Action needed on meaningful access to education for disabled students

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Disabled students, their families, guardians, support persons and educators, should become keenly aware of a profoundly important ruling by the Supreme Court of Canada regarding the rights of all disabled students in Canada — info available at the Learning Disabilities Association NL website: www.ldanl.ca. Near the top of the page click on “New – Moore Case info.”

As a parent of a disabled student, (who is currently being discriminated against and denied the “human right” to a vital basic service), I represent just one example among countless others throughout our province.

The term “Meaningful Access” (to education) describes what has now been unanimously affirmed by nine Judges of the Supreme Court of Canada as a human right, and this applies to all grade levels and to post secondary education.

I implore anyone who knows any disabled student to point them to this information. Your kind act may have a profound effect on their current and future education prospects, and their human rights.

Other vitally important resources for persons with disabilities include:

Registered Disability Savings Plan (RDSP), and Canada Disability Savings Grants and Bonds

Info for these valuable service items can be found through the Coalition of Persons with Disabilities Newfoundland and Labrador website:  www.codnl.ca/resources; or the Government of Canada website: www.hrsdc.gc.ca/eng/disability.

It is legally advisable that our ministers of education and justice and (their) consultants also study this information in the hopes that they see fit to “do the right thing” and effectively fund the needs of disabled students in Newfoundland and Labrador.

Indeed it’s now time for (our?) government and (their) consultants to take some vital legal advice from the foremost expert legal authorities in our nation — Supreme Court judges. …  It’s also now time to demonstrate some real (principle-based) leadership and abide by Canadian law  in providing (what the SCOC ruling refers to as), “meaningful access”… in a “timely manner”…. Before the “lit” (litigation) hits the fan.

C’mon Clyde Jackman, Darin King and Kathy Dunderdale ... you’re imposing that our young people invest their futures and countless billions of tax dollars in your (dicey at best) “megaproject,” while you’re refusing to fund basic human rights of disabled students (including children). Really?

What kind of government (“Honourable Minister Responsible”) or what kind of human being, for that matter, knowingly discriminates against, and violates the human rights of, the most unfortunate in our society (through no fault of their own) — the disabled?

Peter Austin

Conception Bay South

Organizations: Supreme Court of Canada, Learning Disabilities Association NL, Canada Disability Savings Grants Coalition of Persons

Geographic location: Canada, Newfoundland and Labrador.Indeed, Peter AustinConception Bay

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  • Cory Campbell - Happy to Pay Taxes
    June 20, 2013 - 11:02

    Hi Peter, You should read up on the United Nations Convention of Persons with Disabilities. Canada was due to report up to the UN on their progress implementing, communicating and monitoring of it in April 2012. Once Canada has submitted its report, groups, citizens etc can also submit their experiences to the UN as a counterbalance. :) Such reports are call 'shadow' reports and are read by all member states. Please pass this around. Your submission can be in what ever format you like. If you want to go whole hog there is a suggested report format here: http://www1.umn.edu/humanrts/iwraw/proceduralguide-08.html Best wishes and thank you for speaking out. We need every voice to be treated as Canadians.

  • Taxed to death
    June 19, 2013 - 07:42

    As a hard-wroking taxpayer payiang 60% of my income in tax I'm getting tired of all these special interests groups demanding rights to this and that. Special education is expensive. Get used to the ideal that we all have to cut back and make do with less.