Workshop for parents striving for inclusive education

DEMI LYNCH

education

Image: The Blue Diamond Gallery.

Community Resource Unit (CRU) will be hosting ‘Working Together for Inclusive Schools: Leadership, Community Campaigning and Influencing Others Leadership’, a workshop for parents who have children with a disability.

The leadership event will be on the 6th and 7th of October in South Brisbane.

Senior consultant at CRU, Lisa Bridle said the event is an opportunity for parents to promote inclusive education.

“It will allow families to promote a vision of full inclusion in all Queensland schools,” Ms Bridle said.

“This is an event for people who want inclusive education to be the norm rather than something families fight for.”

Brisbane resident, Deb Haller said it was a struggle to find inclusive education for her son who has a disability, as many professionals suggested he be put into segregated education.

“When it was time for him to begin prep school, we had a mix of opinions offered by professionals about which education setting to choose,” Ms Haller said.

“Our conversations were often focused largely on my son’s deficits as opposed to presuming he would be capable and welcome at a mainstream school.”

“He attended the special school for four years.”

“He was not overly happy there and it was suggested by external professionals this was largely due to not having his communication needs met.”

“I also felt he wasn’t developing a strong connection with our local community and instead was a part of a parallel world which was somewhat detached from where we live and play.”

Ms Haller said transferring him to mainstream school was one of the best decisions she has ever made.

“The staff have been very supportive of him and his classmates are very accepting of him – he really likes his peers,” Ms Haller said.

“After commencing at the school, I noticed a huge increase in his speech and also an improvement in behaviour.”

“His transition to mainstream education was made very complicated though because of me.”

“I was so fearful that he wouldn’t be safe or be able to cope.”

“I also had to challenge all of my own preconceived ideas about special versus inclusive education and had to park my own fear – he needed me to back him, believe in him and support this transition.”

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