Ministers Andrew Barr MLA and Joy Burch MLA
ACT Legislative Assembly
Dear Chief Minister and Minister,
This letter is to inform you that the Committee of Speaking Out for Autism Spectrum Disorder (SOfASD) in the ACT passed a motion of no confidence on 17/9/2015 in:
the ACT Minister for Education and for Disability, and
the ACT Government
over events relating to the recent boy-in-the-cage “incident”.
The matter is not an “isolated incident” and the Minister's attempts to portray it as such show little or no understanding of the level of systemic failure for autistic students in the ACT. This attitude is unlikely to deliver improvements or reduce risk of abuse and neglect of autistic students in education or disability services in the ACT.
Clearly, the ACT Government's goal in its handling of the event is about trying to avoid further damage to the Government's image. The members of it's Expert Panel are at least partially responsible for the design, staff training, operation and monitoring of existing education services in the ACT: so they have a substantial conflict of interest.
We are disappointed that the Government is using the Expert Panel's existence as an excuse to avoid engagement with the ASD community. We notice that the Directorate is recruiting staff ahead of advice from the Expert Panel or any community consultation (see http://www.jobs.act.gov.au/jobs/education-and-training/permanent/02163).
Please feel free to contact SOfASD if you wish to discuss how the ACT Government can help improve outcomes for people diagnosed with ASD in the ACT.
Chair, Speaking Out for Autism Spectrum Disorder (SOfASD)
a voice for people affected by Autism Spectrum Disorder in the ACT