Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 11 Hansard (Thursday, 21 October 2010) . . Page.. 4829 ..
schools, particularly the Catholic system. A number of concerns were raised with us, particularly by parents, unions and those groups that support children with disabilities, about the challenges that they and their children face on a broad range of issues, including access to services and transport to school before they even can access those services. It is outlined in the report and Ms Bresnan has given a summary so I will not go into it in too much detail.
There are 30 recommendations and I look forward to the government’s response. I hope that they have in some way learned from the experience of the last week, when they were reviewing cutting disability services within the department, and that they will take the report at face value. I hope that they will continue to look very closely at what Professor Shaddock had to say in his review. The government certainly need to take what this inquiry and Professor Shaddock have said very seriously.
This is an area of growing need in our community. It is clear that for students with disabilities, and a broad range of disabilities—indeed one of the issues in the inquiry concerned the definition of “disability”, and there is no doubt that it ranges from people who are quite severely disabled to those who just have minor learning difficulties—there is a lot of work that needs to be done. I am sure that my colleague Mr Doszpot, who has a passion for this issue—particularly disability within education—will follow up on this inquiry and hold the government to account. I certainly look forward to the government’s response. I hope it is a positive one.
Finally, I would like to thank the committee—Ms Bresnan, the chair, and Ms Porter for her role—and also, as always, the secretariat: Sandra Lilburn, who again has done a great job; the research officer, Samara Henriksen; and Lydia Chung for her role in providing administration to the committee.
MR DOSZPOT (Brindabella) (10.24): I thank Ms Bresnan and members of the education committee for their contributions to report 5 entitled Needs of ACT students with a disability. I look forward to looking at this report in detail as I consider both of my shadow portfolio areas—that is, education and disability. Some of the issues that have been brought to my attention by concerned parents appear to have been touched on in the report. In a way, it is ironic that we are being presented with this report the day after the serious concerns of parents and educators about the needs of ACT students with disabilities were rejected by the Assembly yesterday. Recommendation 4 states:
The Committee recommends that Individual Learning Plans should be developed as a formal benchmarking tool which will assist in the refinement of teaching strategies at the classroom level and be able to measure the level of success of schools in the delivery of education services to students with disabilities.
Recommendation 5 states:
The Committee recommends that the Department of Education and Training investigate, develop and implement a system of objective educational measures of outcomes for students with a disability that would allow teaching strategies to be refined and system level planning to be undertaken.