letter: motion of no confidence in Minister and ACT Government

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”.

Burch promises the ‘kid in a cage’ case was an isolated incident

Editor: the lack of professional/qualified behaviour support for students with autism/ASD in ACT schools in not an "isolated incident", it's a well established long term policy of this Education and Disability Minister.

JOY Burch and Director-General of the Education and Training Directorate Diane Joseph have released the key findings from an independent investigation into the construction of an “inappropriate structure” at an ACT Public School.

“Through all of this, my key concern has been the welfare of the child and the family involved,” Joy said.

“I am very disappointed by the things found through this investigation.

“It is completely unacceptable that a decision was taken to build this type of structure to respond to the behaviour of a student. This decision was wrong, and the officer responsible will no longer be a school principal or be working within a school. School principals must be held responsible for their actions.

SOfASD Submission to Expert Panel on ACT's caged student

SOfASD made a submission to the ACT's Expert Panel on Students with Complex Needs and Challenging Behaviour.

SOfASD's submission has the following conclusions.

We expect a whitewash from the Expert Panel. Given its composition, it seems unlikely that there will be the adverse finding that are needed to drive improvement. But if there are adverse findings, the ACT Government will sweep them under the carpet as soon as it believes it can get away with it.

Want a career in IT? Are you an adult with ASD and living in the Canberra Region?

Recruiting - Test Analysts

HP is one of the world’s largest and most successful IT companies. We know that our people and values are the most important elements in this success. We invest in your personal growth and development in an environment where you will be supported.

HP is recruiting people to work in the area of software applications testing in the Canberra Region.  The entry into this software-testing career is via the Test Analyst job role.  Applications are requested to fill these Test Analyst roles.

Challenging behaviour in schools under the microscope after boy-in-cage affair

, Chief Assembly reporter for The Canberra Times.

In the wake of the boy-in-a-cage affair, ACT Education Minister Joy Burch has announced a wide review of how schools deal with children with challenging behaviour, from violence to classroom disruption.

The review will also look at students "complex needs" and at the use of "exclusionary withdrawal".

Child reportedly contained in cage-like structure at ACT primary school

A school that placed a child with special needs and behavioural issues in a cage-like withdrawal space told parents it had intended it to be a "sanctuary". 

ACT Education has suspended a principal and launched an investigation into how a primary school student was placed in the purpose built two-by-two-metres structure made of metal pool fencing.

It is understood the structure within the classroom was built specifically for the student, believed to be a 10-year-old boy with autism, on March 10. It was dismantled on March 27, the day after the directorate became aware of it.

NDIS transition cuts Early Intervention for young children with autism in the ACT

The Commonwealth and ACT governments are rolling out the NDIS in the ACT. The transition process puts young children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) among the first NDIS participants and disrupts (cuts) a range of existing ACT Government services including:

NDIS planning for adults with severe autism/ASD in the ACT

In this video Bob Buckley describes his recent experiences with National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) planning. His advice tries to help others prepare for their transition to the NDIS. He suggests that people can reduce their stress over NDIS planning if they better understand the processes and likely outcomes.

Bob Buckley's son (who is 23yo with severe autism) has one of the earlier NDIS plans approved in the ACT. The process took 11 days and delivered substantially more support/resources than was previously provided. The plan is much more flexible than the previous arrangement.


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