim to identify the resources available at each school and the skills each individual school possesses to accommodate for disabled students.
Gaenor Dixon, SPA national president, welcomed the Senate report but said children with disabilities continued to get a “raw deal” when it came to education. We do not wish to see that the release of this important report descend into a debate about education funding. We are excited to welcome the report’s recommendation for a National Strategy for Students with Disability, led and initiated by the federal government, Dixon said.
Speech Pathology Australia urges that part of the strategy needs to include a plan to fix the current My School website in order to include this national disability inclusion measure. The measure would allow parents to easily access the information regarding disability support for their child and compare schools with access to speech pathology and other specialist services to ensure their children will have the best opportunity at a full education.
Speech Pathology Australia has stated that funding is not the only part of the plan required to improve educational outcomes for students with disabilities. They have highlighted the need for principals and teachers to provide assistance and support for these children and implementing this system.
In a statement released yesterday, the Association said an amendment to the MySchool website would “make the whole education system accountable for how they deal with disabilities .It would as the report states, recognise all students with disability as learners and drive the cultural change required to achieve this, particularly at a school leadership level,” it said.
Speech Pathology Australia has put forward this proposal following a report by the Australian Senate’s, which investigated the treatment of disabled children in schools throughout Australian. The negative findings discussed in this report called for stern action and definitely warranted the current proposal.
Senator Sue Lines, chairwoman of the Education and Employment References Committee’s (EERC), told a Senate inquiry that the school system was “failing children with disability”. They are refused enrolment, they are only going a few days a week or not going at all. If they do attend school, bullying and exclusion are the norm. It is disgraceful,” Lines said.
This inquiry has lifted the lid on the failure to provide these children with the basic human right to an education.