On Thursday 23 September the Education for All network, made up of disabled people, families, educators, and service providers, including IHC, rallied on the steps of Parliament, united against the Government’s recent policy announcements about including students with disabilities.
The rally was designed to send a message to Government: Investment is needed for an education system that responds to the rights of every learner to fully participate and succeed.
An open letter to the Minister of Education, which can be downloaded below, was read at the rally outlining the disappointment and frustration felt by the network at the continued lack of commitment from Government to ensure that disabled people have access to a properly resourced and inclusive education.
IHC Director of Advocacy Trish Grant says there is a broad base of support for an inclusive education system that resources children with disabilities and schools properly. IHC is in ongoing discussions with the Ministry of Education, regarding its legal action against the Government that alleges disabled children experience discrimination at school (http://ihc.org.nz/ihcs-education-complaint)
“While we acknowledge that there are some positive aspects in the policy update, they will take time to embed and families and schools are worried that children and young people with disabilities in the system now will be worse off.
“Recent reports from Youthlaw and the Human Rights Commission back up these concerns.”
Thursday's rally confirmed that it is not just IHC that believes the current system does not guarantee a fair deal for children and young people with disabilities at school.
“IHC and the Education for All network is calling on the Government to provide a real investment in inclusion,” says Trish.