Address details

Down Syndrome NSW
Level 6/410 Church St, North Parramatta
9am-5pm Monday - Thursday
T: 9841 444

Saturday, 7 November 2009

more responses on Kingsdene and long-term support published today

Letters to the Editor, Sydney Morning Herald, today:

Greatest disability is in the funding
How is it that the Anglican diocese with all those churches, all their affluent congregations, all their aged-care facilities and all those rich private schools with their swimming pools, science blocks, ovals and cricket pavilions cannot fund part-time residential care for a handful of children at Kingsdene (Letters, November 6)?

Some community.
Jane Salmon

Parents of children with disabilities lose access to Kingsdene, the state's only specialised boarding school, because governments are prepared to resource only options that keep children at home. Around the corner at the King's School, government funds and parents' fees keep children at boarding school and no one says they should be at home.

It is hard to avoid the conclusion that governments prefer to save money and collect votes than provide genuine support for people with disabilities. Perhaps the King's School could consider putting government to shame by throwing the school a lifeline.
Bronwen Elliott

Some bloke pays $23 million for a family house and Kingsdene cannot find enough funds to stay open (''Murdoch forks out $23m to head for the hills'', November 6). Something is warped in our society.
Trevor Smith
Culburra Beach

Andrew Pesce (Letters, November 6) supports a national disability insurance scheme. Unfortunately, the Federal Government has different priorities. What we really need, it says, are 12 new submarines by 2025.

Estimates of the cost of the Future Submarine Program range from $20 billion to $36 billion, even without likely blow-outs. Defence of the realm being what it is, the Government has no intention of telling us why this particular procurement is so essential. Might it be the solution to the boat people problem?

Perhaps the Collins class clunkers that will be replaced can be used as demountable classrooms as part of the education revolution.
Greg Thomas


A proposal is before Leichhardt Council to renovate three unoccupied houses in Lilyfield for people with an intellectual disability. At a committee meeting this week, one councillor said ''this seems a lot of money for such a small benefit''. It seemed lost on her that families such as ours have saved the public purse millions of dollars by caring for our children at home (in our case for 32 years).

Luckily, others on the council have more enlightened positions.

But if a young, intelligent, well-informed local government representative can still hold such views, families such as ours who have been hoping the ethical compass is finally turning slightly in our direction might have a lot longer to wait.

The problem is, we can't; our daughter will outlive us by many years.
Peter Rix

1 comment:

SPIDS said...

We have written to the Federal Minister for Education the Honourable Ms Julia Gillard to request a meeting however to date we have been refused an interview with no reason given for this refusal.
A review of Kingsdene’s extended learning program has been carried out and a report forwarded to Ms Gillard. Yet notwithstanding the school’s cost-effectiveness, cost-efficiency and highly-praised and excellent program, Anglicare the school authority has had to make the decision to close. Anglicare’s decision is an acknowledgment that it is the responsibility of government to educate students with disabilities with regard to their education needs and level of disability, irrespective of the educational setting. As a charity Anglicare can no longer shoulder that responsibility which it has done for over 33 years but for which it does not have the funds to sustain. This decision is devastating for the students and the families of the children who attend the school.
Kingsdene Special School is a unique schooling model being a residential boarding school for severely to profoundly intellectually disabled children with additional and multiple disabilities. The children attend a normal school week returning home to their families every Friday afternoon for the weekend and school holidays.