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Education disability discrimination

What you need to know

Tackling Educational Disability Discrimination

Tackling Educational Disability DiscriminationOur son is partially sighted. He has other physical disabilities too and more recently has been diagnosed with learning disabilities. His problem is processing information, and he finds it hard to listen and write at the same time. Because of this, we asked the school for aids for him - what we asked for was a Dictaphone, large print notes and we asked about the possibility of extra time for exams.

These aids were not provided or funded by the Education Authority under his special educational needs statement, so we asked the school to provide them instead. However, schools in Northern Ireland are not obliged by law to provide auxiliary aids and services like this, even when it is reasonable to provide them. In comparison, schools in England and Wales are bound by law to do that. Our requests for help were turned down, but we were determined. We helped him at home and paid for tutoring for him. We stuck at it because we know he can do it and we want him to get his GCSEs.

We think the law here should be changed to bring it into line with England and Wales, where the law requires schools to provide auxiliary aids and services for disabled pupils, where they’re at a substantial disadvantage and where it is reasonable to provide them. Help us. Surely our disabled children are entitled to the same protection as other disabled children in England and Wales.

You can help protect disabled children in Northern Ireland. Make equality a priority and change the law on Educational Needs Discrimination..


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