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CCS Disability Action Supports IHC Complaint

MEDIA RELEASE FROM CCS DISABILITY ACTION

Friday 1 August 2008

CCS Disability Action Supports IHC Complaint to Human Rights Commission

CCS Disability Action supports IHC's complaint to the Human Rights Commission that Government policies and practices prevent disabled students participating fully at their local school.

"The current system remains one of the biggest barriers for disabled students being included in their local community and it's something that needs urgently addressing," says CCS Disability Action CEO Viv Maidaborn.

The New Zealand Disability Strategy aims to increase the participation of disabled people in society and the Education Act states that any child who has special education needs can enrol and receive education at their local state school.

"For many students this is not a reality and often they have to look at schools outside their community or are left with no other option than attending a special school," says Viv Maidaborn.

Current research shows that children with disabilities do better, both academically and socially, when they are taught in regular education settings. Their non-disabled classmates do better as well. Children taught in segregated settings such as special schools have more difficulties in these areas, and are much more likely to face challenges when it comes to finding work and participating in the community as adults. The research also shows that children with disabilities fare best when schools actively work to be inclusive of all students.

"In light of the complaint to the Human Rights Commission, New Zealand should focus on supporting the rights and needs of children with disabilities to receive a high quality education in their local school," adds Viv Maidaborn.

The solution is for Government and the education sector to commit itself to ensuring that policies, practices and schools become inclusive. This means rethinking how we train and support teachers and principals, and how we resource and support our schools.

CCS Disability Action welcomes discussion with IHC and Government to further this matter.

"We must be aspirational for all our students. New Zealand has the ability to create an education system where everybody is welcome, has friends, is achieving, successful, and grows to be a connected contributing citizen. In short, an inclusive education system," adds Viv Maidaborn.

ENDS


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