This is off topic, but it affects a lot of my readers, who have children with disabilities attending non-Government schools in Queensland. James has cerebral palsy. He and his twin brother, and their sister, attend our local Catholic Primary School. James is in my son’s class and is a good friend, and is loved by all. Last week, his parents received a letter from our State Government informing them that their son was to no-longer have access to support from the Disability Support Services Unit and Advisory Visiting Teachers who have supported him and his teachers to date.
To give you some more background, here is the news report from ABC Television last night:
Premier Newman says that NG schools already receive funding, which is true, but this funding has been for areas such as Intellectual Impairment and Learning Difficulties. It does not cover things such as assistive technology, therapy equipment, mobility equipment and other essential equipment. Parents of children in Non-Government schools are already subsidising the education of their children through school fees, and are also having to pay a lot of money for expensive therapies and equipment not funded by the Government through something such as the National Disability Insurance Scheme, that our state government is not supporting. They also pay taxes and they also vote.
James’ Parents have begun an online petition through Change.org to raise awareness of the problem and to lobby for proper support for all students with disabilities. I have a personal interest in this as a friend of the family, but I’ll also make the disclaimer that I was part of the support system, as an AVT for the DSSU, when I worked for the government all those years ago, and I know the impact this decision will have. Please sign the petition and share with your friends.
- Petitioning Queensland Minister for Education (www.change.org/petitions/john-paul-langbroek-queensland-minister-for-education-reinstate-support-for-children-with-disabilities-in-non-state-schools#share)
- Living with Cerebral Palsy Facts (theredneckmommy.com)