STATE ELECTION PANEL DISCUSSION – VIDEO HIGHLIGHTS
On 12th November ACD held a State Election Panel discussion on the topic of Education for Children with a Disability. The event featured panellists MP Martin Dixon (Liberal Victoria), MP Colleen Hartland (The Greens Victoria) and MP James Merlino (Victorian Labor). The event was moderated by Louise Milligan from ABC’s 7.30 Report. The video below contains extracts of the event.
ACD STATE ELECTION 2014 ELECTION CAMPAIGN PLATFORM
With only one week to go before Victorians head to the poll ACD has conducted a summary of election commitments as they compare to the ACD campaign platform.
Mandatory pre-service training and ongoing professional development for educators and support staff
Under our current system the vast majority of pre-service teachers are permitted to graduate without any training in skills to support individual learning for students with a disability. ACD called on the next Victorian government to make disability training mandatory for all teachers seeking to register in Victoria.
The Victorian Labor party has since announced that if elected, they will work with Victorian tertiary education institutions to make special needs education compulsory for all undergraduate teachers in the state. They will also require all schools to provide professional development in special needs for existing teachers.
Greater investment in peer to peer support for families
ACD called for a $500,000 increase in funding for the Strengthening Parent Support program, Victoria’s only peer support program for families of children with any type of a disability or developmental delay. This funding increase is needed to help the program to manage existing demand.
The Coalition has committed to invest $100,000 in the Strengthening Parent Support program over the next 12 months if re-elected to government. This investment is part of their $2 million Parent Support Strategy announced earlier this month.
Making Changing Places a requirement for all tenders for new and refurbished public infrastructure projects
ACD is advocating for the next state government to address one of the fundamental barriers to social inclusion for people with profound and severe disabilities by incorporating fully accessible public toilets in plans for new and renovated public infrastructure projects.
In September the Napthine Government funded six new Changing Places public toilets and supported ACD to progress this work. We are still awaiting a response from all parties on adopting the installation of Changing Places as government policy.
Greater investment in individualised support for families to reduce expensive out of home care placements
ACD advocates for greater provision of individualised support for families to address their needs before they escalate.
The Coalition announced last week that a re-elected Napthine government will invest $18 million to expand respite for people with a disability, their family and carers. This funding will provide an additional 400,000 hours of community based respite. They have also committed to invest an additional $3.6 million to build two new respite facilities in Whittlesea and Mitchell to cater to the increase in population growth and increased service demand in these areas.
The Victorian Coalition Government has outlined their plan for statewide roll-out of the National Disability Insurance Scheme, which will be backed with a funding commitment of $2.5 billion by 2019-20. Under the plan, those awaiting support on the DSR or ECIS waiting lists will be prioritised to enter the scheme from 1 July 2016 under a re-elected Napthine Government.