Advocates call for more investment in children with disabilities
The Sector > Workforce > Advocacy > Advocates call for more investment in children with disabilities

Advocates call for more investment in children with disabilities

by Freya Lucas

August 18, 2023

Children and Young People with Disability Australia (CYDA) have called on Federal Education Minister Jason Clare to deliver and invest in the lifelong development, learning and education of children with disability.


CYDA ran three surveys over the past 12 months, one about early childhood, one that heard from young people, and the other from families. CYDA then partnered with researchers from the Melbourne Graduate School of Education, University of Melbourne and Public Service Research Group, UNSW Canberra to analyse the data and prepare each of the three reports.


In the early childhood space, the survey showed that while more than 80 per cent of children and 78 per cent of families and caregivers of children with disability felt welcome in early childhood settings, 29 per cent of children and families had been excluded from excursions, events or activities, 28 per cent experienced bullying from children or staff, and one in five had been refused enrolment at a service. 


Nearly a quarter of those surveyed had also had limits placed on the number of hours their child or children were able to attend. 


CYDA CEO Skye Kakoschke-Moore thanked members and allies who shared their stories, saying the findings are disappointing and show discrimination is significantly impacting the education and wellbeing of Australian students with disability.


“Children and young people with disability face intersecting discrimination and exclusion from the earliest ages. This spans the early childhood education and care, school, medical and health service sector, and the community, all while they are also going through a significant and once in a lifetime developmental phase.”


“This discrimination and exclusion can have lifelong impacts if not addressed early.”


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