Many students with disability have not received adequate educational support during the pandemic, new research shows. Source: Pro Bono News.
A report launched by Children and Young People with Disability Australia (CYDA) on Friday contains national survey results from more than 700 parents and carers of students with disability.
More than half of the respondents said students with disability did not receive curriculum and learning materials in accessible formats, while 44 per cent of students lost access to learning support staff such as aides, or had their support hours dramatically reduced.
Almost three quarters (72 per cent) of students felt more socially isolated from their classmates – for reasons such as being excluded from working with others, or not being invited to virtual classroom sessions.
CYDA CEO Mary Sayers said it was clear children with disability were struggling during the pandemic. She said while the pandemic made school difficult for all students, “entrenched inequality” made the situation tougher for students with disability.
Ms Sayers told Pro Bono News that schools needed to make sure students with disability felt connected socially and educationally with their peers.
In a move criticised by People With Disability Australia (PWDA), current restrictions in Victoria mean many students will be working from home, but children whose parents cannot work from home, vulnerable children and children with a disability have been offered onsite supervision at schools.
Ms Sayers said that CYDA’s position was that all students with disability should be given the right supports to learn at home.
‘One of the most difficult times we’ve ever experienced’: Students with disability struggle during pandemic (By Luke Michael, Pro Bono News)