Robert Pyne.doc - Post School Transition Problems Failing Students with Disabilities Robert Pyne Regional Disability Liaison Officer for Far North

Robert Pyne.doc - Post School Transition Problems Failing...

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Post School Transition Problems: Failing Students with Disabilities Robert Pyne Regional Disability Liaison Officer for Far North Queensland While this presentation focuses on the situation in Queensland, the issues raised apply more or less equally to other states. The primary difference is the name of government departments and the programs they provide. Students with disabilities (SWD) experience significant difficulties in making the transition from secondary school to post school education. In Queensland, as in other states, SWD receive substantial support to assist them to fully participate in primary and secondary education. However, upon completing their secondary education, should students want to undertake Post-Secondary Education and Training (PSE & T), they find that the necessary support services are greatly reduced. Support Provided for School Aged Children It is important to acknowledge the extensive range of services provided to SWD in primary and secondary education. These services include: Provision of transport to and from school where required; A placement policy to ensure students are enrolled in schools that best meet their needs; An ascertainment process to determine placement and service provisions; Diagnosis of behavioural disabilities including: Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and Attention Deficit Disorder (ADHD/ADD); Behavioural Management Practices; Inclusion policies; Special Education Units; and Provision of therapy services. These services are provided by dedicated staff, at considerable expense. Notwithstanding this, family members and advocates have pointed out service provision remains far from perfect. Certainly, the level of support varies across states and between schools, with schools in regional and remote areas often particularly disadvantaged. In addition to support delivered in schools, state governments also provide help to students and families via other programs, such as the Family Support Program (FSP), which provides flexible and responsive support to families with children who have high and complex needs. The program is provided by Disabilities Services Queensland (DSQ), and eight NGOs throughout Queensland. It is available to families who have a child under 18 years of age with a disability. The FSP provides supports designed to strengthen families’ ability to care for their children with a disability and all family members. Assistance is provided in a number of areas, including; assistance in the home, therapy services and counselling and support for social activities and specialised aids and equipment. However, difficulties arise when, following completion of secondary school, a student seeks to pursue their post school opportunities. These difficulties arise at a crucial time in which students are negotiating the change to adult life. For example, PSE & T is often the first time that individuals are away from home, and for disabled people this change in situation can be very challenging,
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