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Seanad Éireann Private Members Business (Fine Gael Group) Wednesday 8 April 2008


That Seanad Éireann -

Notes that:

  • The Education for Persons with Special Educational Needs Act has not been fully implemented despite the fact that the National Council for Special Education has an Implementation Plan ready.
  • Under the Disability Act 2005 a child of 7 or older will not be assessed until he or she is in 5th class and will have missed out on crucial early intervention and entitlements.
  • The Department of Education and Science has a "cap" in place on the number of psychological assessments available to schools.

Expresses its disappointment that:

  • The Standards for Services for People with Disabilities seem to have been abandoned by the Government.
  • The Code of Practice for Sheltered Occupational Services has not been adopted.

Calls on:

  • The Government to immediately fully implement the Education for Persons with Special Educational Needs Act.
  • To provide a timeframe as to when it intends to adopt the Code of Practice for Sheltered Occupational Services and to clarify why it has neglected the Standards for Services for People with Disabilities.
  • To immediately ratify the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with a Disability.
  • To provide extra resources to quicken the roll-out of the Disability Act 2005 so that all children can benefit from early intervention resources and therapies.
  • To life the embargo on employment currently being implemented by the HSE and to ensure that current cutbacks do not impact on children with disabilities.

-Senator Frances Fitzgerald