Media Releases

Soft Bigotry of Low Expectation

Dignity for Disability MLC Kelly Vincent will tomorrow host a public forum in Parliament House to discuss access to the education system for students with disabilities.

This follows reports from parents that students with disabilities are regularly being suspended, or excluded, from the education system and Kelly Vincent’s introduction of a Motion to establish a Select Committee of the Legislative Council.

“Every child, whether they have a disability or not, has a right to access free and fair education. This simply does not occur in South Australia at present,” says Ms Vincent.

“Providing fair and equal access to all students in our education system requires that we recognise and individualise a plan for each child or young person, in theory this happens – in practice in too many cases it does not.

“Time and time again my office is told stories of exclusion, suspension, isolation and bullying occurring in our schools.

“Australia, has ratified the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD), and we must ensure that every opportunity to learn and fully participate in our education system is given to young people in this state.

“Article 24 of the UNCRPD outlines education and states: ‘effective individualized support measures are provided in environments that maximize academic and social development, consistent with the goal of full inclusion.’

“South Australia has a high rate of home schooling and this is at least in part due to the lack of supports and workable options being offered to children with disabilities in the education system,” said Ms Vincent.

The public forum will take place in the Old Chamber of Parliament House on Thursday, May 21 from 10.00am until 12.30pm and has 60 registered attendees. In addition to Kelly Vincent, a parent who has a student with disability currently in the public education system will be available to talk with media at the conclusion of the meeting.

The text of Kelly Vincent’s motion, and the speech introducing the motion is attached to this email. Ms Vincent will take her motion to a vote in the Legislative Council on Wednesday, June 3, 2015.

*George W. Bush, 2000.