From The Drum Opinion: (click for full article)
Members of the Australian public were finally treated last week to not one, but two significant documents that are designed to bring education for people with disabilities triumphantly into the 21st century. Or at least I thought they were.
The Gillard Government released the report by the review team charged with picking apart the Disability Standards for Education that have been in place since august 2005, and their own response document. However, for those of us who were holding out for more than a polite nod at inclusive education in the review, a panacea it is not.
After the Disability Discrimination Act 1992, a decade of consultation with education, training and disability groups along with the commission which would be later entitled the HRIOC led to the implementation of The Disability Standards for Education 2005.
The new legislation's mission, should anyone have chosen to accept it, was to prioritise the rights of people with disabilities to educational provision, and in turn to obligate educational providers to make it happen.
Fast forward five years and the DEEWR along with the Attorney General's Department kicked off the first review of the Standards, in which they received 200 submissions and even met with 150 education users – yes people with disabilities would you believe – and education providers on their experiences with the Standards.
The report revealed that while generally the Standards have drawn badly needed attention to disability in education, tighter guidelines are required for them to be effective.