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Thursday, 18 November 2010
Page: 1573

Senator FIFIELD (Manager of Opposition Business in the Senate) (10:01 AM) —I move:

That the Senate:

(a)   notes that there are six schools for deaf and hearing impaired students in Melbourne but no dedicated school for blind and vision impaired students;

(b)   acknowledges that whilst mainstream schooling is appropriate for many children with disabilities, some children require more intensive support in specialist environments for a period of time;

(c)   supports the right of parents to choose the educational setting that best meets the needs of their child;

(d)   commends the parents involved in the Insight Education Centre for the Blind and Vision Impaired for their tireless advocacy and hard work on behalf of blind and vision impaired children; and

(e)   calls on the Government to:

(i)   establish a Commonwealth Disability and Carer Ombudsman to undertake a nationwide audit of special schools that cater for particular disabilities to establish the needs that exist across Australia, and

(ii)   provide $2.2 million in capital funding to the Insight Education Centre for the Blind and Vision Impaired.