Page 119 - Week 01 - Wednesday, 28 November 2012

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Wednesday, 28 November 2012

MADAM SPEAKER (Mrs Dunne) took the chair at 10 am and asked members to stand in silence and pray or reflect on their responsibilities to the people of the Australian Capital Territory.

Leave of absence

Motion (by Mr Barr) agreed to:

That leave of absence be granted to Mr Corbell for this sitting for personal reasons.


Ministerial response

The Clerk: The following response to a petition has been lodged by a minister:

By Ms Burch, Minister for Education and Training, dated 27 November 2012, in response to a petition lodged by Ms Hunter on 22 August 2012 concerning the recognition of dyslexia as a learning disability.

The terms of the response will be recorded in Hansard.

Dyslexia—petition No 138

The response read as follows:

Under the Federal Disability Discrimination Act 1992, it is unlawful for an educational authority to discriminate against a person on the grounds of the person’s disability. Under the act dyslexia is categorised as a “neurologically based learning difference or disability”.

All funds provided to ACT schools to support the education of students includes funding to support those students with a disability. Ensuring students with a disability are able to access and participate in education and training on the same basis as those without a disability can require additional funding depending on the adjustments and support required.

In August 2012, the former Minister for Education and Training, Dr Chris Bourke MLA, announced the establishment of a Taskforce on Students with Learning Difficulties. The aim of the Taskforce is to examine how to improve assessment and support for children and young people in ACT public schools with learning difficulties.

Key issues to be considered include students experiencing language disorders, comprehension and processing disorders, dyslexia-related issues and significant difficulties in general numeracy and literacy. It is expected the issues raised in this petition will be discussed at Taskforce meetings.

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