Down Syndrome Ireland says children with Down syndrome being discriminated against

Representatives and member parents from Down Syndrome Ireland are due to speak in Leinster House tomorrow, Wednesday on the need for adequate education resources for children with Down syndrome.

A lack of education resources and training for teachers means that children with Down syndrome are effectively being discriminated against.

Parents and children with Down syndrome are asking ‘Please don’t leave us behind’ in the charity’s campaign to ensure full inclusion in our nation’s classrooms.

Representatives and members of Down Syndrome Ireland will present on:

Teachers’ Unions the ASTI and TUI have both recently advised members to stop providing critical planning processes for children with additional educational needs due to resource issues. IEPs are vital to ensure a positive learning environment for students with Down syndrome. Despite recent advances and improvements, schools and teachers remain grossly unsupported. Classroom teachers are extremely concerned that without the proper training, they do not have the skills to prepare and implement complex Individual Education Plans. The charity is calling for the Government to provide adequate resources and teacher training to ensure children are taught at their own pace and in a way that suits their learning profile.

July Provision is the extended school year which is not available to the vast majority of children with Down syndrome, leaving them at a huge educational disadvantage. The charity estimates that providing July Provision for children with Down syndrome would cost less than €1m per year.

Their future is in the hands of the Government as we ask ‘Please Don’t Leave Us Behind’.

About Down Syndrome Ireland

Established in 1971, Down Syndrome Ireland is the voice of people with Down syndrome and their families throughout Ireland. The charity has over 3,500 members with 25 branches nationwide.

The charity provides an ‘all-through-life’ supports to people with Down syndrome and their families across Ireland with specialists in the areas of health, speech and language, early development, education, adult education and employment and adult advocacy issues that enhance the lives of thousands of children and adults with Down syndrome across the country. The charity is the biggest single group concerned with the welfare of people with a learning disability in Ireland.