Policy Submission: Access to the South Australian Education system for students with disabilities.
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JFA Purple Orange submitted this policy paper to the South Australian Legislative Council Select Committee on Disability and Access to Education on Access to the South Australian Education system for students with disabilities.
The South Australian education system requires all available support and resources to move to inclusive education in the shortest possible time. The challenges facing students living with disability, as well as all young people, are complex and in some instances, difficult.
The best possible schooling outcomes for all young people, enabling them to participate in their communities, as fully as their abilities and capacities allow, is a pressing issue for the South Australian community.
We recommend the Select Committee implement as a matter of urgency the following recommendations:
Support a single, inclusive education standard, with all students afforded the opportunity to attend their local neighbourhood school
Invest in teacher capacity building through training to learn about disability and to grow capacity to teach a diverse class of students including:
- Expanding the recently funded postgraduate mainstream teacher training on Autism Spectrum Disorder to also include teacher training and inclusive best practice knowledge to support students living with physical, neurological, hidden, mental health issues and intellectual disability
- Introducing compulsory inclusive best practice teacher training for undergraduate teachers, not limit this to postgraduate opportunities or specific disability degrees
- Design and introduce a teaching module that is run by people living with disability who share their experiences with teachers at university and at teacher training/staff development days.
Invest in creative ways of supporting young people living with disability such as the Circles Initiative
Ensure every student and their support network in South Australia has access to transition support such as the My Future: My Life initiative run by Centacare in Queensland
Expand Julia Farr Youth Mentoring to ensure every student is supported to believe in themselves and the possibility of a good life
Ensure every person can access the school’s facilities, equipment and curriculum
Undertake annual independent social and access audits of schools
Urgently investigate individualised needs-based funding support for students and funding for schools.