Monday, October 26, 2015

Australia: Must not mention that disability is disabling

Federal Education Minister Simon Birmingham has come under fire for saying he 'thanks his lucky stars' his children do not have a disability.

'I think we look at some friends who have children with varying disabilities and I thank my lucky stars that's not me,' Mr Birmingham told a Senate committee meeting in Canberra on Wednesday night.  'So I am very conscious of making sure we do what we can in that space.'

The Education Minister and South Australian Senator made the comments during a discussion about potential cuts to funding for students with a disability next year, as a new funding model is introduced.

The 'lucky stars' comment was slammed by advocacy groups, who labelled it 'deeply offensive' to people with a disability.

'They are constantly exposed to significant barriers in education, including constant bullying, and for them to hear that can easily cause harm and further diminish the views that we are trying to stop,' Children with Disability Australia chief executive Stephanie Gotlib said, according to the Canberra Times.

'He is either acknowledging that the education system is causing significant challenges, or is he saying children with a disability themselves are a burden, and aren't a valuable member of a family or community.' [But they ARE a burden.  Whether the burden should be borne and by whom is a legitimate and important debate but denying the reality attacks the need for debate.  Is that ever wise?]



Anonymous said...

Advocacy groups are always seeking someone to blame besides themselves.

Anonymous said...

We need your money to cure XYZ, but f**k you for saying "thank my lucky stars for being healthy". Great fund-raising idea, good luck with that.

Anonymous said...

Wow - this is absolutely ridiculous.
As the parent of a child with autism I think there is absolutely nothing wrong with what he said and anyone taking offense on my behalf (or my son's) can go and shove it.

Stan B said...

Anon 8:12 - Welcome to the world of Offense By Proxy!

Bird of Paradise said...

Mentaly Handicapped people are more intellegent then the whining liberal whiners

Sean Rapley said...

I am a parent of a child with significant disabilities, and I can absolutely say he is not a burden. He has taught us and the community around him so say children with a disability are a burden is very ignorant, and a generalisation that is more than prejudiced opinion lacking any insight into what value all our children can offer.

Alpha Skua said...

Sean. Looks like your child is already m more intellegent then any buricrat or politician has great parents