Can-Do-Ability: Answers and Solutions from my personal experiences of living with a disability

Gillard Promises $200m Boost For Disabled Students

3 May 2011With details of Australia's 2011 Federal Budget trickling out ahead of next week's full announcement, it has been reported that Prime Minister Gillard will provide $200 Million to the Australian school system, this money will be provided in the hopes that it will assist school children with a disability.

Ms Gillard, who promises that the money will be available by the beginning of the next school year, stated “We are investing it in a tight Budget because we recognise that there is nothing more important for the nation's future than what happens in schools today. And we want to make sure that every child in every school gets a great education.''

The funding is theoretically going to help more than 164,000 pupils. The monies will contribute towards new services, such as speech and occupational therapy delivered at school by health and student welfare professionals, access to special equipment in classrooms such as audio, and visual technology, so that students can more easily learn and engage with their classmates and teachers, additional hours of in-class support from staff including teachers aides, health and allied health professionals as well as enhanced support through team teaching and adapted curriculum tailored to their needs based on the latest research and expert advice.

It has been reported in the Daily Telegraph today - http - that From July 1st 2011, eligible children who are under six, with sight or hearing impairment, Down syndrome, cerebral palsy or Fragile X syndrome, will get access to up to $12,000 for intensive early intervention therapies and treatments from allied health professionals.

These all sound like great promises, but I won't hold my breath until I see some positive outcomes for students with disabilities.

I was under the impression that the Australian government already funded schools with this type of assistance, and that school's just had to ‘apply' for aid... Maybe I was wrong.

I would like to one day see somewhere in the budget where they decide to offer more assistance to adults living with a disability, because, I'm afraid, as one with a disability gets older, the cost of living just gets more and more difficult.

Maybe she has offered this incentive to take some of the flack away from her proposing to cut back the disability pension to pay for rebuilding Queensland after their floods....

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Previous Comments

Karyn from Brisbane posted on 12 May 2011
Let's hope the promised $200M is accessable by ALL disabled children, and not just those with the 'correct' lables [being sight or hearing impairment, Down syndrome, cerebral palsy or Fragile X syndrome ... plus Autism from last year], who are able to access FACHSIA's $12,000 of early intervention!

Toni from Wollongong posted on 6 May 2011
Gillard's talk of cutting back on the disability pension has me very worried, I know there are people out there that are swindling the system and it's those people that have brought on this cutback. I know with my condition I can not work and no-one will hire me because I am too much of a liability, I stagger and fall plus I have DR-OP attacks, these falls always cause injuries, I suffer daily vertigo and I am going deaf with Meniere's, now I am worried I will be forced to look for work when I am suffering from an illness that has NO cure and I struggle to do the simplest of things without injuring myself, and I do suffer from depression with this disease and can't take antidepressants because they react severely with my other meds to try and help treat the symptoms, so I worry what will happen to me, will I end up another person living on the streets because of her new rules?

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