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Media Release – Inclusive Education: we need to make it work 

Published on December 2, 2022

2 December 2022 

The ACT’s peak body for people with disability has marked tomorrow’s United Nations International Day of People with Disability (IDPWD) by releasing a White Paper on Inclusive Education calling for better school access, universal design, support and funding for students with disability. 

According to AFI Head of Policy Craig Wallace “as we approach IDPWD we recognise education is key to people with disabilities getting jobs in open employment, finding friends and living good lives.  True inclusion is also key to realising the United Nations Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities.   

“The ACT has a mixed record here with four special schools and we estimate there are at least 2,000 students in disability education settings.  Yet the ACT has the second lowest rate of adjustments provided due to disability and too many schools are inaccessible.  Only about 20% of schools used as polling places are listed as fully accessible by the Australian Electoral Commission – if a voter can’t post a ballot there, what hope does a student have of getting through years of schooling? 

“Research shows inclusion makes a difference across multiple academic, social and emotional metrics including getting a good job and living independently  

“Universal design of digital and physical infrastructure and better resourcing are key to making inclusion work.  We are calling for a transition to inclusive education in the ACT, and an education system that meets our international human rights obligations. 

“We acknowledge that the ACT Government is making some positive strides including work towards an Inclusive Education Strategy.  Our paper is being launched at a forum today which will discuss the Strategy and put a spotlight on real stories of inclusive education in ACT public schools.  

White paper link:  

Forum details:   

What: Making Inclusion Work – a joint ACT Education Directorate and AFI Forum on Inclusive Education – with ABC TV’s Emmy Groves.   

When: Friday 2 December 2022 12.30pm to 2.00pm 

Where: Online via Webex  

For media comment contact Craig Wallace, Head of Policy on 0477 200 755