IHC annual appeal – make a child feel welcome

Press Release – IHC

IHC is launching its 2012 Annual Appeal with a call to parents who are having difficulty enrolling a child with a disability at school.

Media release
31 January 2012
IHC annual appeal – make a child feel welcome

IHC is launching its 2012 Annual Appeal with a call to parents who are having difficulty enrolling a child with a disability at school.

“Let us know if you are having trouble of any kind. We want to help you make sure your child is educated – and welcome – at school,” says IHC Director of Advocacy Trish Grant.

When twins Levi and Olivia Jeffery turned five, two Hamilton primary schools refused to enrol Levi, who is blind and has autistic tendencies. It disrupted the education of both children and was stressful for the whole family. In the end Olivia left her school and started with Levi the following year, aged 6, at Woodstock Primary School, in Hamilton.

Trish says despite disabled children having the right to be fully included in their local schools, many schools refuse to enrol disabled children or put limits on their enrolment. “Parents are often asked to contribute financially to teacher-aide hours, to take their child home early, or keep them at home during a school activity or camp because it’s seen as too hard to include the children.”

In its Annual Appeal, which runs for the month of February, IHC is asking New Zealanders to help us go into bat for children with intellectual disabilities.

Disabled children and young people experience high rates of poverty and family breakdown. Parents often don’t get the right information or support; they don’t know what their entitlements are; they struggle to support their child’s rights. Ten percent of children aged under 15 have a disability; 25 percent of children with a disability live in benefit-dependent homes; 18 percent of children with a disability live in homes where the income is less than $30,000 a year.

To report problems enrolling a child with a disability in school phone 0800 442 442 and press 2.

Please send a donation to IHC, PO Box 1757, Wellington or donate online at www.ihc.org.nz/donate or call 0900 44 900 to make a $20 donation.
ENDS

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