Victoria, Australia — A survey conducted by advocacy group Children with Disability Australia found that up to one in four children with disabilities are refused enrollment in schools, and up to 70% of them are not getting the support that they need.
The national survey conducted by the group involved families of children with disabilities who were asked to assess how their overall experiences were with their children’s schooling.
The survey found that out of the 1,000 families involved in the study, 25% of the children with disabilities, at some point, experienced being rejected by the schools, while about 17% said that they were told that they only qualify for part-time enrollment.
All in all, 68% of the families said that they believe their children are not getting the support that they should be receiving at school.
Children with Disability Australia Chief Executive Stephanie Gotlib told:
“These statistics reflect an education system not meeting the needs of students with disability.”
“As a result many are being denied the right to a quality education. Many respondents cited a lack of resources and lack of funding for the limitations placed on their child’s attendance and meaningful participation, but there are also some instances of blanket refusals to consult and co-ordinate.”
Due to the negative press, The Department of Education in Western Australia, has formally stated through spokesperson Lindsay Hale, Executive Director for Statewide Services at the Department,
“We believe very strongly that the best way for most students with autism to reach their potential in education is to mix with other students in mainstream schools, with extra support if they need it.
“We have a number of options to meet the individual learning and behavioural needs of students with autism, ranging from support in mainstream classrooms through to specialist units, to ensure each child can participate in and get the most out of their education.”
Sources: Rachel Browne on The Sydney Morning Herald website: Students with disabilities: One in four refused enrolment, most get inadequate support, survey shows
PSNews online: Response to media’s autism claims