Ban on restraint in Victorian schools welcome. Harm remains unacknowledged. Questions remain.

ASAN AUNZ welcomes the ban on restraint in Victorian Schools however many questions remain unanswered and the harm to Autistic people remains unacknowledged.

Why was this ban not already in place?

This is the 21st Century not the Dark Ages. Restrictive practices are unlawful and strip people of basic human rights. The ban is welcome but long long overdue.

Who will retrain the teachers and school staff who routinely use restrictive practices?

Most teachers are untrained when it comes to supporting students whose behaviour challenges them. As a result they resort to restraining people when behaviour that could have been avoided occurs – this is completely unacceptable. Teachers and school staff need comprehensive training on helping students to communicate effectively, helping students to self regulate and understanding how to respond to behaviour that communicates extreme anxiety and stress. Hiring untrained teachers and school staff to work with Autistic students should not be an option.

The box recently publicised in The Age newspaper was in an adult day centre – who is overseeing the practice in adult services?

We need a comprehensive national approach to quality and safeguarding for all disability services that is both proactive and responsive and like People with Disability Australia we call for “The establishment of an independent national statutory watchdog to protect, investigate and enforce findings regarding violence, abuse and neglect against people with disability.”

We urge you to join the PWDA campaign to #endtheviolence by contacting you local MP through the campaign page.

Why are governments and service providers in the not for profit sector failing to engage with Autistic people on this issue?

We ask respective governments, national peak bodies and Autism service providers commit to including Autistic people in the design and development of behavioural philosophies and frameworks and appropriate services.

Most Importantly from today they must acknowledge the impact of past and current practices that violate the rights and basic freedoms of Autistic people and lead to psychological and physical injury. 

The peak body for Autistic Self Advocacy, ASAN AUNZ is an Autistic led membership based organisation with members across Australia and New Zealand.

For comment contact Katharine Annear 0400 003 656

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