This is a non-political message from the Special Needs Parents Association:
Edited to add: To coincide with the Dail debate on Special Needs Wednesday 31st March we are organising a Protest @ 4:30 outside the Dail.
You might not know this but since October 2008 education rights for people with a disability have been seriously rolled back. The Education for Persons with Special Educational Needs Act (2004) was never fully implemented and its rollout was halted in October 2008. What had been done was proving successful, due in large part to the resourcing of the inclusion policy with Special Needs Assistants (SNA’s). With the rollout of the Act halted and the SNA resource decimated, many children with special educational needs are really struggling to get the education to which they are legally and morally entitled. Ireland was amongst the first countries to sign the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, on March 30th 2007. Three years later it has still to be ratified. We are calling on all Parents of SN Children, Adults with SN and SNA’s and Teachers and members of the public to come and support us and help be a voice to those who cannot speak to politicians.
Special Needs Parents seeks to improve all aspects of the lives of children with disabilities with a particular focus on education
(Special Needs Parents do not promote, represent or support any one political party, trade union or special interest group)
We aim to be a focal point for all parents of children with special needs. We aim to see that the Government fully implements the EPSEN Act (2004) and fully ratifies the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
§ we will launch the website, http://www.specialneedsparents.ie. soon. This will contain a database of parents throughout Ireland who can be contacted in order to provide support, guidance, useful contacts and information for other parents who have a child with a disability.
§ Lobby government and authority to fully implement or live up to their constitutional and moral commitments with regard to the EPSEN Act (2004), the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and recognise the right of people with a disability to an education.
Fight the single biggest issue adversely affecting the education of children with special educational needs today – the reduction in numbers and hours of the Special Needs Assistants (SNA’s).
The contact email is: specialneedsparents AT gmail DOT com