Seanad debates

Tuesday, 14 May 2013

Adjournment Matters

Special Educational Needs

5:55 pm

Photo of Brian Ó DomhnaillBrian Ó Domhnaill (Fianna Fail) | Oireachtas source

Education policy in Ireland places children with Down's syndrome at a disadvantage or in an unfair position by not supporting their full educational development to the degree that other people with disabilities are supported in the system. The children concerned deserve every opportunity to reach their full potential. They deserve to be treated in a manner which encompasses the word "equality" and allows them to be cherished equally within the education system. They deserve to be allowed to advance their educational opportunities. This is obviously an issue that needs to be addressed. We are talking about a small number of pupils within the State and we are doing them a great disservice by not allowing Down's syndrome to be regarded as a full-scale disability and not allowing the children concerned to develop to their full potential. I hope the Minister of State will take this on board. I know Down Syndrome Ireland has been lobbying to have this anomaly corrected and hope the Minister of State and the Minister will be in a position to deal with this issue and put matters right as quickly as possible.


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