AAACT’s Statement on Alleged Child Restraint Issue
Whilst the complete picture is not yet clear about this alleged incident, it potentially represents an awful situation.
It does, however, reflect an environment where teachers in some schools do not appear to be adequately trained, prepared or resourced to deal effectively and appropriately with many students, including those with special needs. This is something many of us have known for some time, and certainly something we have been working towards changing.
AAACT welcomes the Inquiry foreshadowed by the ACT Minister for Disability, Joy Burch, and looks forward to working with all parties involved to ensure these kinds of circumstances do not occur in the future, and that all measures are taken to increase the capacity of ACT schools to create truly inclusive and productive learning environment for all students and their families.
AAACT is also keen to play a key role in the review foreshadowed by the ACT Government’s into special education arrangements for children with behavioural disabilities in mainstream schooling to be chaired by Professor Tony Shaddock from the University of Canberra.
The Chief Executive Officer, Peter Brady can be contacted on 0406 399 395 or at firstname.lastname@example.org for further comment.
Sammie Behr Completes 24-hour Walk
The keynote fund-raiser for this year’s Autism Awareness month celebrations was Sammie Behr’s “24 hour walk”. Sammie, a young Mum who has a daughter with ASD, amazingly walked for 24 hours, non-stop, around Lake Burley Griffin to raise money to assist AAACT to continue to carry out the very important work that it does in assisting individuals, families and carers.
Sammie's determination, and the love and support of her family and friends, saw her complete this mammoth task and raise over $10,000 for AAACT. AAACT thanks Sammie for her spirit and genorosity in undertaking this fund-raiser on behalf of AAACT. We also extend our thanks to Sammie's network of family and friends who came together to keep a 24 hour roster of support ensuring there was someone always by her side. Congratulations Sammie.
AAACT Celebrates Autism Awareness Month
Throughout the month of April, AAACT is celebrating Autism Awareness Month (AAM) to raise awareness and understanding of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and the challenges that people with ASD and their families and carers face on a daily basis. See our events page for more information.
The ACT Minister for Disability, Joy Burch, officially launched AAM at a Morning Tea at the Southern Cross Club, Woden, on Wednesday 1 April.
Since the launch AAACT has: held a Bollywood movie night at the Notaras Centre featuring the movie “Barfi”; assisted the Department of Immigration and Border Protection stage its annual Autism Awareness BBQ; assisted Sammy Behr with her 24-hour walk along Lake Burley Griffin (see above for details); and assisted the Department of Education and Training with its annual Social Club event for autism.
AAACT is also encouraging other community organisations, government departments and businesses to ‘go blue during April’ to help raise awareness of ASD, and to raise money to assist the vital work of AAACT – ways that the community get involved include: wear blue day; bake blue; have a blue BBQ; wear blue shoelaces; have a ‘blue’ trivia night.
Public buildings around Canberra are offering their support by lighting in blue during April.
AAACT Presents to Parliamentary Hearing on NDIS
Chief Executive Officer, Peter Brady, presented to the Parliamentary Joint Standing Committee on the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) on 27 March 2015.
At the Hearing, Mr Brady highlighted the success that AAACT had achieved with the implementation of the Commonwealth Government’s “Helping Children with Autism (HCWA)” package for more 6-years, noting that the Government’s funding for this program is scheduled to conclude on 30 June. Mr Brady appealed to the Committee to support AAACT’s request to have the funding extended for this vital early intervention initiative.
Mr Brady identified the opportunities available to maintain the funding for this very worthwhile program through the foreshadowed Tier 2 funding arrangement (Information, Linkages and Capacity Building). The Chair of the Committee, Mal Brough MLA thanked Mr Brady for his presentation; noted AAACT’s concerns about the proposed closure of the HCWA program in the ACT; and asked government officials to provide the Committee with its views on the matter, where things were going, and the potential timely lines.
Go to http://www.aph.gov.au/joint_ndis for full details of Mr Brady’s presentation contained in the Hansard.
AAACT Staff Works Hard to Implement NDIS Rollout
AAACT staff continues to work hard to not only provide assistance, support, educational programs and workshops for its members and their families, but is offering training and support services for professionals and schools across the ACT.
The Association’s task is made even harder with the rollout of the NDIS in the ACT, being one of the first States or Territory to fully implement the Scheme across all cohorts. AAACT has a special tab on its Website that provides information on the NDIS; pre-planning for the new Scheme; and a member’s perspective on accessing the NDIS. For full details go to http://www.autismaspergeract.com.au/ndis/
'Starting Out on the ASD Journey: Parent Perspectives" is a series of interviews about receiving a diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder, by Autism Asperger ACT. The DVD was produced by Bearcage and funded by the Department of Social Services.