Where are we now? • Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission 2012 & 2017 • Victorian Auditor General’s Office 2012 • Federal Senate Community Affairs References Committee 2015 • Federal Senate Education and Employment References Committee 2016 • Department of Education and Training (PSD Review) 2016 • Victorian Senate Family and Community Development Committee 2017 • New South Wales Ombudsman 2017 • Education of Students with a Disability or Special Needs in New South Wales 2017
Who has the power? • Minister • Secretary
Are we moving forward? • The power of the glossy brochure. • The reality.
Smoke and Mirrors • The Brochure • Principles for Reduction and Elimination of Restraint and Seclusion In Victorian Government Schools
The Reality • Regulation 15 • A member of staff of a Government school may take any reasonable action that is immediately required to restrain a student of the school from acts or behaviour that is dangerous to the member of staff, the student, or any other person.
Case Studies As We Speak • Adelaide • Eight Schools • General Inability to support academically and behaviourally
Melbourne John For six years • Goal - making a mark on a piece of paper; • Goal - match colours; • Goal - match letters to his name; • Goal - make noises and smile Six years-no communication method
Country Victoria • Cages at Bendigo Special Developmental School
Advocacy • Cup of Tea Advocacy • Equal Opportunity Act • Disability Discrimination Act • Media • Convention of the Rights with a Person with a Disability • Convention on the Rights of the Child • Ombudsman • Ombudsman/senate/human rights commission reports
Litigation - eliciting genuine responses Not a reasonable adjustment • Student Support Groups • Behaviour Plans • Individual Education Plans • Behaviour Assessments • Protection from bullying Invisible individual education plans, invisible behaviour plans, restraint, seclusion
Queensland • Physical Violence • Seclusion
Outcomes of litigation Positives • Vindication for families and students • Media Negative • Confidential settlements • Little systemic change • Millions of dollars spent
Attitude-general view that people with disabilities are not important? • Reluctance to spend money? • General educational incompetence across the board? • Too hard?
What needs to happen next? The pace of change - how many more people should be sacrificed
While we wait ……. • suicide • attempted suicide • acquisition of mental illness • leaving school without an education • leaving school without communication • forced home schooling • forced Distance Education
Thoughts • Unity • Strength • Targeted civic action