SA edu dept, violating children with Autisms right to access all aspects of education.

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Hi, My name is Mandy Griffiths. I have 3 children with different disabilities. My oldest son has high functioning Autism. Now in Year 7 he is very behind academically due to past lack of class time and not been given proper work.

You see for the first at least 5 years of his education he was cut down in his time he got to be at school.  Even with the diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder, he was reduced in hours he could be at school.  At one point he went to school from 8.45am till 10.30am for 6 terms!.  Only with me putting up a fight the education department and the school he was at, was I able to send him till 12pm. He was cut out of excursions constantly, not allowed to go on camps. I know my child is not alone in this treatment.  I have friends who message me, asking how to deal with the SAME SITUATION.  It's shocking and a general practice across a lots of schools.

There has been endless battles with the education department and schools to get him to be in school full time with adequate support.  Something most parents of children with HF Autism struggle with getting and a lot have limited hours at school or can't attend at all and are subsequently forced to home school just to get a decent education, more support is needed!. 

There is not enough funding, they are not treated as special needs because of their higher IQ.  When really they are!. It's a disability they have to live with everyday that they are born with and effects their lives, it shouldn't effect their access to education as well. 

 This is a breach of the Disability Discrimination Act 1992 and the Human rights convention (see sections below).

UN convention on rights of persons with disabilties
Article 24 - Education
1. States Parties recognize the right of persons with disabilities to education. With a view to realizing this right without discrimination and on the basis of equal opportunity, States Parties shall ensure an inclusive education system at all levels and life long learning directed to:

(a) The full development of human potential and sense of dignity and self-worth, and the strengthening of respect for human rights, fundamental freedoms and human diversity;

(b) The development by persons with disabilities of their personality, talents and creativity, as well as their mental and physical abilities, to their fullest potential;

(c) Enabling persons with disabilities to participate effectively in a free society.

2. In realizing this right, States Parties shall ensure that:

(a) Persons with disabilities are not excluded from the general education system on the basis of disability, and that children with disabilities are not excluded from free and compulsory primary education, or from secondary education, on the basis of disability;

(b) Persons with disabilities can access an inclusive, quality and free primary education and secondary education on an equal basis with others in the communities in which they live;

(c) Reasonable accommodation of the individual's requirements is provided;

(d) Persons with disabilities receive the support required, within the general education system, to facilitate their effective education;

(e) Effective individualized support measures are provided in environments that maximize academic and social development, consistent with the goal of full inclusion.

3. States Parties shall enable persons with disabilities to learn life and social development skills to facilitate their full and equal participation in education and as members of the community. To this end, States Parties shall take appropriate measures, including:

(a) Facilitating the learning of Braille, alternative script, augmentative and alternative modes, means and formats of communication and orientation and mobility skills, and facilitating peer support and mentoring;

(b) Facilitating the learning of sign language and the promotion of the linguistic identity of the deaf community;

(c) Ensuring that the education of persons, and in particular children, who are blind, deaf or deafblind, is delivered in the most appropriate languages and modes and means of communication for the individual, and in environments which maximize academic and social development.

4. In order to help ensure the realization of this right, States Parties shall take appropriate measures to employ teachers, including teachers with disabilities, who are qualified in sign language and/or Braille, and to train professionals and staff who work at all levels of education. Such training shall incorporate disability awareness and the use of appropriate augmentative and alternative modes, means and formats of communication, educational techniques and materials to support persons with disabilities.

5. States Parties shall ensure that persons with disabilities are able to access general tertiary education, vocational training, adult education and lifelong learning without discrimination and on an equal basis with others. To this end, States Parties shall ensure that reasonable accommodation is provided to persons with disabilities.\


Disability discrimination act 1992
Division 2—Discrimination in other areas
22 Education
(1) It is unlawful for an educational authority to discriminate against a person on the ground of the person’s disability:
(a) by refusing or failing to accept the person’s application for admission as a student; or
(b) in the terms or conditions on which it is prepared to admit the person as a student.
(2) It is unlawful for an educational authority to discriminate against a student on the ground of the student’s disability:
(a) by denying the student access, or limiting the student’s access, to any benefit provided by the educational authority; or
(b) by expelling the student; or
(c) by subjecting the student to any other detriment.
(2A) It is unlawful for an education provider to discriminate against a person on the ground of the person’s disability:
(a) by developing curricula or training courses having a content that will either exclude the person from participation, or subject the person to any other detriment; or
(b) by accrediting curricula or training courses having such a content.
(3) This section does not render it unlawful to discriminate against a person on the ground of the person’s disability in respect of admission to an educational institution established wholly or primarily for students who have a particular disability where the person does not have that particular disability.

Please, don't let this oversight continue, children of SA are suffering poor education based on their disabilities and it's been happening for years now.

Regards,

Mandy Griffiths



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